Pair anything with fried chicken at a food stand, and lips start smacking.
Philly's Federal Donuts sells doughnuts alongside its golden birds, and starting Saturday, May 18, Philly natives Stephen Starr and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson will start selling fried chicken on a menu with dumplings and cupcakes at Chelsea Market in Lower Manhattan.
The idea, called Hybird, was rolled out with a party Tuesday night attended by Thompson's musician friends as well as the restaurant industry. I spotted Shmitten Kitten author/blogger Anna Goldfarb, who said she had been included in the menu development because she shares management.
Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn told me that his Philly branch of Good Stuff Eatery, coming to 108 S. 18th St., will open at the end of the year. Adam Richman stopped early (Food Network's offices are upstairs).
Alas, Guy Fieri was on the guest list but was a no-show.
The food is spot-on. The drumsticks (of course, since Thompson drums for The Roots) are plump, meaty and thick-crusted. And 4 bucks each (two for $7.50, four for $14.50). A biscuit is $2 more. Add honey butter for $2. You're in New York.
The dumplings ($7 an order - less than you'd pay across the hall at Buddakan) were filled with such morsels as truffled egg; tofu and mushrooms; crab (like a crab rangoon); cheese & chard; and curried chicken (curry-up chicken).
Cupcake flavors ($3.50): miso ho-ney, beyond the pineapple, tom yum, and sexual chocolate.
Washing it down are slushies ("Loveslush") in watermelon jalapeno and honey ginger lemonade.
How about a Philadelphia location? "This isn't even open!" Starr exclaimed. "Let's see how it does. But if it works, Philly is definitely the next place."