Some Sundays are for classy brunches. They’re for fresh bread, prosciutto, soft-poached eggs, smoothly ripe avocados, and shared bars of dark chocolate. They’re consumed in sunlit kitchens with plenty of chatter, bodums of black coffee, and Ella Fitzgerald contributing her bit from the living room stereo.
Then there are Sundays for sifting through piles of eclectic goods in drafty warehouses, then throwing back fried chicken, potato wedges, and gravy. If you’re in the mood for this latter option, may I recommend L.A. Chicken and the SPCA Thrift Store in Richmond.
L.A. Chicken, in the Cambie/No. 5 Road area, is not a place I’d have thought to enter. It’s small, south of the intersection’s main mall, and looks as though it hasn’t been re-decorated (in the slightest) since it opened decades ago. When I first saw it, I incorrectly assumed it was a chain, as most fried chicken joints are. Readers assured me otherwise, however. Dana and I tried it out, ignoring what should be the first rule of eating in a place specializing in deep fry: never enter with stomachs so empty they growl.
When we decided to go, I developed a fierce hope they’d have biscuits, and was overjoyed when we entered and saw “Jumbo Biscuits” on their menu. Then the woman behind the counter told us they no longer have them, and my soul deflated (it’s easy to be dramatic when you could eat your own arm).
I also LOVED that they had “McCain Cake” on their menu, but those hopes were also dashed when she said “No……don’t have that either.” It seems they’ve pared their menu back to the essentials, so that’s what we went with.
We ordered a two piece regular fried chicken meal with fries, chose coleslaw as our salad (potato and macaroni were the other options), and asked for a side of the seasoned spuds. Class-y Sun-day! It came to $16 in total, and was plenty of food for two people.
The fried chicken was REALLY, REALLY, REALLY GOOD. Now I can see why so many people suggested I try it. The meat was juicy and the batter crispy, salty, a little spicy, and wickedly delicious when dipped in the seasoned, ‘down home’ gravy. So bad for the bod, so good for the soul.
As for the fries, I’d recommend skipping them altogether and paying a little extra to upgrade to seasoned spuds, which were WAY better. The poor fries barely got touched.
I’m not suggesting the coleslaw was healthy, but it wasn’t drowning in dressing either, and tasted light and crunchy in comparison to the rest of the food. We finished every last shred of pale green cabbage that styrofoam cup had to offer.
What are two things that would have made this meal perfect? Biscuits and McCain cake! I was craving biscuits so badly, that when I went home I made more of Joy the Baker’s recipe, which is simply the best. I substituted white cheddar for feta and add chunks of fried chorizo, and it’s a combo I highly recommend.
A meal from L.A. Chicken is the perfect guilty pleasure, and judging by the number of customers who came and went while we were there, many other people think so.
The other part of this classy adventure was spent in the SPCA’s Richmond Thrift Store, which is set back from Minoru Road, tucked in behind the string of buildings along Alderbridge (Galloways being one of them).
The store is HUGE, with high ceilings and endless racks of poorly-organized goods – treasure hunting at its finest. I wandered through as I waited for Dana to pick me up, spotting a number of old travel chests I would have loved to take home,
some fine, fine records,
and these funny little unicorns, which I took an odd liking to. If you’re a fan of thrifting, you should definitely check this place out.
Perhaps my next Sunday will include Ella Fitzgerald, but as for yesterday, sound-tracked by a gurgling deep-fryer and a tinny thrift store radio, I was quite satisfied. And am now eating salad for breakfast.
Cash and cards accepted
Not vegetarian friendly