By Mollie McWilliams
By Molly Gore
By Pete Kane
By Pete Kane
By Anna Roth
By Alex Hochman
By Joseph Geha
By Anna Roth
On my first visit to Goood Frikin' Chicken, I find a small, humid, wedge-shaped room dominated by an open grill behind a counter, with a few tables that seem like an afterthought and no décor to speak of. Robert and I try both the rotisserie chicken ("marinated overnight in a zesty garlic lemon marinade, cooked in our special rotisserie until golden brown") and the open flame chicken ("marinated overnight in an herbal marinade, cooked slowly on open flame until tender and done"), plated with green salad and our choice of side dish (from house potatoes, baked beans, basmati rice pilaf, mac and cheese, hummus, and baba ghanouj, we choose potatoes and rice, and then get an additional side of hummus because the one our neighbors are eating looks good).
I'm disappointed. Both the chickens seem dried out to me, the open flame much more so than the rotisserie, and I'm also dissatisfied with the grilled chicken's heavy coating of musty-seeming herbs. The crusty chunks of potato are floury and fine, the rice is OK, and the garlic sauce seems less pungent than Zankou's; what I like best are the thick slices of what Goood Frikin' calls olive oil pita and the really excellent hummus. I'm also pleased with the creamy rice pudding scented with orange blossom water, which can be dusted with cinnamon or chopped pistachios -- your call.
10 29th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Region: Mission/ Bernal Heights
Open flame with sides half $8.75, whole $15.75
Baba ghanouj $3.75
Olive oil pita 95 cents
Lamb shawerma sandwich $6.75
Rice pudding $2.25
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Muni: 14, 26, 49, 67
Noise level: moderate
I return to Goood Frikin' Chicken because it has added a long-in-the-works dining room (and removed the tables from the grill room, now open for takeout only) with comfy banquettes, soothing beige walls, and pretty Mediterranean murals. I also am hoping for a juicier couple of birds. Alas, the whole birds I order this time (along with a rerun of the suave hummus and an equally good baba ghanouj) are, again, overcooked for my taste, especially the almost-crumbly open flame version. I'm saddened, because the people who run the place are so nice, and the new room so pleasant. The tastiest item I sample is the lamb shawerma wrap sandwich I throw in, layered with tomatoes, onion, and parsley and anointed with tahini sauce, but the place isn't called Goood Frikin' Lamb Shawerma.
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