Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.
The Truck: The Architect's Kitchen
The Cuisine: Freshly fried chicken in rice bowls or sandwiches
Specialty Items: Fried chicken, donuts
Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 10 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.
Spying the Architect's Kitchen truck (also know as ArKi) the first time, I half expected the specialty to be tall towers of food, the architectural presentation of dishes that dominated the 80's and early 90's that made eating a dish a little like playing Jenga. Instead, I found a truck with fearless and deft hand at the fryer, slinging some classics of Americana: fried chicken and donuts, and yes you can get them served together.
I was hopeful that the limited menu meant that the Fried Chicken and Fries Combo ($8.50) would be good, and it was. The meal comes with a drumstick, thigh, fries, and a spicy aioli that had good chile pepper kick with a touch of sweetness. The fries were on the very crispy, on the darker side of golden brown, but stayed crunchy the whole time.
The chicken didn't disappoint, with a flour and spice coating thick enough to keep the meat juicy in the fryer, but not so thick that it kept the skin from getting crispy. The shards of coating courageously stayed on the chicken in the unbitten parts, making each bite a good blend of textures and flavors as well. This is certainly some of the best tasting fried chicken coming out of mobile vender.
Admittedly, I'm one of those people that doesn't enjoy it when the maple syrup touches the bacon when eating pancakes, though I could see the allure of the chicken and donut combination. The donuts are fat pucks a little more dense than the beignets the align themselves with, but really who can deny the joys of fresh, hot, fried dough? The donuts ($3.50 for two) come bathed in a sweet, buttery sauce that is something like a light caramel sauce with a touch of maple syrup. In other words: delicious.
Go design yourself a meal.