BBQ Chicken at HMart – NYC
Hey, friends. It’s been crazy the past few weeks… or I should say, even more crazy than usual. The world is going mad, and yet, Phase 2 happened this Monday in NYC. That means restaurants are open now for outdoor dining. Are you guys ready for this??? I took a quick poll on my IG stories, and it looks like most people aren’t (2 people who answered that they were ready told me they read the question wrong 🤦🏻♀️).
And for good reason. COVID-19 is still out there and people are still freaked out. For me, at least for a few more months, I’ll continue ordering delivery or getting takeout. With an infant, outdoor dining in the sweltering NYC heat won’t be pleasant anyway. Also, there’s way too many people unhinged from the quarantine walking around. No, thank you.
If you need a takeout idea, bb.q Chicken is finally open at HMart in the East Village. Since HMart opened last year with signage for bb.q “Coming Soon,” the hubs and I have been stalking the grocery. It took a year, but bb.q is finally here!
bb.q Chicken, if you haven’t had it in KTown, is great because they really nailed Korean fried chicken in a non-restaurant setting. All the food is pre-cooked, which you can than grab and go. No waiting for fried chicken for 20-30 mins. And amazingly, the chicken always tastes fresh and crunchy. Not an easy feat for fried chicken.
At Hmart, it’s pretty much the same deal. The chicken is in the hot foods case near the baked goods, and sells for $12.89 for a small bucket (8 wings). Some people swear by the soy garlic flavor, but I find the soy garlic a little too salty. I prefer the honey garlic, which is also a little too sweet, but I prefer sweet over salty. And again, for ready-made food, the fried chicken is insanely good, juicy inside with a crisp, non-oily crust. It’s COMI (crisp on the outside, moist in the middle)! (I learned this watching Crash Landing on You during quarantine, which by the way, had very agressive bb.q product placement. Hence the subliminal cravings…)
While you’re there, grab some Sindangdong Tteokbokki chips (신당동 떡볶이과자) ($3.99). This is probably my favorite chip at the moment. I had these tteokbokki chips years ago, and I remember thinking these weren’t good because it didn’t taste like tteokbokki, but if you get over that, these are mighty tasty.
The rigatoni shaped chips are super crunchy, and the flavor is kind of reminiscent of the old school Korean snack Matdongsan (맛동산). They both have that same sweet coating, but the tteokbokki chips have an additional dimension of heat. Not crazy heat, but just enough to remind you it’s supposed to taste like tteokbokki. It’s very addictive.
Now with fried chicken and chips, I’m good for a few more months. What ’bout you?