Today I had an experience that was probably the closest I’ll ever come to believing in a higher power. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the reason for this holy experience was chicken.
What was this higher power that nearly made me a believer? Southern Fried Chicken at Revival, a newish restaurant in south Minneapolis from the same folks behind the delicious Corner Table. After being afforded the opportunity to taste this chicken, I can only conclude that these guys are either Illuminati or deities. Or both.
It began as a relatively normal Wednesday evening. My parents invited Carl and me out to dinner because they’d been hearing good things about Revival and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I’m never one to turn down a free meal, especially when the promise of fried chicken glimmers on the horizon.
We all scanned the menu briefly, and quickly came to the consensus that it was imperative that we order a massive amount of fried chicken to share accompanied by various sides. We opted for a whole bird, which soon arrived at our table in the form of a towering pile of crispy fried chicken gems. The feeling I had as the plate was set down on our table was likely what lucky prospectors felt upon discovering a particularly hefty gold nugget in their pan.
With the first bite, I knew I was having a religious experience. That satisfying crunch, followed by a slight kick of spice, and finally the juicy and tender meat. Eating this chicken is what it feels like to be hugged by baby Jesus. If this chicken was a world leader, peace, justice, and happiness would be had by all. In the future, the chef on my yacht will prepare this chicken for dinner every night and I’ll never tire of it.
The sides were good, but I was hardly even able to comprehend them because I was so focused on my chicken. After two bites I ditched my knife and fork because I needed to reduce the time and space between the chicken and my mouth. All thoughts of table manners and decorum were strewn aside, and it was just me and my beautiful chicken in our own deep-fried universe. While the chicken is absolutely perfect as is, I will note that Revival’s sweet-potato-based hot sauce is truly fantastic and a perfect sweet yet surprisingly spicy complement to the chicken.
As I continued eating, I had to stop myself every few bites to remind myself that, yes, this is real life. This chicken exists. And it is Good. I paused midway through my second massive chicken piece to catch my breath, and came to the realization that my life had changed drastically in this brief chicken-filled interlude. From the moment I took my first bite of that succulent chicken, nothing would ever be the same.
I will no longer be able to drive down Nicollet without feeling a crippling urge to pop into the small and lively space to nosh on a piece of chicken (or four). I will no longer be able to enjoy the perfectly adequate – and even delicious – fried chicken at places like KFC and Raising Cane’s. In fact, all other food will pale in comparison. Every day, I will check Revival’s website to see if they have begun offering take-out (it’s currently “coming soon”). I will create a new budget category on Mint called “Revival Chicken” and will give myself an allowance to ensure I can buy more of this amazing but relatively expensive chicken. Never will I have the opportunity to taste Revival’s other menu items, because there is no way I would be able to justify not ordering the chicken next time I’m there.
Is this hyperbole? Perhaps, but this is the only way I can truly express the level of chicken glory I just experienced. To quote Will Ferrell’s James Lipton, “there is no word in the English language to describe its perfection, so I am forced to make one up. And I will do so right now: scrumtralescent.” Revival’s chicken is indeed scrumtralescent, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll get yourself there as soon as possible.