Finally: Chicken and biscuits delivered to your door

May 12, 2011

Half an herb-roasted rotisserie chicken, biscuit and side of slaw from Roost.


I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there is nowhere in Philadelphia where you can get a whole, free-range, herb-roasted chicken delivered to your door complete with sides.

Until now.

West Philly’s newest chicken joint, Roost, isn’t really a joint at all. It’s a hole in the wall with a stainless steel metal counter, a chalkboard menu and just enough room to salivate.

Owned by the Milk and Honey Market duo of Annie Baum-Stein and Mau Daigle, Roost is located at 4529 Springfield Ave., a couple of doors up from Wayne’s Garage. They’re using the adjacent kitchen of the recently dissolved Kitchen at Penn, which has gone on hiatus with the graduation of its general manager. The Kitchen’s chef, Jordan Miller, is the mastermind behind Roost, which offers fried chicken and chicken tenders along with the rotisserie, and a selection of sides that includes coleslaw, mashed potatoes and gravy, greens and mac ‘n cheese. Oh, and by the way, some amazingly good homemade buttermilk biscuits.

Whenever possible Roost uses locally grown ingredients, including the chickens.

“The farmers we use are up the road,” said Miller.

That means that the chickens, which are from Bell and Evans, are organic and a little smaller, like chickens used to be. These have no hormones or antibiotics like the factory-raised chickens with the Dolly Partonesque breasts available in the grocery store now. It also means that they are, pound-for-pound, more expensive.

Roost is also putting together a vegan menu for the herbivores out there.

A half rotisserie ($9.50), which includes a biscuit, and a side is just about right for two adults. Altogether we paid $12.50 for a half chicken and a small container of red cabbage coleslaw. We were in and out in 5 minutes. The “out” part is important – it’s take out, delivery or eat standing on the sidewalk. No tables and no chairs here.

It’s not Popeye’s prices for sure and if you stop by in person and order fried chicken you will have to wait a few minutes while it is actually fried. Thankfully, there are no heat lamps.

Our only criticism was that our biscuit was not quite done and a little gooey inside. But we chalked that up to the newness of the operation. They are still finetuning things. Roost has been unofficially open for about a week. The official opening is pending and the current hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. They are closed on Tuesdays. The delivery range is Woodland to Market and 38th to 50th.

The complete menu is here. They accept major credit cards and cash.


10 Comments For This Post

  1. cindy miller Says:

    Remember the original “Roost” of the 80’s on 40th St.? For a second I thought it had come back….

  2. Lisetta Says:

    My friends and I tried it out last night. We ordered a vegan dinner and a large chicken meal: a roasted chicken, 6 pieces of fried chicken, 3 sides and a biscuit.

    The good news: The smashed potatoes and the biscuits were delicious.

    All the rest was woefully unsatisfying. The roasted chicken was tender yet mealy. The fried chicken was crispy yet way too salty. Both were way greasy. The mac and cheese was overcooked and tasteless. The kale was not only paltry – about a cup of cooked kale for a family of 4 — but also inedible (again because of too much salt). The vegan meal was a few slices of spicy tofu over said inedible kale.

    Total came to about $50, which we all agreed was quite expensive for 2 chickens, a few cups of cheap sides, and about a quarter pound of tofu.

    While the 4 of us can understand start up struggles, none of us found reason to return. At dinner we dreamed about how it could be better:

    While we’re all for local organic choices, one might presume that those willing to pay the premium for these choices would also like healthier options. They would be wise to ramp up the quality and selection of their side dishes, in our view. How about a whole grain vegetarian option for a side dish, for example? or a simple green salad?

    Selling meat in a neighborhood full of foodies and flexitarians will be more effective with a ‘pitch’, we think. For those who might care, Roost might be wise to train the cashier to talk about Bell&Evans’ efforts with PETA and ‘humane’ slow induction anesthesia.

    They might also think about getting more qualified people in the kitchen — the salt errors are the true mark of an amateur. Rise to the occasion, Roost!

  3. drd Says:

    We had a totally different experience from the above poster: tried everything except the vegan stuff (maybe therein lies the difference) and loved every bite. Both our roasted and fried chicken was done perfectly (and we’re Southerners, so we know fried chicken). The green beans were grilled, crisp, and addictive, the mac and cheese disappeared into the kids before we could even try it, the kale was not salty at all when we got it but lemony and yummy. Admittedly, the biscuits were a bit dense when we first tried them, but Roost had been unofficially opened for one day. When I tried one again yesterday the biscuits were fluffy and perfect. Consistency is an unreasonable expectation in a place open less then a week, and the staff are very friendly and welcoming of feedback. Try and judge for yourself. Check out the homemade hot sauce, too. I dipped everything in it, then drank it from the little bowl.

  4. meh Says:

    We just had a terrific dinner from Roost. We ordered the large family meal, which came with a rotisserie chicken and a few fried pieces, plus biscuits and three sides (we opted for mac and cheese, kale and cole slaw). Everything was fantastic. Both kinds of chicken were juicy and well-seasoned, with a nice, herby taste. The kale was perfectly cooked, light and lemony, the cole slaw was deliciously tangy and the macaroni and cheese was creamy but still very flavorful. Opinions did differ on the biscuits. I found them tasty but definitely on the heavy side, as suggested above — we thought their texture might have suffered a bit from being tightly wrapped in aluminum foil straight from the oven. (Of course, this didn’t stop me from eating the whole thing, plus part of my kid’s.) Overall, we were very, very happy with the quality of the food, and glad for the organic and local emphasis. We’ll definitely be heading back, sooner rather than later.

  5. Madame Fromage Says:

    This makes me so happy! I can’t wait to try it.

  6. Stephanie Says:

    I have lofty standards when it comes to chicken, and I’m happy to say that Roost does not disapoint. I had the half roasted chicken with a biscuit. The chicken contained just the right amount of salt to enhance the already flavorful meat without overpowering it. The herb mix was spot-on and, when combined with the tasty skin, produced a heavenly aroma. Most impressive, however, was the texture of the meat. I’ve never had juicier white meat in my life. The dark meat was surprisingly tender (rather than chewy or stringy as is often the case). The biscuit was tangy, soft, and dense and provided a nice contrast, both texturally and flavor-wise, to the chicken.

    I look forward to trying the fried chicken, but knowing just how good the roast is, I don’t know if I’ll be able to pass it up!

  7. Shawn Says:

    So they forget the gravy w/ the delivery. I called them & was told they would send it right over. 20 mins later still no gravy and the food is cold. I call them again. I can hear them talking to each other in the back ground about my cold mash potatoes. When the guy gets back on the phone all he says is that they are sorry. Sorry! 10 mins later the gravy shows up and it was cold! I do not recommend this place. It would of cost them pennies to send over another hot smash potatoes but instead they are just SORRY. A sorry business in West Philly.

  8. Shawn Says:

    I called in an order to Roost. They forgot the gravy. I called them back and they told me it would be sent right over. 20 mins later still no gravy and the food is cold. I called again and was told the delivery guy had 2 stops before mine. So now 30 mins later the gravy shows up….cold! And all the guy from Roost could say to me on the phone is “sorry”. Well this is a sorry place that they can’t send HOT smash potatoes over w/ hot gravy after their mistake. I’m sorry your business is in West Philly.

  9. DD Says:

    So sometimes this little neighborhood-owned store forgets the gravy. So it took the delivery guy 20 minutes to ride over on his BIKE in the RAIN with your corrected order. Isn’t it worth it to buy real food from real people? No? Then go drive through KFC.

  10. krystal Says:

    amazing food. biscuits are almost as good as my granddaddy’s. ordered many times and my orders are always perfect.

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