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.
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.