Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Open late: Saturday till 3, other nights till 2
Fried chicken and fish, craft beer and cocktails, long waits and Ping-Pong (plus ice skating, in season) from the people behind Longman & Eagle. The kitchen stays open till 1 AM.
At this perpetually mobbed facsimile of a fast-food chicken and fish shack, brought to you by the folks behind Longman & Eagle, you won't exchange money for bird through bulletproof glass. But it is fairly likely that you will suffer other indignities, such as sharing an uncomfortable wooden booth with a motley assortment of tightly packed beardos and painted ladies. Whether you can normally abide this milieu or not, you owe yourself the fried chicken—and the fish. The birds are fried hard, to the very edge of acceptability, in a thin jacket of chile-spiked buttermilk-flour batter that clads explosively juicy flesh, adhering faithfully until it shatters like glass to the tooth. The fish, a daily rotating variety of something white and flaky, is expertly fried as well. Nonfried items are represented by the likes of a delicate arugula salad; a chickpea-and-grilled-octopus salad seasoned with Moroccan spice; and pimento cheese toasts tarted up with pickly radishes. And the kitchen really shows grace under pressure when it comes to beautifully shucking raw oysters, with a single east- and west-coast variety available each day. The restaurant is just as devoted to drinking, with respectable selections of spirits, beer, and wine and about a half-dozen house cocktails, including a brain-bending, beautifully bitter Negroni slushy and one of the most delicious savory-salty micheladas I've ever encountered. Read the full review >>
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Conceptually, Parson's has as much if not more in common with Big Star as it does with a typical Harold's Chicken Shack. It has a great big patio (it's an ice rink in the winter), servicing drinkers with brisk, boozy cocktails and cheap pours of whiskey (the beer and, to a lesser extent, wine selections are also respectable). And in warmer months it distracts the impatient with a Ping-Pong table set off to the side. For now, when the weather isn't wet, this is the place to be, as every soldier in the nascent Logan Square stroller militia has discovered. Capping it off, in addition to a brain-bending, beautifully bitter Negroni slushy squirted from a dedicated machine behind the bar, Parson's has one of the most delicious, savory-salty micheladas I've ever encountered. —Mike Sula