West Seattle restaurants: Harry’s Chicken Joint to semi-debut

Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

It’s time for…Harry’s Chicken Joint!

Well, it’s almost time. Harry’s Chicken Joint (first mentioned here a month ago) will be running delivery-only orders down and across the street to Beveridge Place Pub Thursdays through Saturdays, starting tomorrow. (Patrons there have gotten some samples in recent weeks.) The BPP-delivery-only model will run for approximately a month while the former Meander’s/Jade West space north of Morgan Junction gets a re-do for its new tenant, so there’s no opening date set yet for their sit=down operations.

Harry’s has three items on the BPP-delivery menu for its semi-debut:

They are the Fried Chicken Combo, the Fried Chicken Breast Strips Combo, and the Pulled Pork Po’Boy (as detailed here). Each dish comes with a side of potatoes roasted in duck fat and kale with caramelized garlic. “Caramelized garlic?” asked this author (who does not cook). “What’s that?” Owner Bruce, aka “the guy from Harry’s” (who didn’t want to share his last name or photo, so the attention stays on the food), immediately started listing the ingredients, in the spirit of his “Thou Shalt Share What You Know” philosophy of cooking.

Bruce’s food appreciation came at a young age from his father Harry, the restaurant’s namesake. Bruce says Harry was a “phenomenal chef who liked thinking outside of the box and making something of a meal.” He adds, “In the 1960s, it was unusual to have a man whistling away in the kitchen; most of the other dads were out mowing the lawns.”

Harry’s Chicken Joint is a “culmination of a dream” for Bruce, who says he formerly worked as an advertising executive and surgical coordinator at Harborview, and recently graduated from South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) with degrees in Restaurant Food Service Production and Catering Services.

He’s been developing his recipes for months and recently had a “soft opening” where he tested his recipes on friends and family. He says he’s been extremely pleased with the positive reactions and adds that his goal is to have people say, “This is the best fried chicken I’ve ever had.”

Harry’s clearly isn’t a vegetarian joint (though Bruce notes there are no meat products in the kale dish), but he is playing with the idea of “Smoked Mac ‘n Cheese” at some point in the future.

Asked about the ventilation (which was an issue for many customers in the Meander’s space), Bruce says that they’ve been testing it, and because of what they’re cooking and how they’re cooking it, ventilation hasn’t been an issue; even during their busiest part of the soft opening. Neon signs for the windows have been ordered and the “joint” will accept credit cards. Bruce says he’s developed a great relationship with the Wong family — owners of the building – and that Wah Wong even asked for the pulled pork recipe.

The size of the space isn’t changing. If you were familiar with the Meander’s layout, you’ll be seeing pretty much the same amount of seating. Bruce isn’t interested in being a big restaurant that dumps chicken into a deep-fat fryer and walks away from it. He wants to be the small neighborhood restaurant where you can come and get that “best chicken ever.”

Of course, he’ll give you the recipe for the chicken, but with a 24-hour buttermilk brine, the flouring, the smoking, and taking the time to cook it in a cast-iron skillet, he’s pretty sure you’d rather just have him make it.

To try Harry’s Chicken at Beveridge Place Thursday through Saturday evenings, call (206) 938-9000. Harry’s is located at 6032 California Avenue SW and is online via its Facebook page.

24 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: Harry's Chicken Joint to semi-debut"

  • Coyote March 6, 2013 (12:50 pm)

    Are they open now?

    • WSB March 6, 2013 (12:53 pm)

      No, the delivery at BPP is their first venture, starting tomorrow. Sitdown won’t be open for another month or so.

  • bsmomma March 6, 2013 (12:58 pm)

    Wow. That is GENIUS!!! Food delivery to a bar without a kitchen!! Best of Luck!!

  • Colby March 6, 2013 (1:06 pm)

    So to-go orders are not available either?

  • Spana March 6, 2013 (1:06 pm)

    I still picture hairy chicken.

  • Diane March 6, 2013 (1:11 pm)

    jeesh; how many people comment without even reading as much as the 1st paragraph?
    “The BPP-delivery-only model will run for approximately a month while the former Meander’s/Jade West space north of Morgan Junction gets a re-do for its new tenant, so there’s no opening date set yet for their sit=down operations.”

    • WSB March 6, 2013 (1:34 pm)

      Diane – I added a few more words to further clarify. Before the first person commented, the sentence ended at “tenant.” (Although that seemed clear enough to me when I edited Keri’s story, it didn’t hurt to add a reiteration.) – TR

  • JanS March 6, 2013 (1:17 pm)

    Colby…delivery to BPP only it says…to go will probably come when the place is open for sit down

  • Laura March 6, 2013 (1:54 pm)

    I’m so excited! I love good fried chicken. Looking forward to trying this out.

  • Kayleigh March 6, 2013 (4:48 pm)

    We’re vegetarians, so not much there for us. But I wanted to say I love your logo!

  • Ben March 6, 2013 (5:01 pm)

    I really enjoyed the samples I tried at BPP a few weeks ago. Looking forward to when this place is up to full speed!

  • Seattle March 6, 2013 (6:01 pm)

    I hope he will include some spicy chicken!

  • Amrakx March 6, 2013 (6:35 pm)

    I’m speechless, wordless.

  • shed22 March 6, 2013 (7:06 pm)

    Serious question: where is all this duck fat coming from? No duck meat on the menu but a whole heck of a lot of duck fat. Why? And from where?

  • shed22 March 6, 2013 (7:22 pm)

    And, for all it’s worth, they may want to add a jay to the beak that’s an A in the logo. Seriously, Harry’s Chicken Joint. Do it. Now.

  • Harry's March 6, 2013 (9:27 pm)

    You can buy it from those wonderful folks at the local Thriftway.

  • sam-c March 7, 2013 (6:53 am)

    shed22- huh?

  • linda March 7, 2013 (7:32 am)

    Hands down the best fried chicken I have ever tasted when sampled at BPP!
    Because I have a wheat allergy, I had to pull the coating off the chicken breast strip I tried. I was amazed at how incredibly flavorful the chicken was, a wonderful surprise as most fried chicken gets its flavor from the coating. I suspect with the coating, it’s even better!
    An additional pleasant surprise was it didn’t leave my hands all greasy either, something I would have expected in the process of removing the coating.
    Please note, removing the coating didn’t necessarily make the chicken gluten or wheat free, it removed enough of the wheat to allow me to eat it without an allergic reaction. For folks with more severe gluten or wheat intolerance, this may not work for you (but you’ll also know your tolerance levels for your allergens, so please use your best judgment).

  • Rick March 7, 2013 (8:26 am)

    I’ll second that “huh?”

    • WSB March 7, 2013 (8:35 am)

      I had to read it about six times before thinking that by “jay,” the commenter meant the short version of “joint” as in that stuff our state legalized in a vote last year …

  • shed22 March 7, 2013 (9:57 am)

    Astute, as always, WSB. That chicken has some serious stoney eyes.

  • sam-c March 7, 2013 (10:31 am)

    change the ‘huh’ to ‘hah’

  • dawsonct March 7, 2013 (4:55 pm)

    Shed22, rendered fat and lard are available in large tubs for those of us in the industry who couldn’t possibly use enough duck for all our duck fat needs, and they are myriad.
    This is where the restaurants I have worked at get it:

  • EmmaPeel March 8, 2013 (4:34 pm)

    Yum! Looking forward to trying it!

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