Drum right

No one is disputing that Eischen’s Bar has good fried chicken. Some people love driving out to Okarche, fighting for a table and trying to get a waitress’ attention.

But in Oklahoma City, just a short drive from Interstate 44, you can find The Drum Room, 4309 N. Western Ave., a rock ’n’ roll fried chicken restaurant that serves up some damn fine birds.

What sets The Drum Room apart from fast-food staples like KFC and Church’s? According to manager Maja MacGuire, it starts with the chicken.

“We use a Bell & Evans
Pennsylvania farm chicken. It’s the best chicken you can buy,” she said.
“How can you have really great fried chicken if you don’t have the best
quality meat?” While they’re not self-consciously slow, fried chicken
at The Drum Room is definitely not fast food. Every chicken is fried to
order, so it’s not sitting under a warming light.

“If
you’re in a hurry, please call ahead and we’ll get it started for you
so it’s ready when you get here,” MacGuire said. “We know some people
are in a hurry. This way, they can get the besttasting chicken on their
schedule.”

So what about the breading?

C’mon,
that’s what you were thinking. Fried chicken is as much about the
breading as it is the meat, and The Drum Room has a winner. This is
golden brown and crisp, with a satisfying crunch. Much like Eischen’s,
this breading stays close to the meat without getting too big or craggy.
The proprietary spice blend is a little sweet, a little spicy and
extremely addictive.

Half a bird is $12; a whole chicken is $18. I trust you’ll make the right choice.

All
fried chicken orders are served on a waffle, and — surprise — they put a
lot of thought into that waffle. It’s there to soak up all that
chicken-y goodness, but it has also got a malty flavor that’s excellent
on its own.

Not everybody likes fried chicken.

And
those people are heathens and should be shunned. But if you find
yourself at lunch with one of the unwashed, other menu options exist.
The Brussels sprouts salad ($8) is served warm with cranberries, maple
syrup, blue cheese and pecans with a little balsamic vinegar on top.

There’s
also the Bad to the Bone Pimento Cheese Burger ($13), notable because
the pimento cheese is homemade, and that’s pretty much the only
acceptable pimento cheese to eat.

Take
away the hip decor and the vinyl records playing classic rock. Forget
about the raised booths and the cool staff. Were The Drum Room a
sterile, white chamber in which you were served fried chicken, it would
still be excellent food.

Luckily, you’re not on the International Space Station. You’re in Oklahoma. And wouldn’t you like to hear some rock ’n’ roll?

Greg Elwell

This material falls under the archives category because it was imported from our previous website. It will eventually be filtered into the proper category as time allows.

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