A new take on fried chicken
by Alexander Quebec
A new chicken place has opened up in Sunnyvale, billing itself as a new fast casual joint: Starbird Chicken. Typically, I am pretty suspect of new fast casual places as many attempt to ride the waves of success chains like Chipotle have made, usually with mixed results. Starbird, however, appeared to be cut of a different cloth from all of the others out there, and I was determined to experience it for myself.
According to their website; Starbird was founded by The Culinary Edge, a group responsible for launching other successful restaurant ventures. In 2014 however, they decided to fund there own, and thus Starbird was born. A high level of attention to detail is paid to the ingredients that go into all of their signature dishes, the chicken itself is sourced locally from Petaluma Poultry here in the Bay Area.
It was actually my dad who gave me the heads up on the place, he had been there before and had raved about it a few times. I decided to give it a go for myself one day
I ordered two of their signature items, the Starbird sandwich and the senor Baja tacos.
“The Starbird” is their signature sandwich. Made with a piece of their crispy, fried chicken atop of cole slaw, avocado, all wrapped in a freshly made, in-house baked bun, the chicken was juicy and seasoned perfectly. The cole slaw added a bit of crunch and creaminess to the sandwich, which I enjoyed since most chains are guilty of drowning some cabbage in mayonnaise and calling it a day.
The taco, dubbed the “Senor Baja”, was chicken with green onions, lettuce, a spicy red sauce with pimiento cheese. I actually enjoyed this combo of chicken with cheese and the taco itself was pretty substantial by itself, although it is available as a combo.
On a second visit, for the exact same menu items (I couldn’t resist another go with the Senor Baja taco) I wanted to order something sweet off of their menu, their drumsticks. I was told that day, however, that they were out, but that they had the waffle sticks still available. I decided to throw caution to the wind and to give them a try. To be completely honest, I wasn’t impressed, they were soft and chewy, but at a very tepid temperature. I could see myself dipping chicken in their maple syrup though.
Overall, I enjoyed my visits to Starbird, and I really hope the concept takes off too as I wish that one would open up closer to me in and around Milpitas. Chicken is due for a change, as many places get it wrong with all the right ideas or right for all the wrong reasons. If you’re in a fowl mood, and need some awesome chicken to overcome a horrible day, head over the Starbird now.