Since Son of a Preacher Man – a Southern soul food fried chicken restaurant in O’Bryonville – closed down last month, my wife and I have been hunting for another purveyor of delicious poultry. One eatery that kept coming up when we searched for restaurants in the area serving the best chicken was Revolution Rotisserie & Bar. Although their birds may be slow roasted on rotating skewers and not deep-fried in succulent oil, the results are nothing short of mouthwatering and decadent.
Instead of scouring Race Street and the rest of Over-The-Rhine for parking, we decided to stop by after work on Tuesday and order our dinner to go. Getting take-out from a high-quality eating establishment was a first for me, but it was an excellent alternative to our usual weeknight routine of dining out. Revolution has an easy-to-use online ordering service, and it was ready a few minutes sooner than predicted.
For dinner, my wife settled on the Marie Curie Chita – that is, chicken pita – which came with pulled chicken, barbeque sauce, pineapple, Gouda and bacon. As a side, she chose the mashed potatoes and gravy. Always one for tradition, I decided to try the classic dark meat quarter bird entrée with the house made Chimichurri sauce and sides of creamed corn and pita with hummus.
Overall, the food was excellent, but the chicken – obviously enough – was the star of the show. Online, it’s easy to find folks discounting Revolution’s poultry, and I’ve seen numerous reviews that claim the chicken was undercooked and red inside. Since the birds are roasted rotisserie-style, the meat doesn’t darken up the same as if it’s fried, braised or grilled. Instead, slow roasting infuses the meat with smoke and spices, which often leaves it slightly pink, similar to what happens with beef brisket.
More importantly, Revolution sources free range, antibiotic-free Amish chickens, which tend to have more blood in their bones than lesser quality or older chickens. You can tell Revolution uses young, healthy birds because the bones were thick compared to the amount of meat, and they weren’t brittle in the least. A quick Google search will tell you all you need to know about the science behind it, but basically, a tiny bit of redness around the bone of a young – and often organic – bird won’t cause you any harm because the internal temperature of the meat makes it safe from any dangerous bacteria. Once again, because Revolution cooks their chicken using a rotisserie, the lower temperatures don’t evaporate the blood as quickly although it cooks the meat all the way through. If you buy organic young chickens at the store, you’ll likely run into this same predicament yourself.
All of that being said, the chicken was cooked perfectly. It was juicy and flavorful throughout, and the spice rub permeated every inch of meat. The Chimichurri was an excellent and unexpected complement to my thigh and drumstick, and it added a nice acidic and herbal punch to the salty and savory chicken. My wife thoroughly enjoyed her Chita, with its Hawaiian pizza meets chicken barbeque flavors, and her mashed potatoes and gravy were worthy of a soul food diner. My sweet and earthy creamed corn – which came topped with Fritos – balanced out my entrée quite well, and the house-fried pita and hummus were delicious as expected.
Overall, the meal was delightful, and all of the food was cooked and seasoned to a T. While the portions might seem small by suburban standards, they were just right for my wife and I, and we were left happily stuffed after the meal. In the end, we spent just under $30 with a tip, which was a very reasonable price for such high-quality chicken from a downtown restaurant.
I highly recommend Revolution Rotisserie & Bar – especially for takeout. Although our American fear of Salmonella might turn some folks off, just remember that there’s nothing to worry about.
I hope you can give Revolution a spin too!