Here, Eat This

Houston's Best Sandwiches: Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich at Night Heron

The Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich at Night Heron will make you toss your diet out the window...for a few minutes anyway.
The Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich at Night Heron will make you toss your diet out the window...for a few minutes anyway. Photo by Jeff Balke
We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!

There are some indulgences that are worth it, even when you are on a diet. Fried chicken is one of them. But this magnificent southern staple can turn a decadent meal into the feeling of regret typically reserved for awkward interactions with potential mates ("We have a lot in common, like talking and not talking.") or that time you bought all those bitcoins.

Fortunately, the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich at Night Heron (1601 W. Main) is not only worth every potentially sweat-inducing meat morsel, but not as heavy as you might think.

The folks at Agricole (Coltivare, Revival Market, Vinny's, Indianola) are pros at sourcing great ingredients and that is at the heart of this well-prepared sandwich. The chicken is tender and crispy with remarkably light batter. And they (wisely) don't cram half a bird onto two pieces of bread. Instead, there is just the right amount creating that ever-important perfect bread-to-meat ratio.

Speaking of bread, this comes on a pillowy soft roll, which is, to be honest, the way chicken sandwiches should be made. Meat that isn't sliced needs a bread that has nice chew, but isn't tough to bite through. A great hamburger bun is almost always the right call and Night Heron nails it.

The same goes for the toppings. The bitter, crispy frisee adds a fresh, grassy component and the omission of tomato is so smart because it keeps the usage of any wet elements to a minimum so as not to make the chicken soggy. But this is not dry by any means. In addition to herbaceous ranch dressing, there is a tart and spicy hot sauce — I put mine on the side so I could really control the hot sauce-to-bite ratio. And, if you dare, add pickled jalapeño and a slice of cheddar.

But the capper for this bad boy are the fried onions. The sweetness and extra crunch pulls it all together making the sandwich soft and sweet and crunch and spicy and fresh and good lord stop me now I want another.

Night Heron's relatively small menu is really punctuated by this gem of a sandwich. And if you refuse to eat the fried curry spiced potatoes that come on the side because "I'm doing keto right now and I don't even want the bun for the sandwich," I will personally come over there and smack you over the head with said bun before eating every potato in front of you with glee. It's called a cheat day for a reason, man!

If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke