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Zelko Bistro's Captain's Fried Chicken

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Captain...as in Crunch, that is.

Yes, that's right. Houston's Hottest Chef award winner Jamie Zelko of Zelko Bistro (705 E. 11th St) is serving up farm fresh chicken coated with Cap 'n Crunch, fried until crispy golden brown. As if that is not enough to make you order it -- which it should be -- it also comes with Yukon mashed potatoes, shallot jam and some type of lovely green vegetable to round it all out ($14).

I have to admit, I actually ordered something else, the delicious shrimp and grits, to be exact, but my dining companion got the chicken, which was thrilling. He's a darling boy, but a tad squeamish about his food, so he was visibly relieved to see the chicken was boneless. I was cool with it, as this made for no wasted children's cereal coating.

The mashed potatoes were honestly some of the most flavorful I have had in quite some time, which says a lot, since I love my potatoes. They were exceptional. The asparagus were cooked tender-crisp and were likewise delicious.

But that chicken...oh, man! Sometimes a gimmicky food doesn't work out, but when it does, it's like your birthday and Christmas all rolled into one. You not only get the fun of ordering and anticipating a nostalgic culinary creation, but also the joy of eating something that is truly a gourmet treat. The chicken was intensely moist and flavorful, with an unbelievably tasty, crunchy exterior. Then to make it even better, they top it with that caramelized shallot jam which adds a hint of tangy sweetness. I am adding this dish to my top 10 list of comfort foods immediately.

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