There are spicy foods, and then there is 1 Plus Chicken. Holy moly.
I'd been meaning to try the Korean fried chicken joint for some time, and the opportunity finally presented itself this weekend.
It's situated next to the popular K-town watering hole, Bar A, and I was always disappointed that 1 Plus Chicken had such early closing hours. Eleven p.m. seemed very conservative considering it sat next to a bar that spits out drunks in need of some greasy cuisine.
Well, I think I've decoded the reasoning behind the closing time: This chicken should not be consumed within five hours of bedtime.
Even the most ardent of spicy-foods fans might have some digestion issues. The boyfriend -- a connoisseur of spicy substance abuse -- writhed and burped in pain the whole night. When I asked him why he partook in so many pieces of poultry, he replied, "Because it tasted so good going down."
Indeed, 1 Plus Chicken is tasty. It isn't quite the crack that is BonChon Chicken, but it's unique to Dallas and worthy of a try. The regular fried chicken comes in both spicy and mild flavors and can be ordered in five-, seven-, 10- and 20-piece increments, starting at $7.95 for the five-piece. The picturesquely golden-fried chicken has a tantalizing, yet deceivingly innocuous appearance. There is no hint of red or pink coloring to give warning that you're about to bite into a batter-encrusted dragon's fireball. As soon as the teeth sink into that thick crunchy layer of crust and through the tender, juicy meat, the wrath of jalapeño is felt instantaneously. I was too busy focusing on not swallowing my tongue after the first few bites to be able to tell whether the clandestine jalapeño water was a part of the batter or had been a part of the brine. The consensus amongst my fellow diners was the batter.
The menu also offers fried shrimp, chicken strips and baked chicken, but we were more intrigued by the Spicy Honey Shoyu Chicken. Although it didn't come with any level of heat options, we found it to be almost as eye-watering hot as the regular spicy fried chicken. The chopped bone-in chicken is fried, tossed with glutinous rice balls in a slightly sweet red sauce, and then sprinkled with sesame seeds. The sauce's nutty flavor and the chewy rice balls made the dish interesting, but we much preferred the traditional fried chicken.
Both dishes came with a side of pickled daikon to cool the palate, but if that doesn't work, the restaurant offers the best-selling Korean lager -- Hite beer. I, on the other hand, will be sticking to the mild option in the future.
1 Plus Chicken 2240 Royal Lane No. 103 972-488-9100