First Look

First Look: Chivago, a Korean Fried Chicken Spot With Beer Snow Cones

Snow cloud beverages are one of the draws at Chivago, a Korean fried chicken place in Carrollton.
Snow cloud beverages are one of the draws at Chivago, a Korean fried chicken place in Carrollton. Hank Vaughn
Anyone craving a beer snow cone is in luck, because Chivago in Carrollton has what it calls a snow cloud on its menu. During its extended soft opening, this Korean fried chicken spot is offering these oddly satisfying treats at 50% off the normal menu price. Now, there’s no way we were going to try frozen slushy beer, but the place also does snow cloud soft drinks. Plus, we’re always ready to try out a new chicken place, especially after hearing some good things on the usual foodie Facebook groups.
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Chivago, the newest entry into the Korean fried chicken scene in D/FW.
Hank Vaughn
The interior is steel and wood and neon and corrugated metal, a sort of industrial modernist take with a clean, sleek look punctuated by purple, violet and teal candy-hued lighting. We found a table, sat down and started exploring the menu, curious, of course, about the snow cloud.

We went with a pineapple-flavored snow cloud, and we watched while the server manned the mythical snow cloud machine, turning dials and pulling levers. Grinding and swirling sounds filled the space as we waited in anticipation.
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Snow cloud beverages are one of the draws at Chivago, a Korean fried chicken place in Carrollton.
Hank Vaughn
It arrived in a larger-than-expected glass mug with a couple of spoons and straws. As expected it was indeed similar to a snow cone, but of a finer texture. And it wasn't simply flavored with a syrup but rather was the result of the soda itself being flash frozen and formed into a cloud of snow. All this sat atop a portion that was unfrozen. It was refreshing and interesting, but again, it’s hard to imagine ordering a Blue Moon or Stella Artois (both of which are on the menu) as a beer snow cone. But, to each his own.

This is a Korean fried chicken place foremost, and one orders via a three-step process: First, pick the chicken (wings, boneless or whole), then the batter (crispy, which is a lighter brown, or Chivago, which is a darker brown) and finally the sauce (choices include soy garlic, bulgogi barbecue, honey garlic, etc.). The menu also offers a few sides such as odeng tang (fish cake soup), sotteok sotteok (sausage skewers), tteokbokki (stir-fired rice cake, beggis, fish cake) and Chivago buns, the latter of which we were eager to try.
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Savory and slightly sweet Chivago buns.
Hank Vaughn
Again, this is still the soft opening, so we were informed that the buns were not yet available. But when the server saw our crestfallen faces, he offered to prepare some for us anyway at no charge. It wasn’t the full order of five, but they were good, sort of semi-sweet and savory with a firm texture and dusted with a bit of powdered sugar and some Asian spices.
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Chivago battered wings in a sweet & spicy sauce (left) and crispy boneless chicken pieces in a honey garlic sauce (right).
Hank Vaughn
Our chicken was a mix of crispy boneless honey garlic and Chivago sweet and spicy wings, both the medium serving size. This came with a bowl of white radish and some fries. The garlicky ones were really garlicky with a slight kick. A batter that was indeed crispy yet not overcooked surrounded the tender and juicy chicken.

The wings were also flavorful — the sweet perhaps overpowering the spicy a bit — and garnished with sesame seeds. This might be described as a medium-sized order, but there was plenty, leaving leftovers for us to enjoy the next day.

Chivago is worth a visit if you’re willing to be a bit patient while the staff works out some of the inevitable kinks during the opening. Hopefully, braver souls than ourselves will report back about the snow cloud Miller Lite.

4070 Highway 121, No. 320, Carrollton. 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday and Sunday; 11:30 a.m. – midnight. Friday and Saturday; closed Monday.
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Hank Vaughn is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing and overthinking his food and drink experiences, both good and bad, from his culinary journeys with his wife across North Texas and beyond.
Contact: Hank Vaughn

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