Summer Patio Drinking & Eating – Parson’s Chicken & Fish

Parson's Chicken & Fish Radler

The patio is the best thing to happen to Parson’s Chicken and Fish. The actual restaurant is small making for long wait times and shuffling between the bar and eating in the restaurant so the patio is a welcome addition. I was here on Wednesday about 6pm and three of us got in right away. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes perpetually crowded, Big Star style, as the summer wears on.

Parson's Chicken & Fish Patio

The check-in process started with the man by the El Camino. There three people with clipboards sent us to the bar and had our original party member come back to tell them we were ready to eat. It all worked but hoping their check-in process doesn’t cross the line from efficient to obnoxious.

Cheerful red and white umbrellas sit atop white communal picnic tables in this dog and family friendly patio. It’s been compared to a backyard BBQ and I agree. Laid-back and casual, almost too casual as it took a good 10 minutes before we got a drink order.

Parson's Chicken & Fish Patio Umbrella

The Negroni Slushy (leather lee gin, luxando bitter, sweet vermouth, citron) has everyone in a tizzy. It is good but I’m not the best judge as the bitters is well, too bitter for me. But I get it the hype and would recommend it.

I opted for the Pompelmo Americano: letherbee gin, cocchi americano, grapefruit, san pellegrino pompelmo, fee bros, grapefruit bitters, and salt. It was a steal at $6 and couldn’t be more refreshing. Continuing my grapefruit theme I also had a Stiegl Radler with grapefruit, basically beer with fruit soda. Delicious.

Image via galleries.apps.chicagotribune.com

Image via galleries.apps.chicagotribune.com

Okay here’s what you need to know about the food:

Fried Half Chicken – Enough for 3 people to share. Nice and crunchy and satisfies but shouldn’t be the main reason you come here.

Hush Puppiesham hock, cream cheese, scallion, harissa aioli. Wow, these puppies are good. Crunchy outside and filled with creamy goodness; I was sad there are only 5 in an order.

Texas Toast – This is by far the best Texas Toast I have in a restaurant, at least in the Midwest.

Chickpea Salad – Grilled octopus, chermoula vinaigrette, pea shoots, pepitas, picholine. This was the highlight for me, the seasoning was a pleasant surprise and the octopus was grilled just right, some give but not chewy.

Funnel Cake – Honey, brown butter, green peppercorn brittle. I am not a funnel cake fan but my friends loved it and I would seriously eat a whole plate of the green peppercorn brittle. A hint of spice with the sweetness of the brittle was heaven.

This is the place for getting together with friends and family this summer. The draw here is you feel at home and comfortable and the drinks are great. It has been compared to Big Star and I would agree, but don’t compare the chicken to the tacos.

Bonus: Ping pong table on the patio.

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