photo: Courtesy of Nick Flandro
This Humboldt Park joint identifies itself with a black and yellow sign depicting a silhouetted chicken at the slightly dilapidated intersection of Chicago and California. How appropriate. Stepping inside Feed is vaguely like crossing a country/city boundary, and the vintage pianos, lovingly framed photos of chickens, fresh sunflowers and baby-blue and red vinyl seats and walls all contribute to the simple, country decor. The specials are written on a chalkboard, and Gram Parsons and other country favorites dominate the sound system.
The cheerful and small interior seats about thirty, cared for by owners Donna Knezek and Liz Sharp. Knezek is formerly of the legendary Leo's Lunchroom, and at Feed she provides another option to those who need a quick, hearty meal and want to avoid chains or taco stands.
One imagines that if Willie Nelson or Loretta Lynn was passing through Chicago, they'd stop here for a quick, between-shows meal. This is fast, stick-to-your-ribs food at its comforting best. Among the seven or so (exclusively carnivorous) entrees offered are the rotisserie chicken, chicken barbeque sandwich and beef burger, served cafeteria-style with Styrofoam atop a green plastic tray. The rotisserie chicken is the real story here: flavorful and tasty with a light skin. The price on entrees ranges between $2.99 (for a quarter chicken with dark meat), and $9.99 (for a whole bird).
The sides are plentiful, and at about a dollar apiece, you can fill up on mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, fried okra or collard greens. Desserts are baked fresh daily, and the homemade fruit pies are stellar with a light, flaky crust and fresh fruit. BYOB, and cash only.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Gretchen Kalwinski