Tom Douglas' New Assembly Hall Kitchen Opens
Always moving and shaking, Tom Douglas just added a new lunch counter to the mix at Via 6, the downtown apartment building that is also home to TanakaSan, Home Remedy and Assembly Hall Juice & Coffee. Called Assembly Hall Kitchen, the new business has just settled into the space that was formerly a satellite pastry kitchen. The restaurant group's executive chef-partner Eric Tanaka says they created it specifically to meet rising demand: "We just keep getting busier and busier with all the development going on downtown." The menu is short and savory, with just a few choices that will rotate often. Below we detail what to expect from the current fried chicken-centric menu.
Eat this: The fantastic fried chicken is based on a recipe from the legendary Southern chef, Edna Lewis, though this bird is not fried in lard as it is in the original recipe. It's brined overnight and marinated in buttermilk before being dredged in seasoned flour and fried crispy. A two-piece plate includes a soft, wonderful dinner roll and a choice between two summertime salads: sweet corn and tomato or an outstanding potato-mac salad that's light on the mayo, made from chef Brian Walczyk's grandmother's recipe. There's also a fried chicken sandwich that features a boneless breast, which you could order if you're in a lunch-y mood.
Drink this: The lone beverage on the menu is tart, sweet and refreshing pressed watermelon lemonade. Naturally, many additional options are available through the neighboring coffee and juice bar or in Home Remedy.
Know this: Assembly Hall Kitchen is open weekdays from 11 AM until 2 PM, but get there on the early side to ensure they don't run out of the fried chicken. Note that this menu will be offered through summer. Chili will take over this fall.