the 2008 ypsilanti fried chicken showdown: installment 4

And today we find the boys at Haab’s

18 W Michigan Ave

OEC: Haab’s is the most regal and fabled of Ypsi’s fried chicken, both because Haab’s is a local dining institution, and it was once been part of the “Chicken in the Rough” franchise. Rumor is they left the franchise when the franchise was lowering standards. Now known as “Chicken in the Basket,” it’s probably truer to “Chicken in the Rough” than anything that still bears that name. For my chicken-loving-dollars, the chicken is best thing on Haab’s menu, although I do miss the cigar smoking chicken that once decked the walls.

BA: As my dear friend OEC will no doubt observe, Haab’s chicken tastes more chickeny than anybody else’s. I’m not sure how that is, but it’s true.

OEC: Kind of the purest fried chicken we tried, not bland, just full chicken flavored. They must sprinkle on some extra chicken.

BA: I was much pleased with Haab’s sides.

OEC: Especially if you include the Corner Brewery beer on tap as a side…

BA: I normally hate shoestring french fries. They’re usually so small and hard, that I can’t dunk a bunch at once without losing some or breaking them in half. And you can’t dunk them one at a time without feeling like you’re burning more calories trying to eat them all than they replenish between dunks. It’s so frustrating, I want to flip the table over and foam at the mouth, crying in rage. But Haab’s has good bigger greasy bendy shoestrings immune to breakage, and the inclusion of vinegar is a huge plus. Also, you can order onion rings instead. They “accidently” gave me both (because I looked important, no doubt).

OEC: My favorite of the fries, too. Comes with a salad in the famed chilled pewter bowl. As a full-service place, there’s good options for sides and nice in-house dining. I like sitting in the old bar and watching the long belts pull the old ceiling fans round and round.

BA: If I could’ve had mashed potatoes, they’d get a 5 for sides. Great biscuits, even better because they come with honey. Thank you for letting me pay this time, so OEC will quit thinking he’s all better than me for the time being.

OEC: BA did pick-up the biggest tab, as it included adult beverages.

Notes: Smoking allowed in the bar. Lots of ashless eating elsewhere.

And it’s a total coincidence, but I’m going to have some good news to report about Haab’s chicken come Monday, September 1. Be sure to check back… And that’s all I’m at liberty to say right now.

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  1. mark
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Chicken in the Rough

  2. Lindie
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Is this the only place you tried that was triple-A approved? I don’t eat or sleep anyplace that isn’t.

  3. mark
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I’ve tried to sleep at Haab’s. They don’t appreciate it.

  4. Posted August 19, 2008 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Doesn’t serving beer automatically make Haabs the champions? Beer and chicken is much better than diet coke and chicken.

  5. Posted August 19, 2008 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    This battle of the chickens is the best feature ever by the way.

  6. Brackache
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Damn trees. I can’t hardly see the Haab’s sign!

  7. Ol' E Cross
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Lindie. I have AAA insurance, which, as I understand it, means I’m AAA approved, which, I think then follows, means all of my chicken reviews are AAA approved.

    In fact, I believe everything I say, do or think is AAA approved. Every comment I’ve ever left here, is, then, in fact, AAA approved.

    Couz. Everything else was carryout and can be enjoyed with a paper bagged beer in the park, so it’s kinda a draw on that regard. Chilled salad bowls on the other hand…

    Oh. And, I’d like to apologize to Haab’s for the photo. I’m just shy enough to feel awkward taking photos of my dinner in public places, let alone bringing a tripod and standing on the table like I did for the carryout shots…

  8. Posted August 19, 2008 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, good point, OEC, one could even make a case that paper bagged beer drank in the park actually enhances the taste of fried chicken more than beer drank from a pint in the pub does.

    Although you could argue for days on either side and still not get anywhere.

    Man, I’m hungry now.

  9. publius
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Man, Ypsilanti sure has a lot of fried chicken places. I for one am glad that when the appalachians were brought up here in chains, they brought their mommas fried chicken recipes with them.

  10. Ol' E Cross
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    See! Not only can BA and I sing in perfect harmony around the crispy wish bone, but publius and I finally agree on something.

    I’m telling you, world peace is just a giant family sized bucket away. Who else will jump on the gravy love train?

    “And the lion licked the fingers of the lamb.”

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