This is the first post in the “An Unforgettable Anniversary Weekend In Sonoma” series highlighting Sonoma and surrounding areas.
You might call us crazy, but we've sort of been on a Thomas Keller hunt the past few years.
We've traveled the country trying to hit every single Thomas Keller institution. We visited Bouchon Bakery in New York (both the Rockefeller Center one and the original one in the Time Warner Building), Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, and Yountville. We’ve eaten lunch and dinner at Bouchon in Las Vegas, brunched at Ad Hoc in Yountville, and enjoyed exquisite tasting menus at both Per Se and The French Laundry.
There was just one thing that kept eluding us.
That's right: Thomas Keller's buttermilk fried chicken.
Probably one of the most famous fried chickens in the U.S., Thomas Keller’s buttermilk fried chicken became famous through his restaurant Ad Hoc (which, incidentally, was itself originally meant to be a temporary restaurant until its wild success changed everything).
We visited Ad Hoc last year, dead set on trying the fried chicken. We were so disappointed to learn that the fried chicken was not a daily menu item, and instead was only available every other Monday, sharing that spot with the BBQ chicken.
The demand for the fried chicken became so huge, Thomas Keller decided to open up a simple stand right behind Ad Hoc. It would sell nothing more than fried chicken, some barbecued items, and a couple of sides.
Seating would just be a few outdoor picnic benches, and the stand would only be open during warmer weather months.
The menu at Addendum is simple. For $16.50, you get half a chicken (breast, leg), their housemade honey cornbread, and two sides: cole slaw and potato salad.
Let’s start with the fried chicken, which was astounding. It was easily one of the best fried chickens I’ve ever had.
The breading was crispy, thick, but not at all greasy. The insides were soft and tender, and the seasoning on the breading is excellent.
The sides, on the other hand, were much more underwhelming.
The cole slaw tasted pretty ordinary, and the potato salad was nice (made from fancy little purple and white potatoes), though the flavors did not really stand out in any special way.
Similarly, the cornbread was fine, but I've had much, much better (such as at this institution in New York).
All in all, I still think it's worth a visit here for the fried chicken, which is excellent. The existence of Addendum means you can pretty much get fried chicken any day of the week. They do a lot of take out orders, and you can even preorder on you smartphone using their app.
However, if you are able to catch Ad Hoc on a day when they are serving that exact same fried chicken, I would try to dine at Ad Hoc instead. You'll have access to a much wider (and likely better tasting) selection to enjoy with your fried chicken, as well as table service and overall more comfortable surroundings.
Of course, if you just happen to be driving by the area and it's not a Monday, I still say it's most definitely worth it to stop by just to try the chicken.
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