Brine is a unique casual chicken restaurant in Chelsea at 15th Street and Eighth Avenue. You cannot beat the varieties of chicken styles and the fact that brining the bird makes it naturally tender and juicy. Portions are large and one lunch entree like a half grilled chicken with fries for $18.79 can easily feed two people with big appetites for lunch. Also, because there is counter service, you do not have to tip. It’s a win-win on every level and they now have a second location at the Promenade in Fair Lawn, NJ, which is convenient to a lot of business on Route 4 as well as a bunch of new condo developments.
I went last year and was blown away. You can get chicken in easily a dozen styles—many types available nowhere else is the city. The biggest sellers are the classic Half Grilled Chicken, Grilled Chicken Sandwich and New York Hot Grilled Sandwich which you can see pictured above. I discovered the coconut rice with peas on the menu and had to try it. The portion is a full cup and the coconut-y taste will blow you away!
The New York Hot Grilled Sandwich features buttermilk fried chicken breast pieces and comes with pickled red onion and a creamy garlic mayo sauce that you will love to slather on both the chicken and the fries. This sandwich is not so spicy that it will make you want to run for the largest bottle of water that you can find. It’s really mildly to medium spicy in my opinion. You’ll be glad to know that the fries also have a little chili and cumin on them to give a slight kick.
Now if you are someone who is a vegan (or just likes to eat light), there are a large number of salads available. Grab a bunch of them for a nice conference table lunch for your company—the large size salads are all priced from $10.79 to $13.89. The four large salads available at present are Spicy Chicken Salad, Honey Roasted Garlic Caesar, Greek Village Salad and The Gigi. The Honey Roasted Garlic Caesar is the most popular and it features romaine and shredded kale mix, parmesan, fresh basil, roasted garlic confit, lemon and black pepper dressing. There are also mini versions of these which are just over a cup each in size for $6.49 each.
There are several very filling bowls offered at Brine such as the 53rd Street Bowl (pictured above), the Charred Bowl and the Mediterranean Bowl. The front counter are accommodating and will tweak the salad ingredients to your liking. The 53rd Street Bowl is so popular because it features Brine’s signature pulled chicken, brown rice, mixed kale and romaine, pickled red onion, cucumbers and a white sauce drizzle. These bowls are huge and are all priced at $13.39. Just like the chicken dishes that come with sides, one of these could be split and satisfy two hungry lunch guests.
Something else is special about Brine: the tremendous amount of sauces to choose from that you can put on pretty much everything the resto serves! These intriguing sauces are only a buck each so order away! Pictured above are the Charred Jalapeño and Blackened Chili Garlic (which is the spiciest of all sauces available). Also on the menu are Buttermilk Green, Buttermilk Red and Honey Mustard (for those who prefer something sweet).
In terms of the Brine’s interior, the floor to ceiling windows make it fun to people watch while you eat and I don’t have to tell you that Chelsea has a real “cast of characters” from models to artists. Since it is a casual eatery, no reservations are needed and there is both a long community table and individual booths. I have the feeling that it will be your new “go to” lunch spot anytime you are near Chelsea! For more info, go to brinechicken.com. You can order pickup or delivery on their site and pickup orders are ready in an amazing five to ten minutes. One of the owners, Joe LoNigro, has told me that desserts will soon be coming to the Brine menu—the first of which will be a deluxe homemade Pop Tart that is heavy on the filling. The first flavors offered are rumored to be Cinnamoj Sugar and S’Mores! Yours truly might just be the first on line for them, LOL!