Budget Crunch: Nette's Fried Chicken
The fried chicken at Nette’s is a perfect guilty pleasure.
This modest storefront, located at the intersection of Main Street and Highgate Avenue in University Heights, used to be a Chinese joint. It’s now a soul food spot that’s getting lots of buzz—because good fried chicken is so hard to find. Nette’s is solely a take-out restaurant; it’s best to call ahead, because everything is cooked to order. If you wander in off the street, be prepared to wait about fifteen to twenty minutes for your food.
On a recent trip to Nette’s, we ordered a family pack. For $39.99, we got sixteen pieces of fried chicken (four wings, four legs, four thighs, and four breasts), four dinner rolls, and three sides. You can also order all of those items a la carte; a chicken leg or wing will set you back $1.50, a thigh $2, and a breast $3. The family pack basically saves you a couple of bucks and throws in the dinner rolls for free—though it is a lot of food.
The chicken at Nette’s features breading that’s crispy and flavorful, but not heavy or overly oily. You’ll want to eat your chicken as soon as you get home, of course, but sixteen pieces was a lot. Thankfully, the chicken tastes great cold for breakfast, and it does not suffer terribly if saved and reheated for later.
Sides here include greens, yams, fried okra, mac and cheese, and cheese fries. The greens were unavailable when we ordered, so we substituted green beans, adding yams and okra. The green beans had a smoky, meaty flavor and were the clear winner for us. The candied yams were much sweeter than I like, but worked as a substitute for dessert. The fried okra, like the chicken, was crispy and perfectly cooked.
You’re not going to Nette’s for ambiance. You’re not going there to sit and relax. You’re going there to order, pick up your food, and take it home. Accordingly, the storefront isn’t much to look at. But if you get hung up on that, you’re going to miss out on some really, really good chicken—unrecognizable from the ubiquitous fast food version.
Nette’s Fried Chicken
3118 Main St., Buffalo, 716-715-9592
Rachel Fix Dominguez is a proud Buffalo native who loves eating well on a budget and is excited by our region’s expanding culinary options.