There’s a new player in the battle for satisfying late-night weekend munchies. Kickin’ Chicken is Wesleyan’s newest food truck and has set up shop at the corner of Wyllys Ave. and Mt. Vernon St., right outside of Hewitt.
If you are near Foss or Usdan, you can probably find the truck by following the sound of its exceptionally loud generator. Though the truck may be small and its location rather obscure, anyone who finds hirself on that side of campus is going to be rewarded with some deeply satisfying southern cooking.
The truck is run by Constal Mayberry and his son, Cornelius. Though they are new on campus, they have been working from their food truck for almost five years, mostly stationing themselves in and around Middletown.
“I just started coming over,” Mayberry said. “This is probably my fourth weekend here. I’ve been looking for a spot away from some of the other vendors to give them some space to do their thing, and I think I’ve found a good spot.”
As the name would suggest, the truck specializes in fried chicken, but it also offers a wide range of soul food dishes. The Mayberrys serve fried fish and pork chops, both with
a side of mashed potatoes, as well as staples such as burgers, hot dogs, and Georgia Hots. For anyone looking for a vegetarian option, they also make their own mac and cheese.
I initially intended to sample some of the truck’s fried chicken, but the longer I stood talking to Mayberry, the hungrier I found myself becoming. So, in the name of journalistic fortitude, I decided to try the most generous dish: the Southern Dinner. This dish comes with two hefty fried chicken breasts (which can be substituted with pork or fish), along with servings of mac and cheese and collard greens.
Back in my hometown of Sydney, Australia, there isn’t a whole lot of “southern style” cooking. As a result, my experience with fried chicken has mostly been limited to KFC and other fast-food places. In spite of that, I think I can safely say that Kickin’ Chicken makes some truly excellent chicken. The coating was light, adding a crispy exterior to the meat and providing a faint savory and peppery taste to offset the sweet breast.
However, what really stands out is the quality of the meat: it had an immensely satisfying texture. The collard greens were good, if slightly salty, but this was balanced well by the mac and cheese that captured a creamy, mild flavor. Additionally, the two chicken breasts were served on slices of white bread, although I was unable to successfully make a soul food sandwich out of the Southern Dinner components as I had been hoping.
The only problem with this dish is that it is probably more food than any human being could devour: I was barely halfway through when I began slowing down. Of course, this is also the truck’s most expensive option. The $10 price tag might make it worthwhile only if you have a fridge to store it in, allowing you to gradually snack on the leftovers for the remainder of the weekend. The truck’s regular chicken dish, which comes at a reasonable price of $6.50, is well worth the trek for anyone who wants a change from the usual Pine St. falafel and William St. grilled cheese.