After closing its doors 10 years ago, Chicken Galore has returned to Hoboken with its famous fried chicken and ribs, along with a few additions specific to the new franchise like rotisserie chicken and breakfast.
Much to the delight of many a city worker who once depended on the place for a convenient and tasty midwork meal, the restaurant has relocated from their former address at Sixth and Washington to the less populated 363 15th St., which provides more parking options. They also deliver.
The menu offers affordable fare, from various sized buckets of fried chicken to barbecued ribs to fried clam dinners. While the business’s booming pick-up and delivery services seem the preferred method of consumption, the newly renovated and open cafeteria-style dining room welcomes counter-patrons who care to take a minute to catch the latest news or watch a sports event on two flat-screen televisions while they dine.
All in the family
Co-owner Bobby Gonzales, who opened the restaurant with partner and cousin Miguel Santo, started as a delivery boy and prep cook at the restaurant’s Union City location seven years ago. After four years, he purchased it, and about a month ago he opened the branch in Hoboken.
“A lot of people told me to reopen on Washington like the old place,” Gonzales said, “but because of the parking and because people coming from the Academy Bus line have nowhere to eat, I grabbed this one up.”
As soon as he put up the sign and began transforming what used to be the Coach Park Deli, former regulars of the old Chicken Galore couldn’t wait for him and Santo to open their doors.
Gonzales isn’t the only “old hand” back behind the fryers. Ten-year Chicken Galore veteran Brenda Quintana prepares the Spanish-style rice and peas fresh every day and works the rotisserie.
“As soon as Brenda started cooking, the workers who came to eat here started going nuts,” Gonzales said. Her husband drives an Academy bus and often extols the virtues of his wife’s cooking to coworkers.
Eddie Porta has been with Chicken Galore for 10 years and works the fryers with flair alongside Brenda’s son, Louis.
“There’s a lot of nostalgia for the place.” –Bobby Gonzales, owner, Chicken Galore.
Although they’ve just started out, they’re already (happily) overwhelmed by the volume of business.
Gonzales said they used to get orders at his Union City location from the “old school” Hobokenites who pined for a taste of the old Chicken Galore, but with all the traffic, he said, deliveries would take an hour or more.
The new location has soothed the local chicken-cravers and delivers their fix more quickly.
“I’ve had customers tell me, ‘I remember when I was 8 and my mom and dad took me here.’ There’s a lot of nostalgia for the place,” Gonzalez said.
The other remarkable thing he mentioned about the new Chicken Galore is that, despite the fact that Hoboken is decidedly more affluent than Union City, the prices are the same. “The economy is tough,” he said. “Everyone deserves a good meal at a good price.”
It ain’t just fried chicken anymore
“Our most popular item is definitely our chicken dinner,” Gonzales said. $6.85 gets you four pieces of juicy, perfectly-battered, crispy chicken, French fries, cranberry sauce, parker house rolls, onion rings, and coleslaw. The Combo Dinner A is also popular, offering three pieces of fried chicken and two lightly sauced, fall-off-the-bone ribs with the same sides as the traditional dinner for $8.49.
The same secret-recipe batter is applied to various combinations of clams, shrimp, and fish filet for those looking for a meat alternative.
For the less enthusiastic fan of fried food, there are chicken breasts and Brenda’s lovingly-prepared rotisserie meals. A whole rotisserie chicken costs only $11.75, and comes with Spanish rice and salad.
Family specials are the way to go if you’re looking to feed a whole bunch more for a whole lot less. They range from $13.99 to $42.99 depending on how many are hungry and what they crave.
As for appetizers, “The kids really go crazy over our corn nuggets,” Gonzales reported, which are available in quantities of 10, 15, or 20 and cost $3.25, $4.85, and $6.50 respectively. They’re creamy, light, and so full of large corn chunks, they almost feel healthy.
Parties galore and hours of operation
“People love to order our buckets and buffets for games and parties,” Gonzales said.
Yes, Chicken Galore caters. Gonzales recommends the Midi Buffet, which serves 10 to 15 people with a whopping 36 pieces of fried chicken, 32 pieces of fried shrimp, 24 pieces of ribs, and 24 Parker House rolls for $150.
For those looking to get down to the meat of things, buckets provide between four and 100 pieces of chicken, ribs, shrimp, clams, or fish.
The restaurant opens at 7 a.m. for breakfast every day. The lunch and dinner menus start at 11 a.m. and run to 10 p.m. “for now,” Gonzales said. He plans to eventually stay open until midnight on weekdays and until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, which would serve the hungry post-bar Hoboken crowd well.
Chicken Galore at 363 15th St. delivers to Hoboken and downtown Jersey City. Call them at (201) 706-8680, visit their website at chickengalorehoboken.com, and e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org for catering inquiries.
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