A new restaurant brings Korean fried chicken to Watauga, with a cool twist: The chicken is paired with beer.
Called Mighty Chick Beer Chicken, it's a fast-casual restaurant at 8247 Rufe Snow Dr., in the spot once occupied by Pickles BBQ & Icehouse.
The restaurant comes from Jenny Ko and Soo Yun Lee, both natives of Korea. They've gone to such lengths to replicate the flavors of Korean fried chicken that they're importing many ingredients from Korea.
"Everything we use for the chicken batter and brine comes from Korea," Ko says. "It's important to us that we represent our food and culture the best we can."
Chicken is available in 2-, 3-, and 4-piece meals such as leg and thigh or breast and wing, served with white bread, pickles, and a choice of two sides from mac & cheese, cole slaw, corn salad, potato salad, and French fries.
They also offer wings, tenders, and nuggets, in a variety of styles such as extra crispy, Nashville hot, or a unique option called Cheesy Snowflake, topped with melted mascarpone and cheddar cheese.
Nuggets, or chicken bombs, as the restaurant calls them, come in five flavors: BBQ soy garlic, sweet & spicy, Seoul hot spicy, crispy, or cheesy.
The beer selection includes more than 20 bottles or tap beers, and they're happy to offer recommendations for pairing.
"We base our suggestions on flavor profile," Ko says. "An IPA goes great with the Nashville Hot because it helps cool the heat. A blond ale goes good with the Sweet N Spicy because it complements the sweetness."
There's also a fried chicken sandwich, served mild or Nashville Hot-style; plus salads topped with spicy or mild chicken; onion rings; cheese curds; and spicy chicken nachos.
Ko and Lee met while living in New York, where Ko worked in the fashion industry and Lee as a dentist. "Jenny is the creative one," Lee says. "She came up with the design and menu, and she's also the chef."
Lee, whose family works in the restaurant industry in Korea, handles the business end of things.
The two moved to the North Texas area to be close to a mutual friend, then decided to open their own restaurant.
"We took what we loved about our favorite New York restaurants — quick service, quality food, affordable prices — and combined those elements with our own concept and recipes," Lee says. "It's very much what you would find in Korea but with our own twist."