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Bite of the Week: Pickle Fried Chicken Sandwich at Columbia’s MOMS on Main

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$10.99. MOMS on Main. 1734 Main St. 803-708-4313.

This is no run-of-the-mill, sodium-saturated, chain-made clucker you can get at any at drive-through window. MOMS chef and owner Chris Hyler marinates ample chicken breasts in pickle brine, rendering the meat as tender and juicy as a John Legend ballad.

While technically Chick-fil-A’s cooking method is a trade secret, plenty of foodies have speculated that Truett Cathy’s half-century-old recipe calls for cutlets to bathe in pickle juice before being breaded and pressure fried in peanut oil and cozied into a hot-buttered bun. But if you plopped their mass-produced, warp-speed made “Original” next to MOMS’ Pickle Fried it’d look like a scrawny kid that just got into Pop-Warner football standing toe-to-toe with a Gamecocks starting linebacker.

This glistening hunk of fried chicken splendor is served on a brioche bun and simply adorned with fresh lettuce, tomato slices and a smear of Duke’s mayo. When you tear into this beautiful monster of a sando you don’t really taste any pickleback at all. But if you have a refined palate, you’ll detect an ever-so-slight hint of dill that imbues it with added depth and sophistication. Side-wise, it comes with the standards options or you can upgrade for a couple bucks and get MOMS’ primo yellow stone ground Cabot-cheddar grits (pictured), or perhaps the parmesan creamed spinach or sauteed seasonal veggies are more to your liking.

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