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Bite of the Week: Yummy Bites at Columbia's andCHICKEN

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andCHICKEN's Yummy Bites

$5.99. 494 Town Center Place. andchicken.co

Off the success of Asanka Kitchen, chef-co-owner Elizabeth Darko and her family decided to open an ambitious second restaurant in the Sandhills area with the hopes set towards expansion. To do so, they took what was a success at Asanka, namely the chicken and rice, and made that the core of their new franchise-like spot andCHICKEN.

The menu reads like many chicken restaurants and fast food chains in the city: fried chicken and wings, mac and cheese, chicken and waffles. Throughout every dish, however, there’s a bit of Asanka identity. The fried chicken features an Asanka spice blend and the side of rice is cooked in coconut oil and milk, harkening to the family's first restaurant.

The Yummy Bites are another good instance of how the family takes big flavors that make up the core of Asanka Kitchen and boils it down into a simple dish that’s approachable, yet still distinctly in their wheelhouse. Crispy, hand-battered bites of chicken breast are fried until golden and paired with a bright, sweet and sour pineapple, onion, ginger and garlic puree. The chicken has lovely cracks and ridges perfect for scooping the blended sauce while maintaining its crunch. The sweetness of the pineapple, with the big flavors of ginger and garlic, plays well with the clean taste of chicken.

While Yummy Bites is a good starting point at andCHICKEN, whether you’re looking for a comfort meal like their wings or marinated chicken with coconut rice or something a little adventurous like their pineapple and ginger sauced gizzards, andCHICKEN has a nice balance of dishes to explore for any customer that comes in the door.

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