Huntington Edition: Crisppi’s Chicken

By Candace Nelson - 5:43 PM

Crisppi's Chicken is a new restaurant in Huntington that was opened with the help of hometown-boy-turned-football-legend Randy Moss. Raised in Rand, West Virginia, Moss is a Pro Football Hall of Famer who played in the NFL for 14 seasons, most notably with the Minnesota Vikings. The chicken restaurant, originally known as Chick-a-Boom, started in Philadelphia and serves a menu full of chicken sandwiches, tenders and waffles. Within the past week, though, the restaurant has created a bit of stir when owner Kurt created a social media video to call out the Huntington community, claiming it has not been supportive of the restaurant and only spouts negativity.

“The entire community is filled with negativity. Being an African American company, this is what we deal with on a regular basis. We are not the other color, which is unfortunate to you guys, because if we were the other color, I’m sure there would be a lot more respect," Kurt says in the video.

That created some backlash on social and led to Kurt and co-owner Brittany going on the "Talk Huntington” podcast led by host David Williams, also known as "Alligator Jackson," where they doubled down on their stance - claiming Kurt was not calling Huntington racist but was instead saying his own African-American community isn't supporting the restaurant, defending their decision to not serve ketchup by calling it sugar and tomatoes, as well as their decision to not accept cash. Here's my quick, unsolicited two cents: Social media is tough. As someone who has been on the business side of social media for over a decade, you see a lot of negativity. Part of being a PR professional is growing a thick skin and being able to not take the heat personally. It takes a lot of practice and experience to know when to respond on social and when not to. There's also a time to stick to your guns and a time to give the customer what they want (like ketchup) if you want to stay in business (side note: My proximity to Pittsburgh growing up will always make me loyal to Heinz). I made a trip to Huntington today to check this place out. They have cute branding with bubbly letters, an adorable chicken, a countertop with a neat flame visual and some sleek black & white furniture inside. I placed an order on DoorDash and picked up my squared box bag to go. The bag is super sturdy with cloth handles, and the packaging has a foil interior to keep the food crispy. I'm legitimately impressed with the packaging. I ordered the Sweet Thai Combo - Served On A Brioche Bun, Crisppi's Sauce, Scallions, Sweet Pickle, American Cheese, Coleslaw, Sweet Thai Sauce. This in which was very good. The two tenders were super crisp, but moist inside, and the sauces, added some sweetness and tang. Crunchy slaw and a soft bun took it touchdown territory. It may be the best chicken sandwich in the region; I don't say that lightly.

The fries, however, were thick and soggy and had no seasoning. They may have benefited from that box had they not been sitting in the bag for too long, which kept the air still inside. I also had the Fruity Pebble waffles, which, too, ended up too soggy for me. But I did like the flavor of the waffle. Even without the syrup and cereal, the batter itself was slightly sweet.

So, there is a lot to digest here. And, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and how that affects where you do or do not dine. But if we are talking food alone, then I give it a ... Grade: B

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