After a great experience at Poole’s Diner, I really couldn’t wait to try Ashley Christensen’s new ventures. We headed to Beasley’s Chicken and Honey for lunch on a Saturday afternoon. Apparently, fried chicken was on the agenda for many, as the place was bustling. Located in a renovated store front in downtown Raleigh, it is a bright open space with large windows looking out on the street. The décor is minimalist, emphasizing the original construction with exposed brick walls and an unfinished, loft style ceiling with exposed pipes and fixtures. The seating is dominated by a long communal table in the center of the room with a few smaller tables along one wall. The other side of the room is filled by a long bar with a metallic finished top and metal bar stools. The shiny metal surfaces are offset by the warm wooden floors and tabletops. The menu is handwritten on a chalk board wall above the bar.
The main menu itself is simple, offering a quarter fried chicken, fried chicken biscuit, and chicken and waffles (only for brunch or late night). There are a few sides and dessert options. Otherwise, the rest of the chalkboard is dedicated to drinks, including throw back sodas, several NC beers, wine, and a variety of cocktails. For brunch they offer a few specials; the day we were there they included a quiche, a waffle, and a sticky bun. I was quite tempted by the quiche, but decided I had to try fried chicken as that is what the place is all about. I ordered the fried chicken biscuit which is a boneless chicken thigh. The chicken is topped with pickled green tomato, a drizzle of honey, and Dijon mustard. Together the combination was fantastic! The fried chicken itself was perfect, a thick, crispy coating. I loved the large crumb coating which provided a crunch with each bite of chicken. The pickled green tomato added tartness to the honey sweetened chicken and the Dijon mustard added a tangy spiciness. The biscuit itself was a little dense but still tasty. For dessert we had the bourbon, chocolate, pecan pie with vanilla ice cream. It was deliciously decadent! The rich dense chocolate was nicely complimented by the sweet pecans. The texture was perfect without being too gooey, which is an issue for me with pecan pies.
The attention to detail in the food and flavor combinations Beasley’s is carried out to the entire restaurant. It seemed as though every, little thing was thought through. For example, we sat at the bar and under the bar there were hooks for jackets and purses, a nice touch as there is never a place for these. With dessert we were given a spork (spoon-fork), brilliant as you need the spoon for the ice cream and a fork to cut the pie. It is this attentiveness to every detail in the food and the space that really makes it a pleasure to dine at Christensen’s restaurants. I have yet to try Chuck’s but I have no doubt it too will be a treat!
Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
237 S. Wilmington St.
Raleigh, NC 27601