Check out Chicken Out


February 02, 2005|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The rotisserie chicken trend continues to go around. And around and around and around, kind of like a chicken on a spit. Chicken Out in Pikesville is a pleasant variation on the theme.

Chicken Out Rotisserie is a local chain, with 27 outlets in Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland, including restaurants in Clarksville and Columbia, and the one we tried in Pikesville.

Chicken Out serves food cafeteria-style. But the blue tiled walls, good lighting and large, colorful European posters give the place a bistro feel.

Unfortunately, even on an extremely slow Sunday night, the staff did not appear to be in a bistro kind of mood. No one was rude; it was just tough to get anybody's attention at first. Things picked up after that. Ordering and receiving our large meal took less than 10 minutes.

The menu includes several dishes with beef and tuna, but we went for chicken.

The first selection was a rotisserie chicken. We skipped the regular style in favor of a Cabos 7Spice ($9.40). The savory dry rub of spices and herbs made it hard to skip the skin. The chicken meat, itself, was juicy and delectable.

The management promises that any rotisserie chicken that has not been purchased an hour after it leaves the oven will be used for sandwiches, chicken potpies and other offerings. So we tried a couple of those, too.

The chicken potpie ($7.89), stuffed with chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables, promised a comfort-food moment. We did eat it all, although we were thrown off by the dish's noticeable vinegary taste.

A pulled chicken breast sandwich ($6.99) featured plenty of good white meat on a fresh roll with lettuce and tomato. But there was not enough of the herbed mayonnaise dressing to overcome the dryness. The small amount of dressing was probably a nod to health. The sandwich is one of several heart-friendly selections on the menu with less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat and no more than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.

The mashed potatoes that were supposed to come with the sandwich were nowhere to be seen, unfortunately (although that might have been a miscommunication on our part).

Finally, a side order of mashed sweet potatoes ($3.99) delivered good, old-fashioned flavor.

Out of several dessert possibilities, we selected the towering chocolate cake ($3.99), a six-layered concoction that more than quenched our chocolate craving.

There's plenty of parking out front.

Chicken Out Rotisserie

Food: **1/2

Service: ** 1/2

Waiting area: ***

Parking: ***

Where: Festival at Woodholme, 1809 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville

Phone: 410-484-5401

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday

Prices: Rotisserie chicken and chicken, beef, tuna and vegetable platters, sandwiches, wraps and salads, from $4.99 to $9.49; credit cards accepted

Outstanding: ****; Good: ***; Fair or uneven: **; Poor:*

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