It’s 12am; do you know where your hot chicken sandwiches are?
The answer, of course, is Mekelburg’s–which has repeatedly proven itself to be all things to Clinton Hill with smoked salmon tartines and babka french toast at breakfast, loaded spuds and roasted oysters during lunch and dinner, and over 15 unconventional, on-tap beers plus gourmet goods and sundries essentially any old time. And now, to correspond with newly expanded hours (they’re open until 4 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 2 AM the rest of the week), owners Alicia and Daniel Mekelburg have rolled out a special late night menu as well, converting their petite cheese counter into an impromptu frying station at the stroke of 11 PM.
Available for $8 each, a current duo of options includes the classic Mek-Chicken (boneless fried chicken thigh, shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, mayo) which Alicia dismisses as the vanilla alternative, but is still incontrovertibly great. That said, if you’re trolling the streets for sustenance at 3 AM on a Tuesday, you’re presumably not pussyfooting around, which is where the earnestly assertive hot chicken sandwich comes in. Brined for two days in buttermilk and one in a rub of smoked sweet paprika, cayenne, brown sugar and frying oil (the resulting burnt sugar edges are the best part), the craggy poultry craters get glazed with Mike’s Hot Honey, smeared with kewpie mayo, lined with pickles (the Mekelburg’s bypassed their own artisan selection for good old Claussen) and deposited in a Big Marty’s seeded bun. To whit, it’s precisely what’s needed to pierce through your [fill in the blank]-induced haze.
But since only 25 of these puppies are offered each evening, you’ll have to be committed to the cause in order to compete with Brooklyn’s ravenous flock of night owls. Which means, if you’re like us, already bathed, brushed and tucked into bed by 10am, they’re definitely worth setting your alarm clock for.
293 Grand Ave., (718) 399-2337
Photos by Louise Palmberg