Barberton Chicken

Fried in lard, Barberton chicken is distinguished by a brittle red-gold crust that encloses juice-laden meat. In the restaurants of Barberton (at the edge of Akron, Ohio), it is the anchor of a feast that also includes a timbale of tart cole slaw, French fries, and a bowl of spicy tomato-rice hot sauce.

Barberton chicken was brought to the New World from Serbia when the Topalsky family immigrated to the farmland of Ohio at the beginning of the 20th century. During the Depression, when the family dairy farm failed, Mike and Smilka Topalsky opened a restaurant called Belgrade Gardens in Mike’s father’s house. It had a normal repertoire of steaks and chops, but they served their special fried chicken to the staff. Word got out and soon customers began asking for chicken and hot sauce. Once it was put on the menu, Barberton chicken became such a success that three more restaurants opened offering the very same thing. Like Belgrade Gardens, the White House, DeVore’s Hopocan Gardens, and Milich’s Village Inn continue to thrive.

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4 Responses to “Barberton Chicken”

Mary Knake

June 16th, 2022

May i please have the recipe for Barberton Chicken?

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Judy Levin

March 27th, 2022

Can you please send me the recipe
For Barberton Fried Chicken

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Mary Scott Williams

February 12th, 2022

Good food

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Cheryl Frashure

February 12th, 2022

I love Barberton Chicken! My favorites have been Whitehouse and Hopocan. I really like the coleslaw with it! Loved seeing Misha in this city. It has gone through difficult times. My father worked in Barberton for over 30 years, and my church and friends are there. I live close by in Akron, but have seen the changes in both cities over the years. Bringing attention to Barberton meant a lot to me. Thank you Misha and Roadshow!

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