Excellent | Worth a Detour
Whitehouse Chicken | Unique Fried Chicken of Barberton Ohio
Review by: Michael Stern
Fried Chicken Capital of the World?
The Whitehouse website asserts that Barberton, Ohio is The Chicken Capital of the World. In the small city of some 25,000 people, 7-1/2 tons of chicken are dished out every week by chicken dinner halls to which eaters travel from hours away. The restaurants all have a similar menu. Fried-in-lard chicken develops a wicked red-gold crust. Its companions include French fries and vinegar-spiked cole slaw. Plus spicy tomato rice. As much as the chicken itself, it’s that tomato rice that defines a Barberton chicken meal. A cross between rice and relish, it is peppery, tomato-fruity, and luxurious. This ritual meal was first developed at Belgrade Gardens, and today, Whitehouse Chicken, with four Ohio branches beyond this original location, is a leading purveyor of the unique fried chicken of Barberton.
An Education in Chicken Anatomy
Like all places that serve the unique fried chicken of Barberton, Whitehouse cuts its bird into wing, drumette, breast, leg, thigh, and back – an economical technique left over from Depression days when cooks tried to maximize the number of pieces they could get from one bird. When you sink your teeth into a piece, you may find meat where you don’t expect it or not enough meat where you want it (in the back). That’s no matter, because more pieces means more of the supersavory skin.
“You’ve Found It!”
The original Whitehouse location on Wooster Rd. in Barberton (since 1950) is a big white corner building with a neighborhood-tavern feel. One time a few years back, as we walked towards the front door, a kindly old lady walking out smiled at us, poked a finger in our direction, and declared, “You found it!”
A second location is at 4195 Massillon Rd., Green, OH. 330-896-5644. As of late summer, 2021, all Whitehouse business at both locations is carry-out.
Directions & Hours
- Monday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Friday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Saturday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Sunday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|