Many years ago, when I was in high school (yes, that was many years ago), there was a little restaurant called Food Ease. It was in a little strip behind the Applebees and it was delicious. Asian-inspired chicken fingers, fried in panko crumbs, that were sweet and savory at the same time. And how in the world did they get their rice so perfectly sticky? And omg the sauce.
But sadly, they closed. For years friends talked about Food Ease and the chicken and many tried to replicate. I even took a stab at a recipe. But it was no where near the same.
Then one day, there was news. The family was returning to Atlanta. And was going to re-open. And it was going to be near my house!!! I really can’t explain the excitement and I don’t think I will ever be as excited about a restaurant opening than I was then. It took a while to get open, but they were kind enough to do tray sales on certain days, so we could get our fix of chicken while anxiously awaiting the grand opening.
And grand it was. Ponko Chicken opened and it lives up to every memory and expectation. You can find it in the Chamblee area and Midtown because, yes, someone quickly opened a franchise location because, yes, it is that good. And the best is that there are so many options! Finger plates, sandwiches, tacos, hot dogs salads. OG, spicy, bbq. Numerous side options. Delicious flavored teas, beer on tap, and wine. Desserts.
My go-to is a finger plate, OG, with white rice and Ponko fries. But the tacos are also delicious. my husband likes the spicy fingers. And of course you cannot forget the extra Ponko sauce and ranch. And no, it’s not just any asian-style sauce or ranch. We always have a bottle of the Ponko sauce in our fridge at home because of course they sell it. They’d be dumb not to!
Anyway – if you can’t tell, I love this chicken. And the restaurant. And I am so happy they returned and re-opened to build their Japanese American chicken tender empire. If you haven’t checked it out – what are you waiting for?!