• Aimee Levitt
  • Half an El Jefe chicken at the Art of Chicken

Civilization may have been awesome for a lot of things, but no cooking technique has yet improved upon roasting meat over fire. Your meat can come from the supermarket, pale and colorless, injected with water to make it look plumper. Your marinades can be subpar amalgamations of whatever you happen to have in the pantry at the moment. You can leave it on the grill a couple of minutes too long so the inside is a little overcooked and dry. Doesn’t matter. That bit of char on the outside compensates for almost any other cooking sin.

That is, I have concluded, the reason Chicago has been inundated with Latin-inspired grilled chicken places, apparently to the point of saturation (and that’s not counting KFC), and yet more keep coming, including, most recently, the Art of Chicken, which sits at the border of Logan Square and Bucktown.