From the Author: Get drunk. Eat food. Take another shot. Write a review of the aforementioned food.
Let’s get something straight: I am a Southerner, and, as such, I consider myself a fried chicken connoisseur (it took my five drunk flatmates a minute or two to actually figure out how to spell that). So, when someone said that Mr. Milano’s on South Street had the best fried chicken in town, I knew I had to get there. Then I got drunk. Then I wanted chicken. Then the idea of “drunk reviews” came to me, and I felt pretty brilliant.
It started out as a pretty classy evening: my boyfriend, my third-term flatmate, and I shared our rules and procedures with our two new flatmates (who are also two of my academic kids). We had sophisticated tequila shots and then a beautiful cocktail of five-pound Tesco cava and Edinburgh Gin Company raspberry gin…the best thing ever. Feeling a little bit tipsy, we decided to hit up the St Andrews Brew Company, one of the few places in St Andrews where I – as an ancient fourth year – feel like I want to hang out. There, behold, the idea of drunk culinary reviews hit me: my parents will be absolutely thrilled that I’ve advanced down this path, incidentally.
We initially wanted to review the Whey Pat’s nachos because the haggis nachos have long been one of my absolute favorite things in the whole world. However, in Fresher fervor, the Whey Pat was absolutely packed, so we had to revert to plan B. And THAT’S when I realized that the idea of drunk reviews was so excellent, and so doable! So we went to Mr. Milanos, after we ran into a bunch of friends on South Street and I felt it was necessary to demonstrate what chaturanga (yet another spelling obstacle) looked like to my non-yogi flatmates.
The staff was amazingly nice; I know it has to be difficult to deal with a plethora of drunk and potentially belligerent students, especially during Freshers Week. However, the chicken receives – in my drunken mind, at least – mixed reviews. Perpetually hesitant about chicken with bones in it, I got the chicken nuggets with French fries, liberally drenched in both ketchup and vinegar, as per my request. The nuggets were very McDonald’s-like, in a way that was very comforting, as an American…even an American foodie. More like a takeout Asian-fried fried chicken than a Southern buttermilk-soaked fried chicken. The fries also had a McDonald’s-esque quality, but not in a negative way. Definitely very American fast-food comfort.
I forced all of my housemates to order different dishes so that I could get an accurate sample of the culinary wares on display at Mr. Milanos. I was a bit underwhelmed by the boned fried chicken; admittedly, I tried it once it was cold, at which point it was also very dry. However, the spicy chicken was pretty awesome. It wasn’t spicy at all (but I’ve come to expect this underwhelming spice out of every aspect of Scottish cuisine except for curry), but the flavor was pretty fantastic and the skin was awesomely crispy and pleasantly greasy.
Another thing that drunk me finds particularly hilarious is their packaging, which is emblazoned with the acronym MFC. According to the included labels and advertising, that stands for ‘My Flavourite Chicken’; however, my brain and every other drunk brain out there quickly translated into, well…a rather crass alternative that doesn’t take too much imagination to fathom.
Though the chicken wasn’t 100% up to my incredibly high standards, the staff was really friendly and the food was enjoyable. I didn’t get a chance to try the pizza (and thus compare it to my other late-night favorite: Dervish) – but as far as fried chicken is concerned: there is very little else in St Andrews that could offer any better.
Photo Credit: http://www.facebook.com/milanos.standrews/