You know that feeling when you sink your teeth into a great chicken sandwich? The chicken is so juicy and crispy on the outsides, and the bread so soft, you almost want to scream "Coo Coo Cachoo!"
Well you'd be spot on, because Coo Coo Kitchen is currently making one of the area's best Asian chicken sandwiches. The fast-casual Queens outfit with locations in Long Island City and downtown Flushing is now in Glen Cove, in a district surrounded by Central American delis and an old-school luncheonette.
The small cafe looks like a boba tea shop from the outside, with its minimalist logo in English and Mandarin, and a signboard out front featuring pictures of brown sugar lattes. The store serves a whole range of fruit teas and yogurt drinks under the name TPLZ, including a brown sugar hojicha latte featuring the premium roasted Japanese tea.
But the main event here is the chicken, served in a variety of ways including Taiwanese popcorn style, hot and spicy wings, chicken sandwiches and Japanese chicken katsu. What distinguishes Coo Coo from dozens of other local contenders is the shop uses chicken thighs rather than breasts, upping the juicy quotient and frying them so quickly that the insides are scandalously soft. If you're squeamish about these things, this might not be the place for you, as the flesh was just a touch over pink. But it was hot and juicy, the crinkly batter fresh from the fryer.
Sandwiches are the way to go here, as they have an optimum combination of soft bun with a little creamy mayo slapped on. The Cooris Maple ($9.99) has a sweet glaze from the maple syrup and a sizable slab of bacon that retains its salty swagger inside the sandwich. The hunk of crunchy chicken thigh spills out the edge, searing your tongue and releasing steam with every bite.
Featured on the picture outside, the waffle chicken set ($12.99) is a great second-in-command, with its Japanese bento salad and a couple of Belgian waffles dusted with powdered sugar. The waffles themselves could have been a little crispier, but they're really just afterthoughts to this amazing chicken, worthy of clucking about.
Coo Coo Kitchen, 63 Glen St., Glen Cove, 929-977-2778. Open 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.