By Connor Beach
Tucked away in a 1,200-square-foot storefront on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station is a chicken and ribs restaurant with big flavors and even bigger ambitions.
Farmer’s Roastafried Chicken and Ribs has been open for just over five months, but managing partner Angelo Gonzalez, of Rockville Centre, said he and his partner Gary Menzies, of Huntington, have been working on the concept for the restaurant for over a year.
“We wanted to create something completely different,” Gonzalez said. “Everything here is made fresh to order, never frozen.”
Gonzalez said they are working on branding the restaurant with the eventual goal of establishing a Farmer’s Roastafried chain with locations in Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Philadelphia and even South Florida.
Gonzalez said Farmer’s Roastafried is different from other fast food chicken joints because the owners and staff take real pride in what they do.
“Each order takes 8-14 minutes because we don’t cook everything in advance,” Gonzalez said.
The preparation that goes into every order really sets Farmer’s apart.
Whole chickens are broken down by hand in the kitchen, and the skin is removed before the chicken marinates overnight in a light, flour-based coating that includes a blend of herbs and spices that was created uniquely for Farmer’s Roastafried by a master Israeli spice maker.
The chicken then cooks in a Broaster pressure fryer for 10 minutes to complete each order.
Gonzalez said that Farmer’s does a significant portion of its sales over the phone or through online orders, and, in addition to their partnership with Uber Eats and Door Dash, he makes some of the deliveries himself in order to get first hand feedback from customers.
“We want to be efficient in providing the product over the Internet and phone,” Gonzalez said. “I like to know all my clients, and I like to hear criticisms or compliments directly.”
The food at Farmer’s Roastafried justifies the restaurant’s lofty ambitions.
The Roastafingers ($6.95 for 6-7) is a great finger food and huge seller among kids and teenagers. The fingers have a high concentration of Farmer’s special spice coating that packs a delicious punch of flavor in each bit.
The special Farmer’s sauce, a blend of barbeque sauce, mustard, and other ingredients, is great for dipping the bite-sized fingers.
The Roastafried Chicken ($9. 95 for 4 pieces) is skinless, but still has the typical fried-chicken crunch. The pressure frying process leaves the meat incredibly juicy, and evenly cooked without any hint grease. The spice coating is light enough that the taste of the chicken is not overpowered, but still imparts a real depth of flavor to the dish.
The dark meat drumstick is surprisingly tender, and the spices leave a lingering kick for the taste buds that keep one going back for another bite.
A trip to Farmer’s Roastafried Chicken and Ribs wouldn’t be complete without tasting the Hickory Smoked Baby Back Ribs ($12.95 for a half slab). The hearty ribs have a great smoky flavor that comes from the in house smoking process over real hickory wood. The ribs are served without sauce, which you can get on the side, because Farmer’s unique dry rub coats the meat with enough southern flavors that make sauce an afterthought.
The best way to experience all the flavors is with a Farmer’s Meal ($13.95 for two pieces of white meat chicken and a quarter slab of ribs), which is served with Texas toast and one side.
The sides are good enough to be a meal of their own.
The Baked Beans are the perfect combination of tangy and sweet; the red skin mashed potatoes are mashed with the skin that locks in the flavor; and the mac and cheese is full of cheesy goodness without overwhelming the noodles.
Gonzalez said he has received compliments on the food from both new and returning customers, leaving him excited about what the future holds for Farmer’s Roastafried Chicken and Ribs.
He said, “We are so confident in what we are doing; it’s a passion for the food, but also a passion for the philosophy.”