Every now and then, we get a new eatery in Columbus, and everyone goes utterly psycho-bananas. You can’t go anywhere in town without hearing about the latest greatest sensation. Plucked Up is currently “that place.” Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had several people tell me that I absolutely HAD to go here and write a review. So, giving the people what they wanted (and curious to see what the hype’s all about) I decided to do just that.
My co-worker “J” and I courageously braved downtown Columbus during the peak of lunch hour, and surprisingly found a parking space! As we approached the restaurant, we saw several people standing outside conversing. We ventured inside to a FULL HOUSE… and I mean it was packed to the hilt! J was immediately overwhelmed by the crowded space and ducked back out the door. There was a group of about four guys ahead of us, so when I noticed empty seats outside the restaurant, I informed the hostess that we would be dining outdoors.
I joined J, who had already staked out a table, and we were greeted shortly thereafter by our server, Laurie. We ordered waters, and she returned with those and the menus. She then explained the two specials o’ the day, which both sounded pretty phenomenal. HOWEVER, for the purpose of this review, I wanted to try one of Plucked Up’s more “signature” items; something that anyone reading this review can order anytime.
So I teeter-tottered between The Coop and the Chicken & Grits. I turned to our server Laurie for advice, and she enthusiastically recommended The Coop, and described it as “everything breakfast on a plate.” Her ecstatic reverence of this menu item convinced me, and I was sold.
The Coop ($7.50) is an open-faced biscuit with chicken, white gravy, cheddar cheese, and bacon, all topped with an egg, over easy. Basically, Laurie’s description was pretty accurate. When she brought out the meal, I was immediately pleased with the presentation, and was compelled to promptly dive in.
Needless to say, there was a lot going on with this dish. The biscuit was mostly smothered under the gravy and stuff, so I probably can’t speak as accurately on the biscuit as I’d like. But that’s obviously to be expected from a smothered biscuit, so I’m not complaining at all. The few un-smothered bites that I could access seemed pretty good and fluffy, and I must say that the biscuit held up fairly well underneath all those toppings, and was not soggy.
I’m not a HUGE fan of gravy, but I liked their version of it. I liked the breading of the chicken tenders, and it added some crunch, along with the crispy bacon pieces. Honestly though, I couldn’t really focus on the taste of each individual ingredient because there was a lot up in the mix. That’s not a jab; I just can’t pinpoint one shining star of the dish, except for maaaybe the egg. I enjoyed cutting into it and getting all that golden yummy egg yolk flowing mmm mmm. (If you’re not a fan of that type of thing, I’m sure they’d be happy to cook your egg a little longer). Overall, I was pleased with The Coop. Was it tasty? Yes. I’ll put it this way: if you like eggs, bacon, chicken, cheese, and gravy, you will surely enjoy The Coop. Would I get it again? Perhaps… but next time, I’ll probably try something a little different to get a fuller taste of what Plucked Up has to offer.
I also had a side of White Cheddar Grits ($2). The first bowl that was brought out was on the cold side, but a staff member was happy to replace them, and I was brought out a piping hot bowl in no time. I really appreciated how quick they were able to resolve the issue, and without an ounce of ‘tude. I am picky when it comes to grits and rarely eat anyone else’s besides my own, and DEFINITELY not at restaurants. I’m always afraid of getting lumpy grits, which I detest. But for some odd reason, I was craving grits, so I decided to take the risk… and lumpy, these were not! In fact, they were really, really good… nice and creamy and delish. The consistency was just to my liking, and I am very particular about that.
J ordered the 3-piece Chicken Platter ($6.50). It came with a biscuit and home fries. She said that she thoroughly enjoyed her meal, especially the pineapple marmalade that our server brought out for her to try with her biscuit!
If chicken ‘n biscuits are your thing, then you should definitely give Plucked Up a try. If not, then you should STILL give it a try. There’s more to it than just chicken and biscuits. There are salads and daily specials, which are updated on their Facebook page (included below). This particular day, one of the specials was tilapia tacos and the other was an omelette with spinach, onion, tomatoes and white cheddar. So basically, the specials allow you to be surprised with something different each time. Breakfast and lunch are both served all day, so you’re never limited to one or the other, which is nice.
Pretty much EVERYONE and their granny is here on their lunch break. If you’re not into tight, crowded spaces and it’s not too hot outside, grab a seat under the shade outside the restaurant. Otherwise, prepare to dine around a boatload of people.
As always, I am a huge supporter of local restaurants, as long as their food is actually good. That being said, J & I both enjoyed our meals. The place was busy as heck, but the very moment we started feeling the slightest bit antsy for our food to arrive, it came out. Our server Laurie had a bubbly and friendly personality, was attentive, and seemed genuinely committed to making sure we had a great lunch experience. Bringing out the marmalade for J, even though it was not requested, was a nice extra touch, and took J’s meal to the next level. Though there was a minor setback with the grits at first, the staff was quick and pleasant about resolving the issue, and in the end, I was pleased with the result. There were a couple of items I eyed on the menu that I would like to try so I’m sure I’ll be back at Plucked Up in the near future.
Score: 3.75 / 5
Plucked Up Chicken & Biscuits is located at:
1208 1st Ave
Columbus, GA 31901
Plucked Up on Facebook.