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With Seven Hens, Michael has taken his years of experience as Schnitzel Connoisseur to the kitchen and introducing the fried delicacy to ATL, using all-natural local chicken, fresh ingredients, and a whole world of influences.Chicken, breaded and fried — you'd think that to us Southerners, we've seen it all on that front. But beyond the Mason-Dixon lies a whole new world of fried poultry. Chicken by any other name, would it taste as delightful? The answer is yes, and it's name is schnitzel. The Austrians and the Italians still squabble over who exactly first began pounding chicken cutlets thin with a heavy-duty mallet, dredging through bread crumbs, and frying it all to crispy perfection, but the dish has made its way into the cuisines of dozens of countries and cultures. And now it's made its way right into North Decatur.
Why would owner Michael decide to open up a schnitzel shop, of all things? "Because I love chicken," he tells me, "and because it's what I grew up eating." With 7 Hens, Michael has taken his years of experience as Schnitzel Connoisseur to the kitchen and introducing the fried delicacy to ATL, using all-natural local chicken, fresh ingredients, and a whole world of influences, literally. The international recipes represent seven countries, with Italian, French, Mexican, American, Chinese, and Indian riffs on schnitzel (plus one wild card, "the Traveler"). Whether you decide to go the pesto and sun-dried tomato Italian route, or prefer your fried chicken with a Chinese passport – it's all here. Since it's summer, we're partial to their seasonal sandwich, the Jamaican. This 'wich is the perfect melding of savory, sweet and spicy – its homemade pineapple chutney and authentic red bean spread coupled with schnitzel seasoned with traditional Jamaican seasonings is just the thing we crave this time of year. Whichever country's flavors sound good to you – just decide how you want it: a baguette? Sure. In a wrap? Of course. A top a salad? You betcha. Finish it off with extra spreads, toppings, cheeses and sauces, and kick back as the kitchen whips up your order on the spot (be sure to listen for the telltale sounds of that pounding mallet). In two shakes, you'll be feasting on a whole 'nother kind of fried chicken, a kind that's been around since before the American South existed. And so far, we Southern fried bird connoisseurs heartily approve.
Mexican Schnitzel Baguette, $7.49
Chinese Schnitzel Wrap, $7.49
German Schnitzel Platter, $8.99
Italian Schnitzel Salad, $7.99
Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.