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For 17 years, Joe Froman dined at the original Mad For Chicken location in Flushing. Now, he owns his very own in his native Rockville Centre.
The franchisee unveiled his new restaurant to the public Sept. 1, filling the vacancy that Pipeline Coffee Co. left at 318a Sunrise Highway. Since then, orders for the brand’s popular soy garlic chicken have been coming in hot.
While many chicken joints have seemingly endless lists of wing flavors, Mad For Chicken sticks to two — soy garlic and spicy soy garlic — and that’s all the franchise’s fans have ever needed. More important than the sauce, is how much is applied to their signature wings, drumsticks and mad tenders.
“It’s not like traditional wings,” Froman said. “It’s double fried, and each piece is individually brushed with sauce to make sure that it gets covered, but at the same time, we don’t pour sauce on it, so it doesn’t get saturated and soggy. All of our chicken remains crispy at all times.”
Long Islanders unfamiliar with the popular chicken franchise can be forgiven. After Sean Cho and Clinton Oh founded the first Mad For Chicken in 2005, the brand expanded through Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and even into Ohio and Texas.
To his follow islanders who give the brand a chance, Froman promises “chicken like they’ve never had before.”
For those not in the mood for fried chicken, the restaurant offers a variety of bowls inspired by Korean and other delights from abroad. There’s the beef bulgogi topped with Korean glass noodles, steamed vegetables, romaine lettuce, a sunnyside up egg, teriyaki sauce and crema; the kimchi kielbasa Polish and Korean fusion boasting smoked Polish sausage with Korean glass noodles, steamed vegetables, corn, Pico, romaine lettuce, a sunnyside up egg, sweet and spicy sauce and crema; and the chicken teriyaki with Korean glass noodles, steamed vegetables, romaine, jalapeño and teriyaki sauce. The restaurant also offers an array of starters, such as New England clam chowder, kimchi and quesadilla, toppoki and fried dumplings, along with salads and sandwiches.
For now, the Rockville Centre location is only serving takeout orders, as Froman is waiting final permit approvals to seat guests in the dining room and at the full bar, where he will carry eight beers on tap, including some favorites from local breweries. Once the eating and drinking areas open, customers can eat in a comfortable rustic space lined with natural wood.
“We already have a tremendous following from Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash,” Froman said. “Once we open up inside, I’m sure it’s going to be packed.”
Top photo: Owner Joe Froman stands at the full bar in Mad for Chicken in Rockville Centre.