I’d heard mixed reviews about Bitterroot, one of several restaurants comprising a BBQ boom in Ballard. One item that gets consistently good marks for quality: the Buffalo Fried Chicken Livers ($8). These I simply had to try.
What I love most about eating chicken livers is the minerally, musky flavor that almost oozes out upon biting into their soft, smooth texture. Bitterroot’s, though, fell flat. The liver itself was chalky and gritty. As for the “Buffalo-ization,” the tangy, spicy flavor was there, but the breading was a little heavy. I much prefer the version I ate recently at Radiator Whiskey, with brighter flavors and breading that was more delicate and crispy—though even there I was craving more liver flavor.
Given the other food I tried at Bitterroot (pulled pork in a sandwich that was too dry, and a roller-coaster of overseasoned and underseasoned appetizers and sides), the disappointment doesn’t surprise me. Anyone else in Seattle doing Buffalo fried chicken livers? Joule did a great treatment of them in a few years ago as part of their Urban BBQ series, but if there are no current options, I’ll just have to settle for a bag of the plain-fried livers (and gizzards!) from Chicken Valley.