Eating Adventures

Chicken Rebel Hits Denver After Flying the Coop in San Diego

Chicken Rebel comes to Denver from San Diego beginning July 1.
Chicken Rebel comes to Denver from San Diego beginning July 1. Courtesy of Chicken Rebel
Chicken sandwiches are fryer-hot in San Diego, just as they are in Denver. But changing laws can make it tough for a mobile kitchen to find a stable place to roost. After two years feeding the San Diego brewery circuit, Chicken Rebel owner Lydie Lovett found herself displaced by a new law forbidding food stands from serving at craft breweries (now only food trucks are allowed that privilege). So Lovett decided to make hay while the sun is shining in Colorful Colorado and will bring Chicken Rebel to Denver beginning July 1.

"We were the highest-rated fried-chicken place in San Diego, according to Yelp," Lovett points out, adding that at her farewell gig at Coronado Brewing Company, hungry bird hunters waited two hours in line for one last taste of their favorite.

The fried-chicken chef explains that her sandwiches stand out because she sous-vides boneless chicken breasts before breading and frying them, so the buttermilk-brined meat is always cooked to the perfect temperature. She also uses craft beer in her eight-spice batter, switching up the beer to match the suds being served at the breweries Chicken Rebel visits.

"I have a really small menu, so I can focus on quality and consistency," Lovett adds. "I have literally fried every piece of chicken I've ever sold."

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Sous-vide chicken and beer-based batter are two of the secrets to Chicken Rebel's sandwiches.
Courtesy of Chicken Rebel
For the month of July, Denver will be home to Chicken Rebel while Lovett combs the market for a food truck to purchase; she may return to San Diego (though she says food-truck regulations are very strict there), or she may consider Denver or Austin for something long-term.

In the meantime, you can catch Chicken Rebel's debut at Bruz Beers, 1675 West 67th Avenue, on July 1. Lovett will then set up shop every Monday in July at Prost Brewing, 2540 19th Street in LoHi, as well as on July 4. She'll also have plenty of other appearances during the month listed on the Chicken Rebel website and social media.
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation