North Canton has a delicious new restaurant in its premium downtown spot, and I am crossing all my fingers that it is wildly successful so I can enjoy it for years to come.
The Howlin Bird opened in December at 123 S Main Street, where Main Street Grille used to be. It boldly promises “the best rotisserie chicken North Canton has ever seen.” I don’t think that claim is far off, and I think the crispy chicken tenders deserve equal accolades.
The Howlin Bird is a huge win for North Canton. If I passed this place on my way home from work, I would go every week. As soon as we are allowed to have house parties again, I am inviting a bunch of friends over and ordering a ton of Howlin Bird chicken tenders and fresh-cut fries. Seriously.
The menu is a mix of rotisserie chicken and chicken tender meals; individual entrees, such as chicken and waffles; sandwiches served with fries; salads; and sides.
If you’re feeling a family-style experience, you can order a flock meal, which feeds anywhere from two to six people. Flock meals come with rotisserie chicken and chicken tenders, sweet rolls, dipping sauces and a handful of sides.
Even though I was feeding only two of us, I ordered a flock meal because I wanted to try as much as I could. I regret nothing. It was excellent.
Here’s what we got (for $34): A rotisserie chicken, chicken tenders, three dipping sauces, French fries, fried Brussels sprouts with bacon and Parmesan, mac and cheese, and sweet rolls.
The chicken tenders are more like chicken strips. They’re thick and juicy and well-seasoned, and they are on par with any restaurant chicken I’ve ever had. I dipped them in buttermilk ranch and a house-made sauce that tasted like a sweet combination of ground mustard and barbecue.
I buy rotisserie chickens frequently to use as a cooking shortcut, but I’ve never been tempted to eat one plain. Usually, they’re kind of dry and taste somewhat bland. That wasn’t the case with The Howlin Bird chicken. I was sneaking pieces of it the minute I got it home.
My favorite of the sides (all of which were great) was the fried Brussels sprouts with bacon and Parmesan. They were crispy, like chips, and nice and salty.
The one thing I didn’t love was the sweet rolls. They looked like hot dog buns, and the flavor didn’t do anything to dissuade me from that opinion. Thankfully, we had more than enough food without them.
I ordered our dinner as carryout, and our meal came in two large aluminum pans that made transporting the food and storing and reheating the leftovers easy.
The Howlin Bird is at 123 S Main Street in North Canton and is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (The bar remains open until 10 p.m.) Carryout is available by calling 234-714-9000.
The Howlin Bird: 4.8/5 stars
Taste: 5/5 stars. The Howlin Bird is in contention for my favorite chicken in Stark County.
Service: 5/5 stars. Staff worked quickly and were friendly.
Concept: 4/5 stars. Yes, the North Canton area has plenty of places to get fried chicken, but the rotisserie chicken option adds a different element.
Ambiance: 5/5 stars. I love the location of the restaurant and the beautiful wood furniture in the dining room.
Pricing: 5/5 stars. I would have paid more for all the delicious food I got with my meal.