It’s a walk-up, take-home place reminiscent of days gone by. The difference is a fresh, new, expanded menu with selections to satisfy any appetite. Fryer’s recently reopened in Silver Spring, Md., managed by Chef Ed Reavis and Jennifer Meltzer, owners of All Set Restaurant & Bar and Money Muscle BBQ. The couple also created the menu for Denizens Brewing Co., also in Silver Spring.
“When Ed and I met, we wanted to open a group that did a lot of different things for a lot of different people,” Meltzer said, explaining the married couple’s vision. “So, it started with All Set, then during the pandemic, to keep the business going, it turned into Money Muscle BBQ.”
When Meltzer and Reavis set their sights on Fryer’s, the basic menu was fried chicken and soft-serve ice cream. The menu was jazzed up with the addition of smoked chicken, ribs, pulled pork, brisket, three types of fried chicken, fish, side dishes, soft serve ice cream and milkshakes.
I have twice visited Fryer’s. The first time, I tried the fried chicken that comes in classic, spicy, and smokin’ hot. The skin on the chicken was extra crispy with exceptionally juicy meat. Both the classic and spicy were delicious. With the heat of the spicy option, I am sure I would not have been able to handle the smokin’ hot, but for those spice lovers– go for it. The flakey biscuits were perfect with the chicken. My sides were the vegan, gluten-free BBQ Beans in a flavorful, not-too-sweet sauce and Mac and Cheese that was cheesy and creamy. I admit to being a macaroni and cheese snob, and Fryer’s version was more than all right.
Reavis explained his approach to an Asian bonchon mixture he created to prepare Fryer’s crispy fried chicken.
“I played around with five or six different rice flour combinations,” said Reavis, lead chef for the restaurants in the group. “I found that potato starch with rice flour was one of the best things. The secret is in the right amounts of the mixture.”
On my second visit, I tried the Not Chicken-Fish Bites. My order consisted of eight large nuggets of fish. Like the chicken, the fish was lightly breaded, and not overcooked. For this visit, I had vegan, gluten-free collard greens. I am almost sure they are the same recipe used for the All Set collards, which are always a winner. I added the soft sweet buttery cornbread to my order, which we know is necessary for dipping in the brothy juice or potlikker from the greens. A peanut butter milkshake finished off my order. I can honestly say I am hooked on that milkshake.
There are many more sides and desserts on the menu.
An added benefit of Reavis and Meltzer acquiring Fryer’s is that there is more space to house their smokers. In their arsenal of smokers are 250- and 500-gallon reverse-flow smokers. On Fryer’s opening day, a 1,000-gallon reverse-flow smoker was delivered. Those smokers are for cooking the other meats on the Fryer’s menu. Before Fryer’s opened the smaller smokers were on two food trucks parked next to All Set. Those trucks will soon move around to various locations in the area serving the Money Muscle BBQ specialties.
Ordering in advance is recommended. In the few weeks the walk-up operation has been open, there has always been a line. With its huge yellow sign, you can’t miss Fryer’s at 12830 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20904 in Colesville’s Meadowood Shopping Center.
Visit Fryer’s website to see the full menu and to order in advance. Follow the restaurants on Facebook and other social media sites @FryersChicken, @MoneyMuscleBBQ and @AllSetDTSS.