The first signs of spring we like to see are signs for local chicken barbecues. These recent warm weather days have us craving things like hot dogs and barbecued chicken. Why? Who knows, we just do.
Thankfully May seems to be the unofficial kickoff to the church-school-fire department-fair-festival-graduation-backyard party chicken barbecue season. From now through fall, one could conceivably find a place to grab a chicken dinner practically every day of the week.
Our recent craving was the reason we found ourselves heading to Chiavetta’s Barbecue Take-Out in Lockport for a Sunday afternoon dinner. (The name is slightly misleading, as guests can actually sit down to eat.)
Chiavetta’s home base is in the Evans-Brant area. (No on-site eating at Brant location, however.) The Lockport outpost opened in 2009 to service customers in the Northtowns year-round. (We only discovered it this year.)
Arriving just before 5 p.m., we got lucky. The “chicken count” was already on.
“Anyone not call ahead?” was being asked. Oh no, would we be denied?
Luckily we snagged what turned out to be some of the last halves. The side dishes of the day were in limited supply by then. Sides (hot and cold) vary, depending on the day but can include anything listed on Chiavetta’s menu or new items they are trying out.
On our visit sides included macaroni and cheese, au gratin potatoes, baked beans, potato salad, mac and tuna salad, Greek bow-tie pasta salad, coleslaw and tomatoes, peppers and onions.
Folks can call ahead to reserve chicken, ribs, pulled pork, etc., but sides are first-come, first-serve. We were fortunate to procure yummy mac n' cheese and baked beans; au gratin potatoes were already gone.
Dinners come with two sides and a choice of roll or cornbread. A chicken dinner is $8.75 (chicken only $4.25). Our quarter rib and quarter chicken was $10.
A half-rack of ribs dinner clocks in at $12 ($9.50 rib only), the full rack dinner is $21 ($19 rib only). Pulled pork dinner was $7, $5 for a sandwich. The beef brisket dinner special ($10) was gone on our visit.
The inside of the building was just like being at a picnic, sans some of the peskiness, like flies and the beating hot sun. We loved the paper towel holders made from water spigots and neat old photo decor.
By just after 5 p.m., the chicken ran out and the yellow sign was taped to the door.
We felt slightly guilty eating as we watched folks arrive only to watch their faces turn to dismay as they reached the door.
Chiavetta’s Take Out Catering is located at 6100 Fisk Road, Lockport. Current walk-in hours are daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the summer, Chiavetta's will stay open until 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday (maybe other days too, depending on business), and we assume more chicken will be available to last longer.
The best advice we can give if you are heading to the Lockport location is to go early for lunch or call ahead to reserve chicken, at least. You can also go to the online BBQ & Events Calendar to find out where the nearest barbecue is happening to you.Visit chiavettascatering.com. Also find them on Facebook and Twitter.