A year into crafting Wesburgers, Wes Rowe is branching out of beef and starting a poultry pop-up with his brother Walker. Yesterday the two introduced Uncle Brother's Chicken, a fried chicken pop-up that will take place on Tuesdays from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Residence.
Uncle Brother's Chicken will cook a different style of fried chicken every Tuesday, starting with a Southern rendition this week. From there, the chicken will traverse the globe.
"There will definitely be Korean fried chicken, chicken katsu, chicken karaage. There are a couple of Indian styles, like chicken marinated in yogurt and lots of Indian spices for a long time and then fried," Rowe says. "There will be many variations on the American style. You can do German chicken schnitzel, chicken and waffles, chicken sandwiches. There's just so many ways to do it."
The brothers plan to exclusively use boneless chicken thighs and pair the dishes with a side in keeping with the style of the week (this Tuesday will feature something like greens or potato salad or mac and cheese). A mainstay on the menu will be "chickcharrones," a play on chicharrones that uses fried and seasoned chicken skins instead of pork.
Uncle Brother's Chicken came together quickly. Rowe started using the Residence, a bar in the Castro/Upper-Market area, as a prep kitchen about a month ago and the owners asked him to do a pop-up there. He wanted to give his customers something new, but didn't decide on fried chicken until he was sitting at the bar a week ago discussing what to cook with the owner.
"I really wanted to do a theme. I threw out fried chicken and a couple of people sitting at the bar were listening and they were like "yeah!" Rowe says. "And I decided this could work."
While Rowe was cooking burgers at Mojo Bicycle Cafe yesterday, Walker was busy preparing for recipe testing. Walker, the younger of the two, moved to the city this week.
"He's always worked in kitchens and with food ... I wanted to make something of this together and was like 'hey, come join me,'" Rowe says. "I'm really excited to be working with him, that it's a family affair."
The name "Uncle Brother" alludes to the family tie. While throwing out names, "Uncle Brother" came up and although it seemed strange at first, it stuck.
"It kind of has a weird family thing," Rowe says. "It has no relation to my dad and his brother's fried chicken recipe, but they're identical twins and they always called each other 'brother.' I never knew my uncle as what his name is, I knew him as 'Uncle Brother.' I think that's how the name initially stuck, is because it had some family meaning to it. I think 'Uncle Brother's Chicken' sounds really different and playful and fun."
Burger fans need not worry that fried chicken will overshadow the popular patties. Wesburger will continue to pop up at Mojo Bicycle Cafe on Wednesdays from 6 to 10 p.m.