Oviedo is famously known for its feral chickens roaming about. So a new concept restaurant chose to pay homage to the free-range chickens with its name, The Local Hen.
Actually, it’s known as a micro restaurant and is part of the Food Factory Foodie Collective in the Oviedo on the Park district, where, ironically, there don’t seem to be any chickens wandering about. But maybe that’s just because they’ve met up with the folks at The Local Hen.
I should mention now that The Local Hen is owned by my former neighbors and friends Diana Bolivar and Luis Quevedo. They have a successful business, Revildor Roofing & Repair, and entered into Local Hen as investors but have found themselves taking a more hands-on roll.
The menu, as you might expect, is fowl focused, but not exclusively. But given the name my first choices were hen-centric. For an appetizer I selected the Hen Tostones, which featured fried green plantains topped with shredded chicken, jack cheese, sautéed green and red peppers and a garlic cilantro aioli dipping sauce. I liked the firm crispiness of the tostones, and the chicken was well seasoned.
I also tried the fried “Messy” chicken sandwich, with breaded breast on rustic ciabatta, dressed with bacon, lettuce, onions and some pimento cheese. I’ve had messier sandwiches, but all of the flavors worked well.
Moving away from the fowl line, I also ordered Local Hen’s Classic Cuban Sandwich, with roasted pork, smoked ham and Swiss cheese on pressed Cuban bread, pickles and mustard within. I liked the sandwich but I liked the yuca fries and garlic cilantro aioli sauce even more.
The developers of the Food Factory Foodie Collective wince at the notion that it is a food hall. In their defense, there is no hall. The micro restaurants are ringed around a courtyard, each with its own garage-doored cabin and exclusive seating. However, there is a central bar where food ordered from one of the micros may be delivered and enjoyed. On the cold night in December that I visited, that was the choice of some fellow diners. (I opted to take my food home.)
If you choose to dine locally at Local Hen you’ll find a pleasant space with metal chairs and a leaning bar. You’ll also find friendly service from people to whom I can personally attest.