True, Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken is in another borough altogether, but this major-league chowdown is closer to the stadium than you think. And true, I sampled the fare a week before the buffet reopened after a long absence. Above and below, that's a dinner platter ($8.50) with baked chicken (yes, baked; it just called out to me), black-eyed peas over rice, collard greens, yams, and cornbread for sopping up the juices. On visits to earlier incarnations of the restaurant, I loaded my plate variously with smothered oxtail, pork ribs, and okra with tomatoes and corn, smothered turkey, mac 'n' cheese, beef ribs, and, of course, freshly fried chicken. Carrot cake and sweet tea, too.
After an hour or so, you'll be glad for the opportunity to stretch your legs. Walk up to 157th St. or over to Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., and the Stadium will be already in sight; cross the gritty but pedestrian-friendly Macombs Dam Bridge in the company of a few pinstriped fans (mind the gong, though I've never heard it myself); and circle the ballpark till you find your gate. Once inside, you just might need something to wet your whistle, but ballpark franks will be far from your mind.
Also see my article on the return to Harlem of Charles Gabriel and his chicken, which appeared in the December 2, 2009 edition of The New York Times.
Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken
2841 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (151st-152nd Sts.)