Cal-Mex mini-empire Tacolicious is getting into the delivery-only game with MF Chicken, a Mexican rotisserie chicken business launching through Caviar on June 19. With the delivery food market booming and his ample prep space at Tacolicious kitchens, owner Joe Hargrave says it was time to give his long-held chicken dreams a shot.
It’s no coincidence that industry players like Hargrave and former Locanda chef Anthony Strong — launching delivery-only restaurant Young Fava next week — are making similar moves. “Those are just the demands of the market,” Hargave says. “It’s so painfully expensive to open a restaurant in San Francisco right now, and there’s a huge market share being taken up by delivery services.”
With Rich Table’s spinoff RT Rotisserie now open and also doing delivery, Rotisserie chicken is also going around — but that’s more of a coincidence, says Hargrave. He’s been turning the idea over in his head since the ’90s, working at (the late) rotisserie palace LuLu during its heyday. In fact, Hargrave nearly launched a brick-and-mortar MF Chicken in Noe Valley in 2012, coining the cheeky name, which stands (among other things) for “muy fierce.”
While he balked on the restaurant space, rotisserie chicken was also a fit for delivery. “It holds really well — hot, cold, anywhere in between” and once you get the timing down, it’s like clockwork, Hargrave says. That, and his kids love it: To get the recipe right, he’s been experimenting at home with a Ronco countertop rotisserie oven.
MF Chicken’s birds, Rocky chickens in an ancho-chile based marinade, are $32 for a whole and $17 for a half, with fixings included: Rice, Rancho Gordo black midnight beans, chopped onions, cilantro, spicy cabbage slaw, and La Palma tortillas. They’re served either chopped or on the bone, with a healthy supply of “orange sauce,” as inspired by La Victoria in San Jose, thrown in the mix.
MF Chicken’s hours — or its Caviar delivery window, to be exact — are 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with free delivery and 30 percent off to start.