Fried Chicken Turns Little Haiti’s Pack Supermarket Into an Institution
During lunch, dozens of cops, executives, and working stiffs line up outside the squat peach Pack Supermarket in Little Haiti. They’re bathed in the overwhelming scent of frying chicken as Kreyol talk radio blares from a nearby barbershop. On Sunday mornings, crowds of churchgoers mingle with bouncers from downtown clubs and spandex-clad cyclists while awaiting fragrant Styrofoam containers filled with juicy poultry and the slightly sweet ovals of the smashed-and-fried plantains Haitians term “banane.” It’s a meal that could be breakfast or dinner.
Over the past three decades, Pack has become a beloved gathering place and community hub. The place adds the vinegary, spicy cabbage-and-carrot slaw called pikliz to the crackly fried chicken, and each bite becomes a scalding mouthful of ecstasy.
The affordable, filling fare is the lifeblood of the surrounding community. “We come here when my mom is too busy and doesn’t have time to cook,” says Anne Smith, a sixth-grader at the nearby Worshipers’ House of Prayer Academy. Sometimes the 12-year-old, who wears an apple-red dress and narrow rectangular eyeglasses high on her nose, begs her mother to take a walk down the street to get poul fri for lunch or dinner.
8235 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-4777. Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Three fried chicken legs $2.25