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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Opening alert: Fast Tony's Chicken at Town & Country Village

Uploaded: Jun 20, 2017
A local chef whose father hails from Tennessee and his mother from Texas is opening a fried chicken restaurant at Town & Country Village in Palo Alto.

Tony Nethery, most recently the chef at Pizzeria Delfina in Palo Alto, has taken over a space at the back of the El Camino Real shopping center vacated by Tava Kitchen in January.


Fast Tony's Chicken will serve fried and baked chicken and other Southern dishes. Photo by Veroncia Weber.

Nethery is opening Fast Tony's Chicken this week as the inaugural participant in a mentoring program that locally born Asian-fusion chain Asian Box recently launched, CEO Frank Klein said Tuesday.

Asian Box wanted to start a program to help up-and-coming chefs avoid the mistakes and replicate the good decisions its founders made when they first started the business, Klein said. He and others from Asian Box have been coaching Nethery through the ins and outs of opening a restaurant, from setting up legal and accounting to making connections with the local community.

Nethery is the first chef to go through the mentoring program, though others are in the pipeline.

Fast Tony's Chicken is "passion project" for Nethery, inspired by the food he grew up eating in Texas, Klein said.

"Fast Tony's Chicken is a classic yet updated take on the chicken shacks of the South," reads a description Klein provided. "Having grown up in Texas eating his grandmother's 'brown bag or cast iron' fried chicken, Tony is now bringing his family recipes to you."


A photo of the fried chicken on Fast Tony's Instagram.

Nethery, a second-generation Mexican-American, became a cook after serving in the U.S. Navy. He went on to work in the kitchens of Mark Miller, who has won a James Beard award and is known for his accomplishments in southwestern cuisine, and Douglas Rodriguez, a well-known Miami chef.

Nethery credits the owners of Pizzeria Delfina, Annie and Craig Stoll, with inspiring him to "open a place near and dear to his heart," the Fast Tony's description states.

The takeout-only restaurant (there is no inside seating in the relatively small space, but some tables outside) will serve a fried chicken sandwich ($9) with Mary's Free Range Chicken, coleslaw, pickles and Duke's Mayonnaise, a 100-year-old cult-favorite mayo made in South Carolina. The sandwich can be served hot or cold.

Diners can also order pieces of the chicken — choose from breast, thigh, wing or leg — with pickles and rolls. The restaurant will also offer catering, and customers can order a half ($28) or full pan ($54) of chicken and sides.

There's also a baked fish sandwich served on King's Hawaiian sweet buns ($9); nachos topped with cheddar and pimento cheeses, pickles and fried chicken ($8 for a quarter pan to $25 for a full pan); and "old-school" baked chicken made with a dry rub ($12 for three pieces with one small side or $22 for six pieces with one large side ).

Sides include macaroni salad, vinegar slaw and a seasonal salad. (This week, he's planning to serve an arugula salad with grilled Brentwood corn, Klein said.) There are also desserts like "Grandma's banana pudding" and seasonal hand pies.

Nethery plans to partner with one of his new neighbors, Biondivino Wine Boutique, to offer Fast Tony's customers 20 percent off six wines the owner of Biondivino has chosen to pair with his dishes. Fast Tony's does not serve beer or wine.

Nethery is also going to implement a no-tipping policy and give a percentage of the restaurant's sales back to staff, Klein said.

The restaurant will open this Thursday or Friday with limited hours, Klein said, at 855 El Camino Real, suite 162 (next to Belcampo Meat Co.).

Comments

 +   5 people like this
Posted by Judy, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jun 20, 2017 at 10:31 am

A "no tipping" policy probably means that a tip is included in the cost of a $9.00 chicken sandwich. Why a tip would be expected at a takeout only restaurant is beyond me. I wish Tony a lot of luck.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Eat meat, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 20, 2017 at 12:55 pm

It has become normal nowadays when you pay by credit card at a fast food restaurant for a screen to come up asking you if you want to tip.
How come the city signed off on this place? I thought there was a push by Karen Holman to have mondays declared "meatless mondays". Also local "health conscious" people have been pushing the "meat is bad for the environment".
What about the increase in traffic due to this place?


 +   17 people like this
Posted by Liking it, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Jun 20, 2017 at 4:55 pm

To: Eat Meat

What do you mean by "increase in traffic due to this place"? This place is replacing another one, that has been previously (Tava) which I am sure had traffic on its own.
What is the problem?
Did you think that the location would stay empty forever?


 +   8 people like this
Posted by can't wait to try it, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 20, 2017 at 5:37 pm

sounds delicious.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Eat meat, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 20, 2017 at 6:59 pm

Liking it- I was being semi-sarcastic, s a nice these days any talk of new anything brings up the argument of " too much traffic". And I am sure some people would like the place to stay empty. To quote a former council member " even one additional car trip in Palo Alto is too many"


 +   5 people like this
Posted by can't wait to try it, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 20, 2017 at 8:38 pm

Building on eat meat's comments,

of course as a true Palo Alton i plan to walk there to reduce my carbon foot print, make sure any scraps left over are composted, and make sure that their workers are being paid living wages and are diverse to ensure no discrimination.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jun 20, 2017 at 8:55 pm

I am happy and will be there! Sounds good to me.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by DANA STREET, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jun 21, 2017 at 9:49 am

I saw the sign on their door they are hiring at $16 per hour plus everyone gets a percentage of sales. I like this concept and Tony seems like a legit talented guy. Support a US Veteran who served our country and is now creating meaningful jobs. Oh, and with great food I hope! If you really care, ride your bike.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by vegetarian, a resident of Professorville,
on Jun 23, 2017 at 10:27 am

Obviously, @Eat Meat is a troll. Play with her or troll her back, but don't take her seriously.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Down home cookin. , a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Jun 23, 2017 at 7:20 pm

Down home cookin. is a registered user.


Down home cookin, sounds great to me,

Can't wait to try it,

My guess is there will be a line around the corner.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 23, 2017 at 11:20 pm

I'm surprised that Elena didn't mention The Chickery: Web Link.

With The Chickery opening this summer, and Bon Chon opening in downtown MV very soon, we're in for a good chicken fight.

I wish all three businesses the best of luck.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Austin, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jun 24, 2017 at 11:28 am

So much for opening on Thursday or Friday. I came by Friday and they were having a private party, with the possibility of opening Monday...no "limited hours" to be had.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by David, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 24, 2017 at 1:26 pm

My wife, baby, and I ate at Fast Tony's today for lunch!

I ordered the chicken sandwich, and it was the best I've ever had. It's not like a Chick-fil-A sandwich (which is also great) because it uses a Hawaiian roll and cole slaw instead of the regular buns and lettuce. The chicken itself was fantastic - crispy and spicy on the outside, moist on the inside. You could tell it was made moments ago. I wanted to order another one.

My wife ordered the three piece chicken plate, which also comes with Hawaiian rolls separately. She enjoyed the taste and kick of the chicken though mentioned it was a bit salty. She recommended eating it with the rolls.

Tony stopped by from the kitchen to ask us how we liked our meal, and if there was anything they could improve on. He was very kind.

Can't wait til the full menu is available. I want to put bacon in my sandwich and try those chicken nachos! I'll definitely be back!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Farmer John, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 28, 2017 at 10:06 am

Remember when "bread and dip" at Farmer John's Market (now CVS) used to be a $1.50?

I checked out Tony's on Monday and it was delish! But being a regular there could cost me an arm and a leg. Had their basic chicken sandwich (get it hot) and it cost $11. Had to order a small side since it doesn't come with anything, and it was $3 for a tiny sauce cup of 'slaw. Don't get me wrong, I love the concept, the beginnings of the interior, and the food was great " but at this kind of cost? I don't know that I can afford it on the regular...


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 29, 2017 at 12:24 am

I can't wait to try this! Oh...and I plan to drive my car and park. It's kind of difficult to ride my bike with dinner for our family and make it home without dropping the food and enjoying it while it is fresh.


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