Chick-fil-A is at it again: donating millions to anti-LGBTQ groups and, just last month, referring to it as part of their “higher calling.” My search for a good fried chicken sandwich that doesn’t discriminate brought me to the Sing-A-Long Bar and Grill in Mount Vernon.
The Sing-A-Long Bar is a comfort food pub at the crossing of Highway 1 and Mount Vernon’s main street. A 1910 player piano is the first thing you see when you walk in. On busy evenings, pub-goers gather around the piano as rolls of paper dotted with little holes tell the piano what notes to play. Patrons can pick a roll from the shelf and ask staff to play a song by request. Singing is strongly encouraged, and the signature drink menu will help with that.
“Thank you for being here” reads the food menu’s front cover, which flips open to reveal dishes that will make you feel right at home: fried pickles, a BLT, blackened chicken Caesar salad and the Philly cheese steak with caramelized fennel, peppers and onions.
I ordered two fried chicken sliders for $12 and a side of macaroni and cheese, because comfort food is a verb, and I know how to comfort food. The flakey, crispy fillets of fried chicken were sandwiched between toasted, buttery buns with two slices of maple bacon each. It was all loosely held together by a thick dollop of house-made barbecue sauce, which I ordered an extra side of for dipping generously. The macaroni and cheese was a dreamy mixture of creamy cheese sauce, curly cavatappi pasta, sharp cheddar cheese and toasted breadcrumbs.
The Sing-A-Long Bar and Grill calls itself a “yes” kitchen, meaning its lovely staff and amazing chefs, Nanette and Sarah, will do their best to accommodate dietary preferences and needs. For vegetarians and vegans, there is a colorful salad bar with romaine lettuce, house-made dressings and an assortment of toppings like pickled beets, cabbage, watermelon, nuts and seeds, cheeses and raw chopped vegetables. The menu also always features a seasonal, rotating vegetarian special.
I was raised in a home with a vintage player piano, so admittedly, I have a special place in my heart for the player piano’s plunky charm. Together, my dad and I would croon to “Bye Bye Blackbird” as our piano’s ghost keys played into the afternoon. But one does not need to have a weakness for these old instruments to enjoy the Sing-A-Long Bar and Grill: Only a weakness for good food and inclusive atmosphere is necessary.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 265.