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Texas has plenty of Cajun fried chicken.
But nothing quite like Sweet Malik’s.
Chef Ahmed Williams’ modest little north Arlington fried chicken stand dishes up tenders and wings with a distinctive flavor: cayenne combined with a hint of apple-cinnamon and apple pie spice.
The result: tenders and wings that are at once peppery, savory and sweet, served with imaginative sides in a surprising little North Collins Street restaurant that tastes more like Uptown New Orleans.
Everything at Sweet Malik’s is either hot or sweet, or both. The biscuits are honey-glazed. Even the Cajun fries are dusted with a combination of seasoning and sugar.
Sweet Malik’s also serves two superstar side dishes: a “green gumbo” made with traditional greens in a light roux, and a crawfish mac-and-cheese made with three cheeses.
For dessert, there’s a peach-apple crumble in a jar, probably made with some of the same spices.
Sweet Malik’s chicken is unlike any other. And the price is a bit higher: $9.99 for four tenders with fries, or $4.99 for a wing snack.
But the sides are only $2.50, so a box dinner with both sides could easily feed two for $15.
This is the kind of little, independent, chef-driven restaurant that TV shows spotlight. It’s like a gourmet New Orleans chef’s version of a Popeye’s.