Go to Sweet Radish and order a chicken sandwich.
That’s it. That’s the story.
If you trust me by now, I’d recommend skipping the rest of this story and heading to the south Everett eatery as soon as it opens (10:30 a.m. They are closed Sunday and Monday, but today is Tuesday, so you have no excuse.)
If you don’t trust me yet, I’ll supply a few words of encouragement below.
I’d been meaning to try out 9 Delicacies since I arrived in Washington back in January. A few coworkers praised the Korean fusion restaurant, with its showcase of braised pork shoulder, spicy fried chicken, bulgogi ribeye and housemade kimchi, among other favorites. 9 Delicacies was relatively new, having opened in 2018.
But a few weeks ago, I heard 9 Delicacies had rebranded to a hand-breaded chicken shop called Sweet Radish. Owner Diane Kim, who has a background in classic French cooking, decided to pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want to be the restaurant that people can afford and still feel satisfied with the quality and service,” Kim said. “In order to do that, it was better to limit the menu and go with a more simplified concept.”
At Sweet Radish, Kim executes perfectly fried chicken (and a few bulgogi burgers: Yes, the “patties” are thin strips of ribeye steak instead of ground meat). Sweet Radish is a quick lunch stop, a place to grab dinner for your family. It is where the housemade sauces, Ultra Crispy Craggy hand-breaded chicken and waffle fries elevate your everyday chicken basket. As in, this ain’t fast food (though it does come out quickly) or kid’s menu chicken tenders (but your inner child will be so happy you stopped here).
If you choose to dine in, your order will be served on a silver tray that is both nostalgic and straightforward.
Sweet Radish is located in south Everett, just off I-5 in a corner building shared by Safeway and other shops. I stopped by last week to take some photos (a food writer’s excuse to eat on official business). I planned to try the sandwich and then share the rest with my coworkers. Two bites in to their Hotlapeno sandwich and I quickly realized that wasn’t happening.
Here is why: The sinus-clearing, bright red Seoul hot sauce (a buffalo-adjacent sauce with Korean chili peppers) dripped down their magically-not-greasy-yet-supremely-crunchy chicken breast, with pickled jalapeños and crunchy cabbage slaw. The honey mayo brought sweet levity, and the buttery brioche bun held it all together like a single working mom. Never once did my fluffy chicken chariot fall apart. Did I mention how buttery the bun was?
Sweet Radish also serves up soy garlic, sweet n’ spicy and original chicken. Every sandwich combo comes with fries and their namesake sauce. The Sweet Radish is now one of my favorite dipping sauces, and dare I say better than any ketchup or secret sauce I’ve had.
The fries are Ultra Crispy too, and I implore you to break one in half for some ASMR bliss. Other sides include butter toast (don’t overlook this one), Brussels sprout chips and creamy macaroni. Wash it down with their house Watermelonade, sweetened iced tea or a Watermelon Palmer (my personal choice).
You can also feed your family (or a crowd) with Sweet Radish’s platters, which feed up to 13 people depending on the size you order. Those include chicken strips, spicy chicken thighs, chicken wings and any of the aforementioned sides.
It’s true you won’t see as many Korean dishes like kimchi, or lighter options like salads, but Kim still embeds her Korean roots throughout the menu. You’ll catch glimpses in the Seoul sauce, the house-ground ginger, the bulgogi burger (order this if you loved 9 Delicacies’ bulgogi melt) and other ingredients.
Kim’s main goal was to keep prices affordable while maintaining her restaurant’s high standards.
“I want to serve everyday people,” Kim said. “Sometimes we have difficulties in our lives, but we still want to eat out.”
Address: 520 128th St. SW, B-8, Everett
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.
Website: sweetradishchicken.com (online ordering is available)
Pricing: Chicken plate combos come with two sides and sauces and cost between $10 and $15, with a choice of strips, spicy thighs or wings. Sandwich and burger combos come with fries and sauces and are priced between $10 and $12. You can also get any of the above without sides for a lower price. Go big with Sweet Radish’s platters: You can order strips, thighs, wings or any sides, from a small bowl of macaroni for $7.50, to a 50-piece chicken strip platter (feeds 10 to 13 people) for $89.50.