Roaming rooster, a restaurant worth flocking to


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Roaming Rooster started out of fun food trucks like these that patrolled the streets of DC during lunchtime.

By Ryan Weiner, Editor-in-Chief

In 2015, the Habtemariam family had a dream, bought a food truck and started their culinary adventure in Washington, DC. Their dream? To produce fresh comfort food to local customers in the form of chicken sandwiches and wings. Thus, Roaming Rooster was born in the form of a truck known today as their “Rooster”.

The Habtemariam family have won numerous local food awards for their restaurant’s early success, and have caught the eye of many social media foodies on platforms like Instagram and Tiktok. They have used social media to their advantage, drawing in new customers through mouth watering content. They also take pride in being an African-American owned business, and have expressed pride in their ability to prove that African-American business owners can have success.

As the name implies, all of the chicken that goes into the products are free-range and antibiotic free, which means that the animals live in humane conditions and are not pumped up with any modifications or additives. This method of fresh production has led to incredible success for the small family-run business. Almost instantly, the restaurant rapidly needed more food trucks to fit the demand, and now have numerous brick-and-mortar stores across the DC, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area.

There are plenty of ways for one to enjoy themselves at this unique restaurant, starting with their classic “OG Nashville,” sandwich, which is their take on the legendary Nashville hot chicken sandwich. Other popular sandwich bites include the “Honey Butter,” which is a cheddar biscuit sandwich topped with honey butter and “The Club,” which is their take on the classic chicken BLT.

Lucky for customers, there are four different levels of spice one can choose from, those being mild, medium, hot and extra hot, so that everyone can enjoy their favorite sandwich the way they choose. Be careful however, as the restaurant takes their spice factor seriously, and the extra hot is not for the faint of heart. Fortunately, anyone who is overpowered with the spice can take advantage of the restaurant’s delicious milkshakes to cool off.

Although less popular, the wings and chicken tenders at Roaming Rooster are certainly worth a try for any first time customer. Coming in the same flavors, these both come with sliced bread and pickles, traditional sides for Nashville hot chicken. Their hand-cut fries are also a big win, and come with ample amounts of fried goodness with each order. Other limited products include their chicken salads at food truck locations, and their breakfast sandwiches at the Woodbridge, VA location.

With 11 full-time locations open already (almost half of which have opened in the past year alone), food trucks galore and even pop-ups at hot spots like Nationals Park in Washington, DC, the young food chain is trending upwards. Locations like Pike and Rose and Gaithersburg have just recently opened and already look primed to continue to serve the WCHS community for years to come.