Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Best Fried Chicken, Round 2

Lots of restaurants claim to be famous for their fried chicken. The vast majority of such places serve as proof that their patrons simply haven't tasted really good fried chicken. I found one this weekend where that isn't the case. Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken in downtown Memphis is best described as "joint." It's one of those small, rough around the edges sort of restaurants that appears even a bit rougher from the outside. Inside, food is served on disposable plates, with limited utensils and cups of cheap disposables too. It's all about the chicken, and they focus on it. So many restaurants try to broaden their appeal too far and lose their focus. What put them on the map can keep them there if they don't stray too far or neglect their claim to fame.

Choices of side dishes at Gus's aren't plentiful, but they do offer some interesting cajun fried rice and good french fries. (If I'm going fried, might as well go all the way.) It seems a bit odd that two best fried chicken restaurants I've been to skip the mashed potatoes; They both serve some form of cajun or dirty rice. According to my husband, they go together like salt & pepper, something is missing without the mashed potatoes. We didn't seem to have trouble eating the chicken regardless of the limited cooked potato choices.

My overall rating: 4.5 stars
Cons: Limited parking and since I was there at 3:30 pm on a Saturday I can only imagine the line to get in at noon. Very limited selection of side dishes. This location can be quite noisy, so it's not a great choice for those with hearing problems.
Pros: It's the second best fried chicken I've ever had, but a close second (Old Country Store in Lorman, MS is the best so far.) It's spicy chicken and they wisely focus their energies on their main dish. The slightly dive type feel of the place gives it great character.

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