The Great Fried Chicken Adventure

FriedChickenIn our house, Saturday is Cheat Day. It’s been this way for a couple years. The Man and I were pretty devoted to the 4 Hour Body Diet for a while and ever since then, Saturday has been our day to indulge in foods we know we really shouldn’t be eating.

In the beginning, this meant a day heavy on donuts, sausage gravy, burgers, french fries, milkshakes, and the occasional “cheat day buffet” at a friend’s house. Since we’ve since moved toward a daily whole foods diet, lots of that sugary, processed junk doesn’t even tempt us anymore. There are exceptions, of course. Like our great local donut shop. And french fries. And mounds of pasta. Who am I kidding? Saturday still is a bit of a free-for-all and I’m not ready to give it up completely.

That's one big chicken attacking our town.

That’s one big chicken attacking our town.

Great fried chicken wasn’t really a part of my Southern upbringing. Our fried chicken always came with 11 herbs and spices. In this part of the country, we give directions using giant fast food poultry as a landmark and guide.

This wasn’t true for The Man. His grandmother, Ma-Ma, provided him with fresh and homemade fried chicken on an apparently regular basis! Unfortunately, by the time we were married, his diminutive grandmother had been placed on a no-fat diet. When I came to visit we got Publix takeaway. (not that Publix makes bad fried chicken. If you get it fresh, it can be almost drool worthy)

So we kept on the lookout for tasty fried chicken to satisfy The Man’s primal urges. Here’s what we found:

FransFriedChicken

  • Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken in Memphis, Tennessee – I thought it was fantastic. Nice crunch and surprising red pepper flavor that didn’t singe my lips. For The Man, it lacked the honey/buttermilk flavors from his youth. This visit was part of the best anniversary ever.
  • Fran’s Chicken of Boca Raton, Florida – Now this is closer to home for him. His parents ate this chicken as newlyweds and took The Man back whenever they were in the area. I remember liking Gus’s better. We grabbed a box of legs to keep the family happy for the long drive back to the ATL.

(Neither of these fantastic fried chicken joints are anywhere near our actual home in the Atlanta suburbs)

So one Saturday I was thinking about lunch. I had just been to yoga and sweated off over 600 calories (so they say) and I was HAWNgry. The family picked me up and I said…

“We should go on a fried chicken adventure!”

We didn’t.

But the next week we did!

This kicked off a fabulous trend of fried chicken in the ATL!

I’ll add to this list as it happens, but here’s where we’ve been so far:

  1.  The Colonnade in Atlanta, GA – Currently in the lead. The chicken thigh was the best I’ve had ever. So far. The other parts were good, too. Great fried shrimp and slaw. Fantastic coconut pie. Everything I had was great except the sweet potato casserole. Way too much allspice, I think. 
  2. Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Atlanta, GA – Good chicken. Not as crunchy as we’d like. But very juicy. Especially the breast, which surprised me. Pot Likker was a surprising treat, and the banana pudding was good. I even liked the meringue. I’m usually anti-meringue. But the best surprise? Tomato Pie! What the what?! Why had I never tasted this before? It’s a revelation!CarversFriedChicken
  3. Carver’s Country Kitchen in Atlanta, GA – My brother took me to this wonderful gem just in time for the owner to announce they were closing. I’ll have to be sure to visit as many times as possible before that happens. The chicken breast (no dark meat option on this day) was tasty, but a little drier than the others I’ve had lately. I’m sure it could have been an off day. However, it had the most delicious crispy crust of them all. So far. Plus, they offered cobbler as a vegetable. It was apparent that many people are going to miss this place. I was a bit morose and it was only my first visit!

 

Check back in for more updates as I eat my way through Georgia’s fried chicken, and let me know in the comments if you have a suggestion!

 

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