June 12, 2012

Gus's Fried Chicken

Location: 310 S Front St, Memphis
Cost: $10
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon

Ack, I apologize for the glaring lack of posts over the past few weeks!  It's been a long and hectic ride, what with me finally becoming a doctor and whatnot.  Fortunately, amidst all the cap tossing, lofty speeches, and hanging with the fam, I haven't left out good eats & drinks!  Take a look at the CCE twitter feed for a preview of reviews to come, but for now, it's time to finish up the Epic Southern Road Trip.

the chicken thinks so, why not you?



Yien and I nearly crashed our rental car getting to this place.  Having just arrived in Memphis after a long afternoon's drive up from NOLA, we were famished and desperate for some good, wholesome food before heading off to the Grizzlies-Clippers playoff game later that night.  Butter, chicken, and a deep fryer full of oil make up a wholesome meal, right?


First things first, this place was packed.  At 4 in the afternoon, that's a very good sign.  Secondly, I dunno if you can tell from the above photo, but there were no asians among the 50 or so guests at Gus's.  Perhaps a bad sign?  We Asians love our fried chicken, that's for sure.


There isn't much else on the menu here besides fried chicken, but why would you come here if you weren't partaking of Gus's crispy-yet-juicy-enough-to-stain-the-bread-on-which-it-stands chicken?  Standard Memphis side dishes are avails, including cole slaw, baked beans, fried rice (?), and french fries.  The baked beans here were pretty delish with a nice, sweet brown sugar flavor to it, but were nothing to write home about really.  Ditto goes for the cole slaw, which was a little too creamy for my tastes (creamy cole slaw always makes me think it's gone bad).  But come on, you're here to read about the chicken.


In a word, crisptastic.  Gus's breading makes for a uniquely crispy piece of fried chicken, because I haven't had too many fried drumsticks that had this much crunch to it.  The chicken underneath was incredibly moist and well-seasoned to boot, likely the result of the "secret spice blend" that Gus's throws into their breading and their chicken.  If you're of the particularly indulgent (read: artery-clogging) type, that piece of white bread that's soaking up all the excess grease from the fried chicken pieces is your best (and worst) friend.  It's like eating another piece of their fried chicken, only all you're getting is the flavor of the skin.


All that said, I wish Gus's put more spice into their "spicy" chicken.  I didn't taste too much heat, if any, and the seasoning could have been a little deeper as well.  It didn't help me that I had just had an incredible, possibly alcohol-enhanced fried chicken experience in New Orleans only a few days before, so I had a basis with which to compare.  But for providing a worthy competitor for the title of best fried chicken I've ever had, Gus's Fried Chicken earns 4 Cherries.

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