Frickin' Good Chicken
Americans can find a reason to celebrate anything — it seems like every day is a “National Day" of something. Just a few days ago was National Stay Out of the Sun Day and National Visitation of The Virgin Mary Day. While those two days sound about as fun as a root canal, there are some “National Days” that I feel are worth celebrating.
Friday, July 6 happens to be one of them. It's a national holiday that we can all celebrate to our stomachs' content: National Fried Chicken Day. With so many places in Austin known for their fried chicken, skip the Colonel and visit one of CultureMap’s picks. Feel free to thank us later.
With a slogan like “Fried chicken and champagne?...Why the hell not?!” it’s hard to pass on Max’s Wine Dive. Located on San Jacinto and Second Street, Max’s has some of the best fried chicken this writer has ever tasted. Pair your fried chicken with wine or champagne from Max's extensive collection, and be sure to check out the juke box while you're there.
Located off College Avenue just west of South Congress, Lucy’s Fried Chicken combines a homestyle atmosphere with five-star restaraunt quality. Lucy’s basket of fried chicken is out of this world. Marinated in a “secret buttermilk blend” and deep fried, pair it with a locally-crafted beer (on tap or in the can) and enjoy an authentic all-Texas meal. Be sure to save room for one of the equally famous pies for dessert. I recommend the sweet tea or the s’mores.
Serving a southern soul food classic, Lucky J’s originally gained its reputation as a red food trailer located on East Sixth Street. Lucky J's has mastered the art of chicken and waffles, going so far as to make it easier to eat by creating the chicken and waffle taco (fried chicken inside a waffle “tortilla”). Lucky J’s is one of the few food trailers successful enough to expand to a brick and mortar location off of Burnet Road. Try the chicken and waffle taco and you'll understand why.
Born and raised in Lake Charles, LA, Lola Stephens knows her cajun cuisine. Among a large menu of classic soul food dishes is her fried chicken wing dinner. The wings come with two sides and some of the best cornbread in Travis County. Not only is Lola’s food absurdly good, she is a modern saint, closing her restaurant on Sundays to feed the homeless.
Ms. P’s fried chicken and her truffle mac n’ cheese haunt my dreams on a regular basis. I first tried this food trailer two SXSWs ago and have been a frequent visitor since. Serving only fresh (never frozen), no hormone, no additive, local free-range chicken, Electric Cock has built a reputation for having some of the most flavorful chicken in town. Head to her South Congress location and be sure to give Ms. P a “hello” in the kitchen.
24 Diner’s chicken and waffles with brown sugar butter is one of the best late night meals in town. The diner serves “chef-inspired comfort food,” but I am rarely comfortable after feasting on a massive plate of chicken and waffles. Fear not: There is a smaller option for the less brave. The brown sugar butter adds an interesting kick to this southern classic and is sure to cure your craving on this most notable of days.
After writing this article, I can say that I'll be fully embracing National Fried Chicken Day. It's just that deciding where to go for lunch is going to be a very difficult decision.