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Jul 26, 2005 10:12 AM

Gus' Fried Chicken

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A new branch of Gus' Fried Chicken is open in Bartlett. North of the Galleria. I have heard of this establishment for years, but never tried the one downtown Memphis. Is it as good as I have been told? Or overhyped?

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  1. try it and tell us. It's cheap and worth trying once. Be a chowhound.

    Personally I love it for what it is. I love good old regular fried chicken too, but Gus's is really good. I can't imagine what it's like in Bartlett though. The atmosphere in a strip mall would have to be less than good. The atmosphere downtown is pretty perfect for that sort of place. Diverse, with plenty of people having a great time, as well as plenty of families and kids.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Tater
      Randal Cooper

      I've had mixed experiences at Gus's--sometimes really salty, sometimes excellent. Their spot in Mason was always hopping and full of a diverse crowd, too, but I'm not sure how a Bartlett location will compare.

      Between A&R, Jimmy's Chicago Style Hot Dogs, Dyer's, and Gus's Fried Chicken, Bartlett could become a Chowhound Mini-Mecca. Or at least on more stop on the road to a quintuple bypass.

      1. re: Randal Cooper
        Randal Cooper

        I had the opportunity to visit Gus's in Bartlett for lunch today, and sadly I'm reminded how a former manager referred to a colossal screw-up as an "opportunity." Sat at a table covered with scraps from previous meals (which was eventually cleaned off), sat there for ten more minutes waiting on a waitress, sat there for forty minutes waiting on food, which finally arrived after I'd seen two sets of customers completely filter through the restaurant and I voiced a complaint, sat there for ten more minutes waiting for a bill to arrive, and when I noticed my waitress sitting at the table Right Next To Mine taking a break, I finally decided to go to the register to pay, sans bill.

        There I was told that I HAD to wait for my waitress to give me a bill, otherwise the chef would get mad. I told them that they should concern themselves a bit more with ME getting mad, and if the chef had a problem with it I'd be more than happy to have a chat with him. I paid, and left.

        I realize it's the first week open for these guys, but I'd think for a seven-fifty plate of chicken you'd be able to hire a waitress or two with more experience than wiping off the school cafeteria when it was their week during the third grade.

        The chicken? Kinda bland, actually, not really comparable to the other Gus's sites in town. Overall, the place needs to re-think just how far a name will take them when the food and service are lacking.

        1. re: Randal Cooper
          K. R. Currey

          My wife and I went to the Bartlett location Saturday, the 30th for lunch and the entire experience was absolutely abysmal. We sat down shortly after 11 a.m. and the place was already in chaos. The chef was being very abusive (and LOUD) in berating the kitchen help; to the point that my ears were literally ringing from the volume. At this point, we asked our waitress if we could move closer to the front of the restaurant,explaining how the volume of this man's voice was making our dining experience unpleasant.

          After moving to a different table and receiving our food, our waitress dropped off our ticket. This act marked the end of her voluntary interaction with us. Those familiar with Gus's product know that the chicken is spicy, so we would have appreciated at least semi-regular check-ins to ensure our drinks were adequately refilled. The fact that the white meat portions were dry as a bone and mostly inedible compounded this problem.

          My wife finally flagged down our waitress to ask for a drink refill. I wasn't paying attention, but my wife assures me that the server looked directly at my own empty glass and did or said nothing. The server returned later to unceremoniously and wordlessly plop my wife's refill on the table-- she seemed put out by the fact that my wife had requested a refill. I must also point out that not one, but two hostesses sat at the register completely unoccupied and talking casually while customers were neglected. Perhaps manpower could be cross-trained in how to operate a drink fountain?

          Finally, a customer came in to pick up a large order, and a door was left open for a significant passage of time, letting in heat, flies, and assorted other insects until an employee finally shut it.

          I sincerely hope that this post does not come across a nit-picky or petty, but my wife and I have a great deal of experience in the food service and hospitality industries, and we found Gus's Bartlett location egregiously inadequate on every level. The loud and abusive demeanor of the chef was the chief turnoff, although the quality of the food and the level of service didn't lag far behind.

          Perhaps this establishment is merely working out opening week imperfections, but there were enough readily-fixable problems encountered during our visit to discourage us from further visits to the Bartlett franchise.

          respectfully submitted...

          1. re: K. R. Currey
            Randal Cooper

            Yep, that pretty much summed up my experience, too (Also, incidentally, July 30). I wonder if we should print these out and tape 'em to the door in the middle of the night? ;)

            1. re: K. R. Currey

              Your review was pretty accurate. My brother works at the Wolfchase Galleria and he pretty much said the same things about the food...dry, overcooked chicken and poor service.

      2. I'm a former Memphis resident (1993 - 1996 during college). I don't have much to offer by way of an answer to the quality of the new location in Bartlett, but I can tell you that our trip to the original location in Mason with my family one Christmas vacation in 1997 stands out as one of the best food detours we've ever taken, period. What a joy to search that place out, find it, take it over with a raucous crowd of 15 people, and eat the best fried chicken I've ever had. The shack environment was hysterical. A dusty jukebox was on hand which was fantastic when my then 18 year old brother decided to play "Colors" by Ice-T. Classic. The vinyl on the booths was splitting, fly paper hung from the ceiling, and the glass was all covered with years of smoke from lovely bits of chicken frying away in cast iron in bubbling baths of peanut oil. I remember each table we took up to this day and I also remember every single platter of fried chicken was destroyed. Not a single bit of crispy skin could be found anywhere. We gladly bought Gus' souvenir shirts and went on our merry way, never to return again nor ever to have such delicious fried chicken.

        R. Jason Coulston

        3 Replies
        1. re: Jason_Coulston

          I'm not sure that the "new" location is so new anymore- this thread is from 2005! I don't think that there even is a Gus's in Bartlett anymore- someone mentioned Dyer's being there, and I know for sure that it has gone too.

          Thanks for the trip down memory lane though...

          1. re: Clarkafella

            The Gus' chicken is still in the same location in Bartlett. They must do a pretty good business, but it is not my fav.

            1. re: Clarkafella

              We moved here in October of 2008 and Dyer's became an instant favorite, but as we all know, once we find somethihng we like, something happens and it disappears! Why is that? Dyer's left in the summer of 2009 and that makes me very sad. They had the best fried green tomatoes ever and the one downtown doesn't do half the things they did.

              I've been wondering about Gus's. We were riding motorcycles down 70 yesterday and saw the one in Mason.. the one in Bartlett is still there, but I haven't eaten there, yet. If anyone knows of a good place to get fried green tomatoes, please please please let me know. I'm dying here! :)