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Fried Chicken - Twin Cities

Any recs for great fried chicken (not just wings) in the Twin Cities? I've tried a few places in St. Paul (Rooster's, Lee & Dee's, Hickory Hut), but I know there must be so much more out there.

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  1. I absolutely WON'T vouch for it, but there's a new chicken and waffles place in, I think, Block E. Go at your own risk, but please report back!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Loren3

      It's actually on 1st Ave, next to the former Daddy Rocks/South Beach, etc. Haven't heard anything on it yet though.

    2. I haven't been happy with Roosters, overrated I think, although it is really cheap. Just a little farther down the street on Randolph is Skinners, whose fried chicken I much prefer. It's very salty, but they serve it with jojo's and Texas Toast and it really satisfies my fried chicken urge. It's pretty cheap too--and Skinner's often has coupons floating about if you're on the look-out for them. Skinner's nachos also look very impressive, though I've never tried them.

      EDIT--one thing that might improve the Roosters, experience by the way, is to only call ahead and order it, so all you have to do is run in, pay for it, and leave so that you can minimize the amount of time you spend IN the restaurant. If you have to do any amount of waiting for your order in the restaurant, you'll leave feeling you've been misted with grease. It's been impossible for me to appreciate eating the fried chicken when I'm sitting there feeling icky because of the greasy smell in my hair and clothes. Also, the fries are really substandard there, so bad that you might as well ask them to not even bother giving them to you even when they come "free" with your bucket of chicken.


      7 Replies
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        TDQ--- I couldn't agree with you more about Roosters. I've never understood the good buzz around the place. I find their chicken to be just barely a step up from the fried chicken you get at the deli counters at most supermarkets. It's too bad-- I keep going back once or twice a year, hoping it will be better then I remembered.

        Thanks for the tip on Skinner's. I think you've mentioned them in other posts, and it's one of those place's I've driven by for years but never been to. I think I just might check out that chicken dinner tonight.

        Uncle Ira

        1. re: Uncle Ira

          Oh, I hoped you liked it. It's one of those, "I don't know if I'd cross town for it, but if I'm in the neighborhood..." kinds of places. And certainly, if you're en-route to Roosters, I'd keep going a few more blocks and go to Skinner's instead, although, I don't know if they do the big buckets of take-out the way Roosters does.

          Also, I should have mentioned when I say "fried" I think it's pressure-cooker deep-fried. I always find that the pressure-cooker frying results in a texture that's not as appealing as regular fried chicken.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            TDQ--- I did try Skinner's last night and enjoyed it. While it isn't anything "special", it's clearly a step or two up from Rooster's and it's the kind of place you're glad to know about in the neighborhood. I'm quite sure you're right about it being pressure fried, and I agree that that's somehow less satisfying. But for now I think it's more then tasty enough to keep me coming back.

            Have you ever tried the pizza there? I noticed they have a 7 inch "personal size". That's always a nice option for someone like me who lives and eats alone..

            Uncle Ira

            1. re: Uncle Ira

              Although I haven't had the chicken at Skinner's I would give the pizza the same endorsement. Good, but nothing special.

        2. re: The Dairy Queen

          I keep loving the crispiness (crispy but not molten) and juiciness of Roosters and wishing the flavor was better. Sigh.

          I'll have to try Skinners' chicken - although I have to say I haven't been very impressed with my other experiences at Skinners (a blah reuben and Sysco-esque nachos).

          1. re: diesel

            Oh no! You've dashed my hopes about the nachos! They looked like they could be very hearty. Oh well. I'll just stick to the fried chicken. By the way, Skinner's fried chicken isn't fast--plan on a 20 minute wait.


          2. re: The Dairy Queen

            Roosters pulled pork is excellent. That said, I haven't tried the chicken.

          3. The chicken and waffles at the NE Bulldog is good. Not great.

            1. Some of the best in St Paul I have found in at Scroeders ( front and dale) or the country side( sneiling and country road c) I haven't been but I have also heard great things about a place call Pop's( reviewed by city pages) on the east side

              2 Replies
              1. re: liney714

                Sadly, Pop's closed a couple of months ago.

                1. re: KTFoley

                  update on pop's-- the doors have not been unlocked for several months, it changed hands-- i think 3 times since november-- and now apparently it will be called "the secret door family cafe." the soupkitten family is willing to take one for the team and report on the new pop's when it opens.

              2. Yes. The Coop on 3rd Av and Southview in South St. Paul. It's an institution in SSP and makes some darn good fried chicken. The ribs are tender and tasty if not excessively sauced but certainly not what The Coop is known for. Don't bother with the Coneys either. Stick to the chicken.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sven

                  I realize this is five years later, but I can vouch for the Coop as well. They do a bang-up job if you're willing to wait a bit. It's a small establishment that has less seating than MPLS' Band Box, but the chicken is quite good.

                2. Other notes on Skinners:
                  1. I love the fried chicken. It's very salty but:
                  2. They have Schell's Dark on tap. It's pretty good.
                  3. The place looks like it was transported from some small town. It's got all the requisite small town bar items--bar, restaurant,pull tabs, old dusty things on the wall, uneven floor, cramped restroom. While these sound negative, if you grew up in oustate Minnesota or Wisconsin, you've been to a place like this, and probably miss it.

                  I don't think I'd cross the river to go there, but glad it's near where I live. Everybody should have something like this in their neighborhood.

                  1. I believe that MSP has a Harold's Chicken Shack. If so, I'd highly recommend it.


                    1. Thanks, Sam. I dashed straight to Harold's after work. Top notch fried chicken! Crispy, juicy, and not at all salty. The fried okra was also good (dusted in cornmeal...also not too salty). They were busy, so the wait was a little long (20-25 minutes), but I'd say it was well worth it. Also, the prices are great - 8-piece bucket and okra for $12. Note - Harold's is carry-out only.

                      I also noticed at least 3 other chicken or fish/chicken places on the Northside. I will post again if/when I have a chance to check them out.

                      1 Reply
                      1. Harold's is on the south side of Broadway Avenue just east of Penn Avenue on the northside of Minneapolis. Here's a link:


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Lionel Hutz

                          Just drove over to Harold's today based on the recommendations here.. Sorry..Harold's RIP. Closed down and locked up. Like Lucille's Kitchen, another
                          interesting place disappeared.

                        2. i know you said "not just wings" but i have to mention Nardie's on 38th and Nicollet... yum!!!!


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: MariQ

                            I want to vouch for Cheng Heng's chicken wings- definitely fried, definitely excellent-
                            juicy, crispy, not too salty.448 Univ Av W St Paul I know it's just wings but they
                            are worth it anyway

                            1. re: MariQ

                              Nardie's closed a couple weeks ago...

                            2. Formerly Art Song's in St. Paul on the NW corner of Dale and University. (half a block E from Dale) has the best full wing's. They also have their wings at the Country bar on Lyndale and Lake street, and Wings and Ribs on 38th and Nicollet. I have found that they have been slacking on their seasoning over the last 10 years or so, so I request extra (I have been enjoying these for over 20 years, perhaps i have built up a tollerance). I find their best sauce to be the sweet and sour. They also have wing specials on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also recomend the hojo potatos as a side.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: showercapcrazy

                                That place is now known as the Hickory Hut, I believe.

                              2. I recently dragged myself back to Rooster's to try the ribs after a terribly disappointing first experience ordering the fried chicken, and after seeing it named "best barbeque" in this year's City Pages "best of" issue. We got the chicken and ribs combo for $13.95 (a lot of food. Enough to share or save for leftovers.)

                                The ribs were meaty and tender and covered in a molasses sauce, which was tasty, but not my favorite. The fries were better than before--not exceptional by any means--but at least edible and not as limp as I remember. I think they were sprinkled with a bit of seasoned salt. The fried chicken was okay, but not as crispy as I like.

                                The roll was forgetable and I didn't bother with the coleslaw.

                                We were smart this time and ordered ahead so we didn't have to wait inside the restaurant and emerge, after 20 minutes, covered in a fine spray of grease.

                                Overall, so much of life is about expectations, and chow is no different. I think this place is much better when your expectations are adjusted. If you're expecting the "best" ribs and "best" chicken, you might be sorely disappointed. But, if you're expecting pretty good, or it you're really hankering for a molasses-based bbq sauce on your ribs, you'll probably be okay. I still prefer nearby Lee and Dee's for ribs and Skinners for fried chicken, but this isn't a bad take-out option, especially if you're in the neighborhood.

                                I couldn't imagine driving across town for it, though, unless you planned to take it to a nearby park as I think everything would get soggy by the time you got it home and eating-in is clearly not an option (because of the grease, and it only has 2 tables anyway.)

                                Service is wonderfully friendly and down-to-earth. http://vanity.qwestdex.com/roosterbbq...


                                3 Replies
                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  Regarding Betty Jean's Chicken and Waffles on First Ave. My boyfriend and I ate there a few months ago and he LOVED it. He had fried chicken, fried potato's, greens, and cornbread. I can't get him to elaborate on why or what he loved about it. I think it typical soul food. I tried the fried chicken (not my fav. food) and thought it was tasty; nice and crispy. I had a huge waffle which was good, but I wasn't a fan of whatever syrup I chose to top it with.. too sweet.

                                  The service was nice and friendly and patient with my many questions. Oh---My boyfriend said to tell everyone they even serve Kool-Aid. :-)

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    I sat through the entire chicken prep sequence at Roosters last year when I went in to try some, so I know what you mean, DQ.

                                    The thing that I would go back for at Roosters was their BBQ Sandwich: "smoked & stacked tender pork shoulder," as the menu says. I liked the really smoky taste.
                                    Here's the Roosters menu, BTW:

                                    I see that there is a "Memphis Style" version with coleslaw on it. I have a weakness for such wired portmanteau creations ever since having the famous Primanti Brothers sandwich in Pittsburgh (with coleslaw AND fries in the sandwich).

                                    OK, I have digressed from the fried chicken, but then I am...

                                    The Earl of Sandwich

                                    1. re: EarlOfSandwich

                                      Went to Rooster's last night for the first time..umm, am i missing something? Had both ribs and fried chicken..we kept looking at eachother like huh? Really,not very good at all. Fried Chicken was no better than TV dinner-type and the ribs were completely flavorless (we always order our ribs naked w/sauce on the side..they should be able to stand on their own..we actually put a little salt and pepper on em..) The sauce had this weird liquid smoke flavor..I know it's molasses based sauce but it had a funny taste. We live a few blocks from Pastor Hamilton's so we'll probably just stick to that. We usually are market BBQ fans though we haven't been in a while. Their sauces are great and their ribs are always served dry.

                                      For fried chicken try Dari-ette on Minnehaha in E. St.Paul kind of greasy in a good way and crispy. Plus I love it when your choice of sides includes spaghetti as well as fries or onion rings or whatever. Fried Chicken and Spaghetti. Cheeseburger and spaghetti. Shrimp Basket and Spaghetti. I just like to know it's possible to have those combos if I so choose.

                                      Porky's has pretty good fried chicken too. No spaghetti though that I know of..

                                  2. I do like the rotisserie chix at Cub, so when there last week I tried the fried chix in the deli. My expectations weren't real high, just had a hankerin. It was some of the best I've ever tasted. Warning, I did get it very early in the morning so it was probably just cooked. Important for all fried stuff of course.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: stymie

                                      I love the fried chicken at Cub. Which store location were you at? Different Cub stores have different breading coatings. I guess the corporate stores have their own special breading and the Jerry's Foods group has their own too. The chicken sales are great too...sopmething like $3.99 for an 8 piece chicken meal deal.

                                      Also found a great hole in the wall deli for fried chicken in New Brighton close to Barly Johns. It's called Annie's Deli and they are only open for lunch from 11-1 p.m. takeout only. They bread their own jo jo potatoes too :) yum-o

                                    2. I'm so glad this thread exists. I've been looking for good fried chicken for a while. I used to go to Johnny A's on Broadway in N. Mpls. They truly had the best broasted chicken that I've ever tasted. but the place went out of business. I tried skinners, and it wasn't that great. I tried roosters, and it wasn't that great. But I have to thank the person who suggested the coop in south saint paul.


                                      It's probably as good as Johnny A's (if it's made fresh). the only problem is that I have to drive 25 minutes from downtown mpls to get some good fried chicken.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: alpa chino

                                        Has anyone tried this place? I'm interested in locations in Dakota county for one-on-one meetings and events.

                                        How is the food here? Looks intriguing,

                                        1. re: karykat

                                          I trust Sven's recommendations--as long as it hasn't gone downhill, and based on al's post I'm guessing it hasn't--it's likely to be solid.

                                          (P.S. I miss Sven. And Danny. And several others.)


                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            Agreed. I lived over there 10 years ago and it was good then. If a place like that is still around, it has to be good.

                                      2. Trust me when I say that the chicken at the coop is delicious. I've only had the chicken and the fish (whiting) there. The fish was horrible--full of bones. And the fries and slaw aren't that great either. But that chicken was awesome. I think we can all agree that KFC and popeyes is out of the question. A&J fish on lake st. is not that good either--big disappointment. Harold's chicken on broadway went out of business. And I can't think of any soul food or southern restaurants around that serve fried chicken.

                                        But I'm going to try that Annie's Deli that someone mentioned. I hope that fried chicken is good.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: alpa chino

                                          The chicken is great. It's right by my office so I go there a lot. It's located in an office building right by Hwy 96 and Old Hwy 8. I suggest calling before you go b/c they sometimes shut down for a day or two b/c they are testing food (they gave away free 8 pc. chicken the other week). Guess their main business has to do with selling equipment or something. Here's their number 651-288-1344. I hope you enjoy the food as much as me and my co-workers.

                                          1. re: mnfoodie1

                                            I've driven that stretch of Old Hwy 8 a hundred times in my life, and I've never seen Annie's before. Where it is, more specifically? Assume I'm coming from highway 96.

                                            1. re: BigE

                                              Thanks for that number for annie's deli mnfoodie. I guess it's in new brighton by barley john's brew pub. The address for that is:
                                              781 Old Highway 8 SW, New Brighton, MN
                                              There's an 8, but no 96---unless it's county road D.
                                              I'm going to check out this place soon. I hope it's good.

                                              1. re: alpa chino

                                                I drove by Barley John's last night, and saw no signs of Annies. Of course, it was dark and rainy, but still.

                                                When someone finally finds it, let me know how to get there.

                                                1. re: BigE

                                                  Here's the exact address for this annie's deli:
                                                  1801 Old Hwy 8 NW
                                                  Suite 120
                                                  New Brighton. Looks like it's way north on Cnty Hwy G and 35.

                                                  This thing is nowhere near the barley johns I linked to. The lady said they're only open from 11-1 M-F. Take out only.

                                                  1. re: alpa chino

                                                    Sorry I should have explained the deli location a bit better. I just used Barley Johns as it is in New Brighton and only like 5 min away from the deli. Annie's is right by Hwy 96 and Old Hwy 8 by the hardware store Beiswenggers.

                                                    Heard they had awsome homade enciladas the other day from my co-worker.

                                                    1. re: mnfoodie1

                                                      Great, I should be able to drive past it tonight.

                                                      Assuming I find where it is, I'll give it a shot tomorrow.

                                                      1. re: mnfoodie1

                                                        Alright, so I made it to Annie's last Friday.

                                                        To describe the location more specifically, it is a New Brighton industrial park on Old Highway 8 a few blocks south of Highway 96. The easiest way to get there would be 35W to Hwy 96 and go west to Old Hwy 8. Take a left (go south) on 8 for a few blocks and you will see a little "Annie's Deli" sign sitting on the lawn of one of the industrial buildings. Turn in and go to the back of the industrial building and you'll find Annie's in the middle. Phew...yes, it's a little bit of an adventure getting there, but well worth it!

                                                        As previously mentioned, the hours are 11a-1p M-F, with take out being your only option. I got there at ~12:45, so the pickings were a little slim. I ordered a three piece meal, which comes with 2 sides for right around $7. The gentleman behind the counter (I assume the owner, although I didn't ask his name) was nice enough to give me an extra piece of chicken on the house Anyways, the side options included fresh fruit, broccoli salad, jo-jo potatoes and mashed with gravy. I opted for the broccoli salad and jo-jo's (there is also a dinner roll thrown in there).

                                                        I must preface my review by saying that my experience with fried chicken doesn't extend much beyond grocery stores, popeyes, and KFC, but I still know what's good and what isn't. That being said, this chicken was outstanding, especially considering that I got it near the end of the day and I drove around for nearly 20 minutes before I ate it. The breading was light and crispy, the meat was incredibly juicy and the flavor was just right. The jo-jo's were very good too, and I'm a huge fan of them. The broccoli salad was nice and light, with some golden raisins and a few other things I can't recall.

                                                        I will DEFINITELY be going back this Friday.

                                          2. Pardon the interruption, but we've moved a post regarding a news story about Popeyes Fried Chicken to the Food Media and News Board http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616062 Please follow that part of the discussion over there.

                                            Thank you.

                                            1. There's a restaurant in midtown global market called west indies soul. They do a deep south sundays where they serve fried chicken and fixins. I haven't tried it yet, but they're a carribean restaurant so........


                                              1. Popeye's Chicken on Lake Street has the best fried chicken, hands down. I know it's a chain, but it's a damn good one.

                                                1. I have had roosters (C) and I have had Cub (A-). My vote would be for a place on Roberts St. and Cesar Chavez in St. Paul. Michaels Pizza. Good food all around.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: STPFoodGuru

                                                    pollo campero is south st. paul and nothing i have seen is even close

                                                  2. Louisiana Famous Fried Chicken, North Minneapolis?

                                                    Edit: Sorry, I think it's a chain.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: alpa chino

                                                      it's still better chicken than skinner's et al. and they serve kool-aid

                                                    2. After many drives past and a few stop-ins without trying it, I finally got the fried chicken at Skinners. My thoughts:

                                                      1) They really care about this product, as it takes nearly half an hour to prepare. They make sure you are aware of this and that's just fine with me. You can tell it is fresh made and I appreciate that greatly.
                                                      2) The first thing I noticed is the breading. It had a distinct Shake N' Bake look and taste to it. No good.
                                                      3) The meat quality just isn't good. It had an odd flavor that I couldn't get past.

                                                      I LOVE the vibe of the bar (distinctly small town and dive-y), but I don't think I'll be getting the chicken again. :(

                                                      20 Replies
                                                      1. re: BigE


                                                        Seeing you are somone who isn't afraid of a drive to get the good stuff, I'd suggest The Brass Rail in Grandy, Minnesota. It's about an hour's drive from downtown MPLS, north on Highway 65 just past Cambridge. I'd suggest the half with broasted potatoes. I'm pretty sure it won't let you down. It is by far the best fried- broasted chicken I've had in this state, no place else even comes remotely close.

                                                        1. re: Db Cooper

                                                          Thanks for the tip. Next time I make that drive, I'll be sure to stop by.

                                                          1. re: BigE

                                                            I will second the Brass Rail rec in Grandy. I stopped there on the way up north, got the chicken to go and ate it at a nearby park. Very, very good.

                                                        2. re: BigE

                                                          Ditto on the skinners. The chicken was a big fail. Roosters is sorta close by. And it's slightly better. But not by much.

                                                          1. re: alpa chino

                                                            Neither Skinners nor Roosters is worth driving across town for. It might be worth stopping by if you're in very close proximity and you have a hankering for fried chicken and you don't mind a) wearing a fine mist of grease (Roosters) or b) waiting for 20 minutes--the more typical wait --in a dive bar (Skinners). I've never noted an "off" taste to the chicken at Skinners, but for sure for the price it's not organic/free range/cruelty free. Just your typical factory farmed chicken. Also, it can be inconsistent, which I've noticed more in the past couple of years. When they are slammed (which a half hour wait might be indicative of) and then just at random other inexplicable times. Usually that's a matter of soggy breading and not the chicken itself. If you can stand the wait, you can ask them to re-do it.

                                                            I don't like the broasted chicken at Roosters because it's fried with little to no breading.


                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              TDQ - Have you tried Country Side in Roseville? They've done broasted chicken forever. I know it might be a smidge different than true true fried chicken but CH LOVES the chicken there. They've been doing it forever - it's priced right, they're really friendly and it's crackling crispy on the outside, juicy juicy on the inside (I'm taking CH's word on this; I don't eat fried/broasted chicken). Check it out sometime. The Brass Rail that DB Cooper is referring too uses the same technique (it's Broasters trademark) ....and guess what TDQ - I don't live in St Paul anymore; I live in MORA, past Grandy and Cambridge-the restaurants are NOT anything like they are in the cities. :(

                                                              1. re: snoboardbabe77

                                                                Hey there, no, I haven't been there yet. I only heard about it recently, say, in the past 6 months, and haven't made it out there. It's on my list! I think a couple of people have given it high marks, so I definitely do want to get there one of these days! I do hope you get back to St. Paul occasionally to visit and eat great food, though.


                                                                1. re: snoboardbabe77

                                                                  Just a warning for others. I loved broasted chicken. The best was at a N. Mpls bar called Johnny A's. I loved that thing and still dream about it. Sadly, the bar closed. I went to a website that gives a bunch of locations that does broasted:

                                                                  I assumed everyone on that list would make chicken exactly like Johnny A's. So I tried Savoy Inn's broasted chicken. It was horrible. Tasted just like skinners/roosters.

                                                                  1. re: alpa chino

                                                                    I don't like broasted chicken. Perhaps that's why I like Skinner's where the breading is more substantial, though their recent inconsistency is getting irritating.


                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                      Alpa: I know that they claim that all broasted chicken is the same, but it's not just not the case. I've tried Countryside and it is no where near the same league as The Brass Rail up in Grandy. I don't know how they do it, but they've found a magic formula that other broasters just can't match.

                                                                      1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                        Where's Grandy? Sounds like I need to get there.


                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                          5 minutes north of Cambridge on Highway 65. Just take Central Avenue and head north. You'll be there in 45 minutes to an hour depending on how you lucky you are with stoplights.

                                                                          To give you an idea, my dad found out about this place when I was a kid. He handled insurance claims and had one for the Brass Rail. It listed itself as a 3.2 bar with set-ups. What was bizzare was that their food sales were almost TWENTY times their liquor sales. That's unheard of in the bar industry. So we stopped one time on the way back from Big Sandy Lake instead of going to Freddie's in Mora.

                                                                          We've never been back to Freddies for dinner since. And that was probably 25 years ago.....It just buttery, somewhat greasy, goodness. Like I said above, I recommend the half with broasted potatoes....

                                                                          And for the record, I've always dined in but they do offer it to-go as well.

                                                                        2. re: Db Cooper

                                                                          I'll try this place out, one day. It sounds like a real haul. I'm not doubting your opinion; however, I'll be going into it with low expectations. I was kinda burned by a similar place that was a long drive too. Everyone mentioned a pseudo restaurant/ test kitchen/ kitchen supply place called Annies Deli. It's only open on certain days and only open for like 2 hours during lunch--but it supposedly had good fried chix. It's north of the TC, but I can't remember where. I tried it, and it was OKAY. I'm not driving back up there though.

                                                                          I wanted to try a place on Lake street uptown called 1 flavor cafe, a soul food shop. Supposed to be good chicken. Never got around to it, place is closed.

                                                                          1. re: alpa chino

                                                                            if Annies is a long drive for you this place will be a odyssey. I agree though, Annies was fairly plain, about par with Cub, if that.

                                                                            1. re: alpa chino

                                                                              It's a drive no doubt. Work it in sometime when you have a reason to be north of the cities.

                                                                              1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                                The Brass Rail has probably THE best fried, broasted whatever chicken I've ever had including homemade. I'm assuming I happened upon this place because Hwy. 10 was under construction or something as I never take this route up north.

                                                                                1. re: KC612

                                                                                  Thanks for the back-up KC612 and I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed it. I've never been let down by the place and I'm glad to hear the quality is still as good as it ever was. Highway 65 isn't my usual route to MacGregor either anymore, but I go out of my way intentionally just for that chicken. I may have to pack the wife up Memorial weekend for a bite!

                                                                                  1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                                    No prob. That's some damn good chicken!

                                                                                2. re: Db Cooper

                                                                                  If you're in the northern burbs, it's not a drive. 35W and highway 96 is what you're looking for.

                                                                                  And I tend to agree about the product. I've enjoyed it, but it's not THAT far ahead of a good Cub batch.

                                                                                  1. re: BigE

                                                                                    The Brass Rail is in Grandy right on Highway 65 about 4 or 5 miles north of Cambridge. If you are in the Northern Suburbs, Central Avenue turns into Highway 65. If you are coming up 35W from the cities, you will want to look for Highway 95 and take that west to Cambridge and then go North on 65 to Grandy.

                                                                                    35W and 96 is in Mounds View which is still a good 30 minutes south of Grandy.

                                                                                    And if we're talking about the same place (which I can't believe we are), Cub ain't in the same ballpark. It's ain't in the same league. Heck, it's ain't even the same sport as The Brass Rail.

                                                                2. My next attempt at decent fried chicken is the Tin Cup on Rice street. Ive heard good things.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: showercapcrazy

                                                                    I think that people opting about chicken here should qualify if it was eaten on site or taken to go. Skin quality will be directly affected by the steam. Case and point, shorty and wags. Styro take out container with deli paper liner= steam shower. Dining in at Shorty and Wags? Crispy, crunchy, salty deliciousness. Btw they are closing on october 30th and relocating up north, so get your fix...

                                                                    1. re: mitch cumstein

                                                                      I've got a real hard time liking that Shorty and wags. The wings have a good flavor on the outside skin, but falls really flat inside. And the wings seem skimpy to me. The sides are just plain horrible. The greasy oily rice? and the super salty turkey bone green thing? I've really given that place many chances, but......................

                                                                      1. re: alpa chino

                                                                        Sad to say, but yes Shorty & Wags has gone downhill. When it originally was
                                                                        Art Songs Wings, it was awesome, then Wings & Things (great short ribs!) but now the wings are so small and not at all like they used to be.
                                                                        Lonespur Bar & Grill off of Cedar Lake Rd and Hopkins Crossroads (Cty 73) in Hopkins is the real deal, tastes like Art Songs Wings used to. They have the same great spice (and lots of it) but they always bring them to you right out of the fryer, blistering hot. Think they call them the Mopo Wings, not the small ones but the big wings, talking 4 inch long incredible tasting wings, arm and drummy attached.

                                                                        1. re: Royboy1256

                                                                          "Shorty & Wags has gone downhill."

                                                                          I suppose that's one way of saying it. "Shorty & Wags has closed." is kind of how I would phrase it.

                                                                          If you like the Art Song's style, Hickory Hut (Univ. and Dale in St. Paul) is the place.

                                                                  2. 4. BREAK-AWAY BAR & GRILL (5.1 miles)
                                                                    4080 W BROADWAY AVE STE 103
                                                                    ROBBINSDALE MN 55422
                                                                    Phone: 763-531-8411
                                                                    Type of Location: Restaurant

                                                                    Went there and ordered the half Broasted Chicken and upon finishing I ordered another half, it was that good!

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Royboy1256

                                                                      Hasn't been called the Break-Away in over a year. The new name is "The Lodge"


                                                                      1. re: johnnybgargoyle

                                                                        Thx Johnny, headed there for lunch today as they sad they put it back on the menu.

                                                                    2. Didn't City Pages settle this? Pizza Ranch!

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: kevin47

                                                                        Good thing this thread popped back up, because I've been meaning to make a post about Pizza Ranch.

                                                                        I was in Carroll, Iowa for a wedding and finally made my first trip to Pizza Ranch. I can't possibly say enough good things about the place...seriously. The pizza was very good (as good as buffet pizza can get) and the fried chicken was outstanding. Let's keep in mind that my standards for fried chicken are MN quality, but I absolutely love the stuff. The flavor was there and the meat was as moist as you can get. The skin wasn't as crisp as some people insist on, but that doesn't make or break the bird for me.

                                                                        I'm glad the closest one is in Champlin, or I'd be there every week.

                                                                        1. re: BigE

                                                                          In a pinch craving Hot Fried Chicken, give the Cub in St. Louis Park (Knollwood) a try. On Monday's an 8-piece (2 wings, 2 breasts, 2 thighs and 2 legs) runs $4.99 and it's got some kick. Hang out till a new batch comes right out of the fryer and eat a few pieces at their tables right by the Deli. mitch (above post) called it right, deli paper and hot product = soggy.
                                                                          Closest Pizza Ranch is in Champlin???

                                                                          1. re: BigE

                                                                            I had no idea there was a Pizza Ranch in Champlin. I'll have to give the chicken a try. Thanks!

                                                                            1. re: BigE

                                                                              Hmmmm...I will have to pull out my map and figure out where Champlin is. I've sworn off of Skinners, which I recommended upthread about a hundred years ago. It's no longer a place I recommend.


                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                The one in Champlin is maybe 2 miles south of Q Fanatic, right on 169, just south of the river (and Highway 10). A bit of a jaunt, but it's the closest for me...and definitely worth the stop.

                                                                                None of the "Twin Cities" locations are within the 94 loop, FWIW. They are still on the outskirts, but I have a feeling they will continue moving in.

                                                                              2. re: BigE

                                                                                I agree, the Pizza Ranch has pretty good chicken. More locations in the TC (11) than I would have thought:
                                                                                I'm not a fan of the "Christian Country" music they pipe in though (at least at the Lakeville locale)

                                                                                1. re: johnnybgargoyle

                                                                                  I don't know that I would consider most of those TC. Never knew there was one in Champlain though. I transferred to MSU Mankato this semester, theres one here and I would also say that the fried chicken is pretty good. don't know if this goes for all locations but here they give discounts with college ID, on Sundays its only $6 for buffet.

                                                                            2. Magnolias on Payne and Magnolia on the East Side of St. Paul has great fried chicken. It is the quintessential neighborhood place--also great breakfast, hot turkey sandwiches made with real turkey, biscuits. . .we drive it from Mac Groveland routinely for breakfast (I get wings with my breakfast!)

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Haricotsv2

                                                                                Second for Magnolia's. If you call ahead they will make you a family-sized take-out order with mashed potatoes, gravy and cole slaw for an excellent price. This is a great option for family gatherings with small kids, IME.

                                                                                1. re: eastsidegirl

                                                                                  I third and fourth Magnolias. Wow, this chicken was really good. It was fresh, it was nicely seasoned,and moist. And the sides were pretty good too--I liked the coleslaw. Thumbs up for Magnolia's fried chicken.

                                                                              2. This is fantastic. I've got these new places to try out:

                                                                                The lodge
                                                                                Pizza Ranch

                                                                                And not really sure if driving 52 miles for the Brass Rail is worth it.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: alpa chino

                                                                                  According to City Pages, Left Handed Cook at Midtown Global Market has great fried chicken.


                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                    I just tried the 21 spice fried chicken at the Left Handed Cook yesterday. It was delicious! The chicken was moist and tender. The breading was so good and provided just the right amount of enough heat and flavor. I would definitely get it again. It came with rice, a cute little side salad and one side ( try the brussel sprouts ).

                                                                                    1. re: St3ve

                                                                                      Was there a crispy breaded skin on the chicken? I only ask because the place is asian-fusion. Not sure what to expect.

                                                                                      1. re: alpa chino

                                                                                        Good question. No, I don’t recall any skin on the 21 spice fried chicken at the Left Handed Cook. There were three boneless white meat filets. Delicious, but to be precise it really doesn’t belong in the category of 'fried chicken on the bone with the skin still on'.

                                                                                2. I recommend the chicken and waffles (with bacon maple syrup) on Haute Dish's brunch menu. I'm not a huge fan of chicken overall, but if it all tasted this good, I would eat it all the time! Also, I reheated it in the microwave later that evening, and it was still crunchy!!!

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: sparkley

                                                                                    Mine was undercooked (raw spots on the inside... oof) but otherwise it's a delicious dish.

                                                                                    1. re: kevin47

                                                                                      Raw chicken is inexcusable. I hope they comp'd it.