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Real serious fried chicken in or near Indianapolis?

And don't say Hollyhock Hill. Does anyone do this wonderful dish properly?

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  1. Have you tried Mable's on Lafayette Road?

    1. My chowhounding family all agree that the most sublime fried chicken is only available at Cathy's Diner in Morgantown ( a short excursion from Indy). The chicken is only available on Saturday as the special. You need to be in line at the door at 4:30pm with the locals. They also have homemade mashed potatoes and creamed peas. But most importantly, after you order your chicken, you need to place your order for homemade pie. It's all fabulous, and will cost you around $8.00 for your entire meal.

      If we cannot get to Cathy's or we want chicken on a different day of the week, we go to MCL.
      I know it is a cafeteria, but I think it is always consistently good. It is very crispy.

      If you want another offbeat location, I have picniced several times on the fried chicken from the Safeway at 30th and Kessler on the west side. they use really large breasts, but it is well seasoned. My friend always buys it. I don't know what their schedule is for frying it.

      I do also like the Hollyhock Hill. I sometimes don't want the scene, but just taking the chicken takeout, and then making everything else myself makes the chicken taste even better.

      Good cluck !!

      1 Reply
      1. re: squashblossom

        For those of you desperately googling, it's Kathy's Cafe, 159 East Washington St, Morgantown In 46160.
        Haven't been, but it's now on my list for Indiana trips.

      2. There is a place in Danvill called the Mayberry Cafe. They have boneless fried chicken that they are known for. I was a little weirded out at first, but it was all kinds of tasty.

        1 Reply
        1. re: amanita80

          Bones are what make great chicken...no matter how it's prepared. Boneless chicken are for people who don't enjoy the FLAVOR of CHICKEN.

        2. Try the Iron Skillet on the west side

          3 Replies
          1. re: Cookiefiend

            Gray Brothers in Mooresville, also a cafeteria but with premium ingredients used to be spectacular. Haven't been in a few years so can't vouch for it currently.

            1. re: growler1

              I live so close to Gray Bros. I can smell the chicken frying.... It's still wonderful and you still have to wait in line - outside - on Sunday and don't even think about going on Mother's Day. The best part about Grays is they have a carry-out portion to the restaurant - you can get everything that you can get in the cafeteria to go.

              1. re: growler1

                The fried chicken is still great and the line of people that wraps around the building for it is still there!

            2. The best fried chicken is no doubt, Iron Skillet. Served up family style with mashed potatoes, gravy that tastes like gravy, green beans, corn, biscuits, apple butter, beets, lettuce wedges with their own delicious dressing, cottage cheese. OMG, I may need to make a trip. We have been eating there for almost 30 years. I never fry chicken anymore, Iron Skillet does it instead.

              1. I'm gonna have to say Iron Skillet at 30th and Cold Spring Road as well. Not really a fried chicken person, but everyone I know who is likes it. Not overly spiced, the flavor remains primarily from the chicken.

                Plus, it's a nice old (1870) converted house with one of the best hillside views you can get in a flat place like Indy. Whenever we have guests from abroad we hit there as sort of the prototypical "Hoosier" dining experience.

                Plus, they serve pickled beets with cottage cheese! Can't get much more midwest Americana than that!

                However, you say "Don't say Hollyhock Hill" and if I'm not mistaken, they're pretty much the same as Iron Skillet. I assume then you're looking for a more heavily spiced version of the dish? Then I would second another poster's recommendation of Mable's on Lafayette Road, a more heavily seasoned "soul food" version of fried chicken than Iron Skillet's or Hollyhock Hill's "Chicken, Flour, Lard" version.

                1. Personally, I think the Wagners in Oldenburg, IN has the best fried cracked pepper chicken. Oldenburg is located about 45 minutes east of Indy. It's a bar/diner in this small German town. Try it with some real sour kraut and German beer.

                  1. There is a place that has fried chicken that might surprise you. We found it by accident.

                    On the corner of I-70 and 231 in Cloverdale, there is a gas station/truck stop. All you see is the word "Restaurant".

                    Their chicken tenders, for example, are the best Ive had. I absolutely love the place and will travel 80 miles just to eat there.

                    Note: this location permits smoking, so if that bothers you, you'll want to take your food to go. Just don't go to far, though, because you may be driving right back to get more.

                    1. Mississippi Belle.
                      Cash only.

                      Mississippi Belle
                      2170 E 54th St, Indianapolis, IN 46220