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Best Fried Chicken in Houston?

My husband loves fried chicken, and constantly begs me to make it. I used to, but it isn't my cup of tea, and the way I make it is a lot of time and work. Mine is double dipped with seasonings in the breading. So, where do you go for a fried chicken fix? We have tried the chains, and Bar-B-Que Inn on crosstimbers (which I thought was bland and salty, but he likes it) but there has to be somewhere else.

Thanks

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  1. Have you tried Frenchy’s on Scott near UH/TSU? Often touted as the best in town but it may not be to your husband’s taste if he likes BBQ Inn; it’s spicy, Creole style. They’ve established locations around the city so you don’t have to go down to Scott St. and contend with the crowds and surly service Seasoned fries are good, red beans and rice and the greens are excellent.

    Next to Frenchy’s my choice is Pollo Campero, actually a Central American chain with a few locations. The chicken is marinated and pressure cooked so it’s real juicy but not greasy.

    For another one similar to BBQ Inn you might try Dinner Bell Cafeteria on Wayside @ Lawndale. I only tried it once and thought it very similar to BBQ Inn (I agree with the bland part of your assessment but I don’t remember it as being salty – haven’t been in several years. The only thing I ever found at BBQ Inn which I thought was good were the fried shrimp). The pieces I got at Dinner Bell were huge but go at mealtime so it’ll be fresh - I got there about 2:30pm I think and mine was a little dry from sitting under the heat lamp. People rave about the bake shop but I didn’t try it.

    Speaking of cafeterias that have been in business forever, how about Cleburne on Bissonett next to Channel 13? Food is very good, portions humongous, but my experience with their fried food has been disappointing - it’s always seemed to have a burnt taste to it, cfs, fried fish, fried chicken, which gives me indigestion, but they do have it available everyday.

    http://www.cleburnecafeteria.com/

    I think Harry’s Cafeteria on Tuam @ Bagby has fc one day a week. They used to have a website with their daily specials but I can’t find it now. My choice over the others, if they do it; better food, more reasonable portions.

    This Is It Soul Food on W. Gray also does fc one day a week, I think.

    Then there’s this place, reviewed recently and on my list of places to try:

    http://www.mylesj.com/index.cfm

    Buttermilk and Creole spices – sounds interesting.

    Lots of places do Chicken Fried Chicken, which seems to mean just the breast or strips. Some places that offer that that I think would probably be good would be Avalon Diner and Kelley’s Country Cooking, also Soul on the Bayeaux (IIRC).

    7 Replies
    1. re: brucesw

      Thanks for all the suggestions. We have tried Frenchy's. It was pretty good, but I have a feeling that it had been sitting under the heat lamps a bit too long - crispy on the outside but tough on the inside. He does like the spicy kick (that's how I make it) so that's not a problems. That is why I am baffled about his fondness at BBQ Inn!

      We tried Pollo Campero a long time ago, when it first came to town, but maybe we should re-visit that. I am also going to test Cleburnes, and I'll check out the daily specials you mentioned.

      The chicken fried chicken idea works for me, but not him! I have told him time and again that it is the same formula, just without bones, but he just doesn't get it. Says it's just not the same. Go figure!

      Thanks a lot!

      1. re: danhole

        I don't think I've ever had that problem at Frenchy's. Usually the business is so brisk and the turnover is so fast..... Lately, though, it seems to be greasier than it used to be. I probably only go for fc 3 or 4 times a year, but when I want it, I want some dark meat, actually, frequently only dark meat. Part of the problem with blandness is the meat itself due to the way the birds are raised, what they're fed, and how young they are slaughtered. FC ain't what it used to be.

        Here's a link for This Is It: http://www.thisisithouston.com/html/i... It says smothered fried chicken on Monday, just smothered chicken on W/F/Sun? Please report back if you find anything good.

        1. re: brucesw

          We went to the one on West Little York, and there were tons of chicken laying under the lights - that should have been a clue. Maybe we need to go to the one by UofH. I heard that's the best one.

          1. re: danhole

            OK, a dumb question here (for anybody to answer). My Mother made great fried chicken and I have too, though not in a long time, but gravy was never part of it. I see all these places serving fried chicken or chicken fried chicken with gravy -- do you pick it up to eat it, or do you have to hassle with a knife and fork? Messy?

            1. re: brucesw

              If you make fried chicken, you have to make gravy from the drippings but you serve the gravy on mashed potatoes. You eat the chicken with your hands. If you make chicken fried chicken, which is like chicken fried steak with a flattened chicken breast, then you make the gravy and serve it on top of the chicken. In that case you use a knife and fork.

              I saw the menu you posted for This Is It and they had "Smothered fried chicken". I have no idea what that would be. I like my fried chicken un-smothered thank you very much!

      2. re: brucesw

        +1 for Frenchy's and Pollo Campero

        1. re: jaime24g

          Frenchy's is way too salty now and I love salt. I still eat it but man the salt is tough.
          For fast food Pollo Camperos is great.

          IMO real fried chicken is pan fried in a cst iron skillet and I don't know anyone doing that? The crust carmelizes on the bottom of the pan creating a crunchy and chewy experience. Then there is the gravy made from the drippings!

      3. hi danhole, hi again. i'm constantly disappointed in the amount of posts there are related houston which is why i check in so randomly. i seem to keep coming across old posts of yours and want to comment on them (i do realize this one is 8 months old, lol).

        like your DH, i like the fried chicken at barbeque inn too. i've had it 3 times now and never found it bland or salty. the crispiness and flakiness of the batter is what is so appealing. i also like that it is slowcooked and made to order (hence the 20 min wait) so the chicken is very tender and juicy. i do have a gripe that it is extremely greasy. also, i agree with bruce that the fried shrimp there are wonderful.

        i just had frenchy's again a couple weeks ago when my brother brought home a whole box of it. i had written frenchy's off b/c i always find it too salty and the chicken too dry for my taste. again, my opinions were confirmed.

        the fried chicken at max's wine dive is where i usually go to get my fix. it is slowcooked and made to order so there is a 20 min wait too, but it is so worth it. (everything requiring a wait seems to taste better, no? like the roasted bone marrow at catalan which also takes 20 mins) the chicken itself isn't too fancy schmancy, the batter is jalapeno buttermilk and makes for a crispy, flaky skin (but not as thick as bbq inn's) and the jalapeno doesn't really come across to me. the chicken is always moist and tender. it is accompanied by collard greens, marscapone mashed potatoes, and chipotle honey in a ramekin on the side. the combination of fried salty goodness, slightly bitter greens, creamy potatoes, and chipotle honey which i use sparingly is so delightful. however, it does have an $18 price tag on it which i don't mind paying. here's their menu: http://www.maxswinedive.com/Menus/spr...

        5 Replies
        1. re: neverfull

          MAX's chicken is not the best in town...it can't be! I could say lots of things about MAX's, but they are providing a service that is in demand and the people of Houston are buying into.... Let's just say it's not one of my favorite places.

          I have been in Houston for 6 months and have yet to find real "down home" fried chicken or "real" barbeque... I'll drive up to an hour out of town to find real back country Texas home cookin'...if someone can give me directions...

          1. re: chefaltieri

            "real" bbq.... Have you been to Burns? Its about as reall as it gets.

            1. re: jscarbor

              This is my first post.
              I read this Fried Chicken post yesterday and unfortunately didn't read the last post about Max's Dive. It is a Dive !!! Unfortunately, we went to Max's, YUK, YUK, YUK. It reminded me of the dark Cellar Club Downtown in the 70's. I think they are supposed to have the feeling of NY, but I'm not sure.
              THE FRIED CHICKEN WAS AWFUL. The previous post must have been from a faithful employee. I must admit the employees are quite nice. The chicken was 18.00 and was fried with almost no crust and quite dry.
              All but 2 of the tables had reserved forcing us to sit right by the bathroom. What was that about ??? No one every showed up !!!

              I am a southerner and feel duped by the statement that this chicken is good
              The best fried chicken I have eaten is at Luby's cafeteria. Also, for the people in the northern area, try The Potato Patch. Quite a fun place.
              Of course, if you want to get depressed and sit at a bar with the excuse of drinking expensive wine, then try Max's.

              1. re: carolstropicals

                lol, i'm not an employee of max's. i think a lot of people here can vouch for me on that fact. the chef that opened max's, a very talented guy by the name of jonathan jones left to take the executive chef position at the americas woodlands. since his departure, the quality at max's has definitely plummeted. i wrote about my last experience which was disappointing on my food & restaurant blog. but way to jump to conclusions!

                the fried chicken wasn't nearly as bad as you say though, but i've heard in the rumor mill that they have gone through 3 chefs since jj left. sounds like things are getting worse over there. the owners are opening a max's in downtown austin and after that dallas. they may be more focused on the concept these days than the quality or execution of their original location.

                i'm sorry you had a poor experience. to make it up to you, my favorite fried chicken now that i have scratched max's off my list is barbeque inn. their fried shrimp is also fantastic. i have actually been to potato patch but not for fried chicken. good southern comfort food.

                1. re: neverfull

                  There is no fried chicken at Potaoe Patch. It is chicken fried chicken and that is not what he likes. Has to have bones!

        2. This is my first post.
          I read this Fried Chicken post yesterday and unfortunately didn't read the last post about Max's Dive. It is a Dive !!! Unfortunately, we went to Max's, YUK, YUK, YUK. It reminded me of the dark Cellar Club Downtown in the 70's. I think they are supposed to have the feeling of NY, but I'm not sure.
          THE FRIED CHICKEN WAS AWFUL. The previous post must have been from a faithful employee. I must admit the employees are quite nice. The chicken was 18.00 and was fried with almost no crust and quite dry.
          All but 2 of the tables had reserved forcing us to sit right by the bathroom. What was that about ??? No one every showed up !!!

          I am a southerner and feel duped by the statement that this chicken is good
          The best fried chicken I have eaten is at Luby's cafeteria. Also, for the people in the northern area, try The Potato Patch. Quite a fun place.
          Of course, if you want to get depressed and sit at a bar with the excuse of drinking expensive wine, then try Max's.

          2 Replies
          1. re: carolstropicals

            carol,

            Not to defend Max's, because I have never been there, but I think since neverfull was there last the chef that started with the place has left and the quality has gone down. That is what I have read looking at food blogs and other review type sites. Oh, and neverfull is not an employee. I know that for a fact.

            I never thought about going to Luby's. That may be worth a try. I looked at the menu for the Potatoe Patch and they don't have fried chicken, just chicken fried chicken which if you read a previous post about my DH, that just doesn't do it for him. But the menu looks pretty good, and lots of variety. Is most of the food good?

            1. re: danhole

              Oh, well, just having fun with a bad food experience. The Potatoe Patch is a fun place with lots of comfort food. Down Home - Glad I don't live to the north. I can't do with any more calories.
              Also my experience with Cleburne's fried chicken was awful. Terribly dry - so much so that I got my money back. Hope you find a good chicken place !!

          2. The fried chicken wings served with waffles at Breakfast Klub are pretty spectacular. Always crispy, always juicy, almost never greasy. Triple A on Airline does a pretty good fried chicken as well, even if it is a bit more bland then I like it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: foodpro13

              We haven't tried the Breakfast Klub. Not sure DH would want waffles, but if the wings are that good, I could eat his waffles! How many wings do you get?

              We have tried Triple A and here is my post about that:

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/487554

              1. re: danhole

                As I recall, it's three, maybe four, whole wings.

                1. re: foodpro13

                  i remember 3 wings at BK too. the fried chicken there is too salty to me and very similar to frenchy's chicken which i find too salty too.

                  i like a flakier crust on my chicken. actually, i'm pretty happy with popeye's and i've been meaning to go to hartz on memorial to get chicken fried gizzards which i haven't had since i was a kid.

            2. The original comment has been removed