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Southern Style Fried Chicken in Calgary

ilikebigmactoo Sep 11, 2009 12:29 PM

Dear Chowhounds,

Do I have a challenge for you!

So recently I was reading a foodie book, and the author spoke about the fried chicken he had in the Southern USA.

So my question is, where is the best fried chicken in Calgary?

  1. j
    johnjohnson78 Dec 15, 2012 05:20 PM

    I would second Olives as some of the best fried chicken in town. That being said, I stumbled upon some amazing fried chicken earlier this week. Two of my buddies had a few beers and dragged me to the Elbow River Casino to play poker on wednesday night. After winning a bit of $$ I was wandering out the front door when I noticed a little deli counter to the left of the front door.

    The chicken was very well seasoned, SUPER crispy and not at all greasy. The wedges were also perfectly done. I wouldn't expect many folks to go to a casino as a destination restaurant, but if you happen to be on your way to/from the saddle dome, it's well worth a try.

    3 Replies
    1. re: johnjohnson78
      slingshotz Jan 9, 2013 08:15 AM

      You must had a unique batch, we tried it the other day and it was terrible :(

      Bland, small pieces and not juicy. It was a new batch out of the fryer too.

      1. re: slingshotz
        johnjohnson78 Jan 10, 2013 12:26 AM

        It could indeed have been a freak incident. I was shocked that it was actually good to be honest. Huge piece, heavily seasoned and super crispy. I guess I'll have to be careful about recommending this joint in the future....

      2. re: johnjohnson78
        plateofshrimp Jan 11, 2013 09:47 AM

        Just be clear, Olives =/= Olive Chicken. Olives is a resto over in Victoria Park. Olive Chicken is on 10 Ave SW a little bit east of 14 St. Tiny place with fantastic Korean fried chicken.

      3. b
        bossyblossom Dec 15, 2012 07:53 AM

        that really sucks................. its the closest to my home country kfc, and I have major cravings for tht chicken:(

        1 Reply
        1. re: bossyblossom
          plateofshrimp Dec 15, 2012 02:56 PM

          Best fried chicken in Calgary is at Olive Chicken on 10th Ave SW east of 14 St, in the plaza with all the Korean businesses. Korean fried chicken is AMAZING. Their fries are excellent.

        2. b
          bossyblossom Dec 15, 2012 07:23 AM

          is there a Poppeye's in calgary?

          2 Replies
          1. re: bossyblossom
            tex_in_yyc Dec 15, 2012 07:41 AM


            1. re: bossyblossom
              plateofshrimp Dec 15, 2012 02:54 PM

              The only Canadian Popeyes is in Toronto.

            2. h
              hclass May 12, 2010 12:26 PM

              Went to Fritou canyon meadows location over the weekend. After what seemed to be a 15-20 minute wait I got handed 4 small pieces of overfried chicken. Fries were similar to McCains. My pal who got the chicken sandwich enjoyed it though. My other pal who had a 3 piece said it's ok.
              Only a takeout place so we went to fish creek park and no plastic cutlery in any of our bags to try the coleslaw which seemed very watery.
              Chicken on the way is still my fav here. Good spices, corn fritters and the chicken breasts are still juicy.

              1. 2
                23skidoo Mar 29, 2010 01:17 PM

                Looks like there's several Mary Brown's restaurants in Calgary now (SE and NE). I haven't eaten there, but it could be another fast-food fried chicken option.

                2 Replies
                1. re: 23skidoo
                  sleddog Mar 30, 2010 09:07 AM

                  The International Hotel has a southern fried chicken that is surprisingly good.
                  Their restaurant is not the greatest but they make some pretty good food. A bit if a hidden gem.

                  1. re: 23skidoo
                    slingshotz Mar 30, 2010 11:22 AM

                    I've tried quite a few different Mary Brown locations in Calgary and every single time it has been horrible. I keep hoping that my bad experience was a one off bad day but after about half a dozen times, I've finally realized that it really is bad.

                    And to be more specific, sometimes it's been soggy, dry, too salty, under seasoned or all of the above!

                  2. f
                    foodkarma Nov 2, 2009 07:41 PM

                    I dream of Church's Chicken and Popeyes... it makes me sad that Calgary doesn't have any really juicy, crispy, well-seasoned chicken.

                    I find Chicken on the Way to be either soggy or dried up... the same with Big T's. I tried Red Tree and although I liked the seasoning, the batter fell off when I was reheating the chicken.

                    Unfortunately all my fried chicken ventures in Calgary have just ended up in heartache and pain ;(

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: foodkarma
                      slingshotz Nov 3, 2009 07:53 AM

                      That's exactly why every chance I go to Vancouver or the US I bring back 20-30 pieces of Church's/Popeye's chicken and put it in the freezer. They reheat up surprisingly well in the oven, even the Popeye's biscuits!

                      I've had Chicken on the Way hoping that it'll get better every time or I'll clue in on the "wow" factor that everyone seems to have for this place only to be disappointed again and again. I'm a native Calgarian so don't tell me it's cause you had to have grown up there or some nonsense like that.

                      I miss Calgary of old, Church's chicken within a 10 minute drive, now it's a 11 hour drive :(

                      1. re: slingshotz
                        nonlinear Nov 3, 2009 10:30 AM

                        wow, when was there a Church's in Calgary?

                        1. re: nonlinear
                          slingshotz Nov 3, 2009 01:06 PM

                          There were many locations about 25-30 years ago (good gawd I really feel old now) then they disappeared for about 15 years and resurfaced at one Harvey's location on MacLeod Trail where they lasted for maybe a year. They didn't get much advertisement nor was it very noticeable hence why I think it failed.

                          I believe that the reason why it does not exist in Alberta anymore is that you need to get a franchisee licence for all of Alberta and you have to open a minimum of like 5 or more stores at once to qualify. It's pretty damn risky and expensive to do that. If I ever win a big lottery, I may do that just to have local fried chicken :)

                          1. re: slingshotz
                            foodkarma Nov 3, 2009 09:06 PM

                            I'd visit your Church's Chicken locations weekly.

                            Incidentally I was in Van two weekends ago and bought 4 pieces back thinking I would eat one and freeze the other 3... I couldn't stand it and ate all 4 between going to the airport, getting onto the plane, driving home from the airport, then unpacking. *sigh* maybe it's a good thing we don't have Church's in Calgary.

                    2. Imac Nov 2, 2009 11:50 AM

                      Try Big T's BBQ across from the Stadium on Crow child North. Terrific Food, and if you have a real hungry group try the Elvis Platter . Outstanding ribs, chicken, brisket, sausage. catfish, deep fried dill pickels, and beer.

                      Casual dining, good service and won't break the bank. Worth the drive from the south side (there used to be another location at Heritage and Macleod but they closed it :-(

                      1. sweeterpea Nov 1, 2009 06:19 AM

                        I heard last week that the lounge at Rush has an excellent buttermilk fried chicken entree. I checked the website menu and it says "boneless" so not sure if it's a breast or what. Might be worthwhile to check out.

                        1. sweeterpea Oct 6, 2009 07:58 AM

                          A total surprise for us was the fried chicken at the Lethbridge casino Chuckwagon Grill -- we were lucky to hit a fried chicken special a couple of Saturdays ago. Extremely crispy and non greasy, plus very moist, just needed a bit of salt and pepper. Not in Calgary, but something to think about ......

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: sweeterpea
                            paulj Oct 8, 2009 09:54 AM

                            Lethbridge? Is this Southern Alberta style chicken?

                            1. re: paulj
                              GilmoreGirl Oct 10, 2009 12:09 PM

                              I have no idea but I will ask around. I never thought that Lethbridge would be the place to get good chicken. My husband and I will have to go check it out and report back!

                              1. re: GilmoreGirl
                                paulj Oct 10, 2009 12:19 PM

                                With all the Texas gates in Alberta, you'd think there were some Texans and Texan cooking. :)

                                1. re: GilmoreGirl
                                  sweeterpea Oct 11, 2009 10:04 AM

                                  The don't make it every day, you would be better to call ahead. Fried chicken is one of my favorite treats so I'm quite picky and this was suprisingly very, very good.

                                  Now, with all the good beef/pork here you'd think we'd have an excellent southern bbq place ... but I guess that's another thread!

                                  1. re: sweeterpea
                                    ilikebigmactoo Oct 11, 2009 10:23 AM

                                    Although I have nothing to really compare it to, but I thought Palamino on 7th Ave is not bad. The meat is moist and juicy.

                                    However, Big T's have really gone down hill from when it first opened.

                                    1. re: ilikebigmactoo
                                      sweeterpea Oct 11, 2009 04:51 PM

                                      We had some dry brisket from Palamino's and wouldn't really recommend it. You're right Big T's has gone downhill. My husband works with people from the Southern US and they thought Big T's at it's best was passable. We get down to the US fairly often and do get a chance to eat good BBQ and there's nothing here, unfortunately, that compares. If it weren't so difficult to open a restaurant I would open a Southern BBQ place for sure, Calgary is crying out for one! ;o)

                                    2. re: sweeterpea
                                      Zydeco_Mama Nov 2, 2009 10:16 AM

                                      The biggest problem with doing Southern Style BBQ in the North is the lack of hard woods and the lack of a BBQ culture (a hard thing to develop when the climate is what it is here). The quality of the meat isn't really an issue as some of the best BBQ is done with some of the lowest quality cuts. Personally I have never had a good meal at Palominos (black eyed peas still crunchy, brisket extremely tough and ribs that tasted like they had been dredged in flour). Big T's is passable most of the time, but definitely not at the level of the Q joints I've visited in the States.

                                      1. re: Zydeco_Mama
                                        23skidoo Nov 2, 2009 11:39 AM

                                        Has anyone tried Booker's since it reopened? Menu: http://www.bookersbbq.com/CMS/uploads...

                                        1. re: Zydeco_Mama
                                          howlin Mar 29, 2010 07:37 PM

                                          lack of bbq culture maybe,but hard wood smoking stuff is easy to come by.probable these wannaby bbq places havent adopted true form yet

                                2. s
                                  Susanbnyc Sep 16, 2009 01:05 AM

                                  What about Chicken On The Way?

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Susanbnyc
                                    hclass Sep 17, 2009 10:21 AM

                                    IMHO it's the best we got and I do enjoy it :)

                                    1. re: Susanbnyc
                                      maclock Sep 17, 2009 10:24 PM

                                      Good if drinking, hungry or just looking for some plain inexpensive eats. Nothing to write home about.

                                      1. re: maclock
                                        DeeDub Oct 4, 2009 06:22 PM

                                        A little off topic but a close cousin to fried chicken is Brava Bistro's crispy cracklin chicken. Truly outstanding. It is pan roasted and very, very flavourful. I highly recommend it and am kicking myself for not trying it before last night. One of the best chicken dishes I have ever had.

                                      2. re: Susanbnyc
                                        beekeroc Oct 4, 2009 09:05 PM

                                        No offence, although Chicken on the Way is a Calgary landmark and have great corn fritters, their chicken is just not flavorful, like no seasoning in the flour, also so dry, over cooked? Fried chicken is always good but I hope we can get something better.

                                        1. re: beekeroc
                                          Shazam Nov 3, 2009 02:42 PM

                                          You have to go when it's busy there, or else you stand a very good chance of getting chicken that's been sitting in the heat rack.

                                          Also, their chicken quality varies greatly. I've had some terribly chewy chicken from there.

                                      3. c
                                        crigg Sep 12, 2009 01:16 PM

                                        random reply: there's this "Chicken Cottage" I've been driving by... Anyone know if its good?

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: crigg
                                          ilikebigmactoo Sep 14, 2009 03:44 PM

                                          Yeah, I'm curious about the Chicken Cottage too. I did a quick google, and it seems like it is every where in Europe.

                                          I think I'll drop in this week some time

                                          1. re: ilikebigmactoo
                                            slingshotz Sep 14, 2009 04:00 PM

                                            It's good chicken at Chicken Cottage, close to Popeye's or Church's but since it's Halal it's costs a fair bit more. Hage's supermarket on 52nd St and 15th Ave has halal fried chicken and it's surprisingly good for a bit cheaper.

                                            I still have frozen Popeye's chicken in the freezer so I haven't had to visit any of these places for a few months but hopefully the quality and taste is still good.

                                            1. re: slingshotz
                                              DeeDub Sep 14, 2009 08:12 PM

                                              I love Cottage Chicken. I hit it once every couple of weeks. Very flavourful and not as greasy as KFC. Their potato wedges are really good as well. I get the lunch special for $6.95 (I think) which includes two pieces of chicken (dark & white), two deep fried hot wings, fries (or wedges) and a medium fountain pop. Great value.

                                              1. re: DeeDub
                                                AriaDream Sep 14, 2009 08:56 PM

                                                Where is this place? It sounds fascinating. I love KFC but the grease destroys me the next day.

                                                1. re: AriaDream
                                                  Merry113 Sep 14, 2009 09:17 PM

                                                  Sunridge area near Best Buy.

                                                  1. re: AriaDream
                                                    cancowboy Sep 15, 2009 05:51 AM

                                                    104-2929 Sunridge Way NE
                                                    (403) 250-9804

                                                    1. re: cancowboy
                                                      tex_in_yyc Sep 15, 2009 05:08 PM

                                                      I will have to remember them the next time I'm in the NE and hungry. Thanks for the link.

                                                      1. re: cancowboy
                                                        AriaDream Sep 15, 2009 09:09 PM

                                                        Thanks! *bookmarks*

                                                    2. re: DeeDub
                                                      crigg Sep 15, 2009 12:21 PM

                                                      mmm sounds good, is there good gravy?

                                                      1. re: crigg
                                                        HaggisMan Sep 17, 2009 07:19 PM

                                                        Checked out the website and will definitely give it a try. One question - does anyone else think that the photo of the grilled chicken on the Our Menu page looks like a person sleeping on his side with hands tucked under his head? Maybe I've been working too late.


                                                        1. re: HaggisMan
                                                          AriaDream Sep 19, 2009 07:43 AM

                                                          *squints* Sorry, can't see it.

                                                      2. re: DeeDub
                                                        beekeroc Oct 4, 2009 08:55 PM

                                                        Very good deal!

                                                2. m
                                                  messier Sep 11, 2009 04:15 PM

                                                  I wouldn't say its "southern fried" (being a southerner myself) but its damn good...Red Tree in Marda sells fried chicken that is brined, baked and fried. Its lemon buttermilk rosemary and its damn good! You have to call and see if they have it though, they only do small batches. Its also available in Kensington....

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: messier
                                                    JingJong Oct 8, 2009 09:18 AM

                                                    Red Tree, eh? I have to check that out. My current fave for fried chicken right now is Chicken on the Way. I also wish there was a Popeye's in Calgary. And yes, Roscoe's is the best! Chicken and waffles with a side of collard greens...mmm

                                                    1. re: JingJong
                                                      theauditor Oct 31, 2009 02:05 PM

                                                      finally went to check out red tree in kensington in search of some fried chicken and it's now closed at that location, with a for lease sign on the window. oh well, went to peppino's as a consolation and picked up some delicious gorgonzola alfredo sauce.

                                                      1. re: theauditor
                                                        sweeterpea Nov 1, 2009 06:16 AM

                                                        Thanks, no wonder there's no answer when we phone.

                                                        1. re: theauditor
                                                          messier Mar 29, 2010 05:56 PM

                                                          I was in marda loop last week and bought the whole tray...if you get a chance you really should taste it! Its brined and lemony and good...i'm pretty prego so you could probably feed me anything right now, but I'd love to know if someone else loves it as much as I do!

                                                    2. 2
                                                      23skidoo Sep 11, 2009 12:49 PM

                                                      Here's an old thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/372778

                                                      1. John Manzo Sep 11, 2009 12:43 PM

                                                        chicken karaage I had at O Shima last night was excellent.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: John Manzo
                                                          bobthebuilder Sep 11, 2009 01:34 PM

                                                          man.... if they only had Popeye's or Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles here

                                                          1. re: bobthebuilder
                                                            messier Sep 11, 2009 04:15 PM

                                                            oooh Roscoe's!!!!

                                                            1. re: bobthebuilder
                                                              MeXx Oct 8, 2009 08:37 AM

                                                              +1, Popeyes is sooo good :)

                                                            2. re: John Manzo
                                                              beekeroc Oct 4, 2009 08:52 PM

                                                              John, was it Southern style ? I am embarrassed to say I like K.F.C. But am slow to trust new places(..the calories and such makes me tone down my cravings to about once a month and I don't want to squander them.) I would love some great Southern Fried chicken!

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