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Memphis report: Central BB, Corky's, Gus' World Famous Fried Chicken

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We just spent two days in Memphis. Here's a quick report.

Central BBQ: we thought this pulled pork BBQ was a bit dry. We also had wet ribs--they were only ok--drier than a set of dry ribs we later had at Corky's. Generally, we weren't impressed at all by Central.

Corky's BBQ: liked this a lot, especially the dry ribs. The twice-baked potato salad is not to be missed. Banana pudding was decent.

The stand-out was Gus' World Famous Fried Chicken. This chicken is a little spicy, which we loved! We saw on Man V. Food to eat it with ranch dressing, and so we did. We also loved the baked beans (which are sweet) the slaw (sweet) and the coconut pie. I wasn't so excited about the dirty rice or the sweet potato pie. French fries were solid, but you can skip them. The potato salad was made with yellow mustard, which isn't my personal favorite. But the bottom line is that we would highly recommend Gus' to any of our friends visiting Memphis.

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  1. Glad that you found something to like, but Corky's over Central? Blasphemy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Clarkafella

      I agree, Clarkafella. Blasphemy.

      Just out of curiosity, which location of Central did you go to?

    2. On a related note- has anyone found that the chicken at Gus's is a lot more greasy lately? Still tastes good though...

      3 Replies
      1. re: Clarkafella

        Go to the original... It's exponentially better anyway....

        1. re: dailybread8383

          I have to respectfually disagree. And this is coming from someone who regularly ate at the original in Mason BEFORE the GQ article and BEFORE it burned and was rebuilt.

          The last two times that I went ot Gus's (Downtown Memphis and Collierville) the chicken was just as good as the one in Mason.

          The best news that I've had in a while is that they are building a new Gus's about mile from my house.

          1. re: Ross B

            My last visit downtown (Tuesday night) the chicken was really greasy- ok by me, I *like* greasy stuff! But if my wife had been with me, we would probably have gone somewhere else.

      2. I concur on Central. The pork was very dry, even the fact I soaked it in Carolina Vinegar sauce could not prevent me from coughing it was do dry. I liked the turkey much more there and the mac and cheese was decent. Nice change from the standard 'beans and slaw'.

        Corky's on Poplar was very good...I boycotted the pulled pork as I had dry pork everywhere prior to that including 'People's Choice @MiM'. Ordered custom combo there, chicken, wet/dry ribs and brisket. For a popular place I was surprised they attended to my custom ordering requirements. Everything was good, the brisket especially and the experienced waiter with the horn rimmed glasses told me brisket rarely sells. Too bad, beats dry pork!
        Gus's Fried Chicken was not worth entering a scary section of town, police on street corners. Honestly it tasted like instead of egg wash they soaked it in Frank's Red Hot Sauce and battered and fried. I love hot food, but honestly I think with all the rave reviews I was expecting more. Ordered a breast piece only to try because we ate 4 times that day already! Wife and I agreed, glad we did not order more and spend more money.

        -----
        Gus's Fried Chicken
        505 Highway 70 W, Mason, TN 38049

        5 Replies
        1. re: ebay3392

          Please don't make silly statements like that. Memphis certainly has what some folks would consider "scary" parts of town, but the South Main Street Historic District ain't one of 'em these days. You sound like my Mom when she asked if riding a subway through Manhattan was scary.

          1. re: Ross B

            No kidding! My wife and I walked from the Comfort Inn (on the other side of downtown) to Gus's several times and didn't feel threatened one bit!

            If the South Main district scares you, then you might want to reconsider any planned trips to Payne's, Interstate or Cozy Corner, but that just leaves more good food for the rest of us!

            -----
            Cozy Corner Restaurant
            745 N Parkway, Memphis, TN 38105

            1. re: Ross B

              I am sorry to offend, it was not my intention. Maybe I was there on a bad day. All I remember was police on each corner and homeless people a block or two East of the street it was on...was on the Sunday of 2009 MiM weekend. Maybe something was going on that day.

              1. re: ebay3392

                I kind of like seeing the police on every corner! It is an older area, but I'm pretty sure that it is safe!

            2. re: ebay3392

              To each his own, I guess. Sounds like you're better suited to East Memphis.