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Feb 8, 2012 08:01 PM

Fried Chicken

Best in Tampa Bay area ?

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  1. Munch's in St. Pete makes fantastic fried chicken but only on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jeff6806

      I agree with Jeff on this one. Munch's still has the best fried chicken in the bay area that I have tried so far. BTW, don't get to Munch's too late, especially on a Tuesday, as they can run out of fried chicken.

    2. Let's breathe some life into this monumentally important thread!

      This should be an item that has cooks proudly competing, and going nuts, but so many places are content serving fried chicken that's just OK, or good-but-inconsistent, or worse...

      Yup, Munch's in St. Pete does a real good job for classic FC, but like others posted, just on Tuesday & Saturday... And in the civilized form of a 'three piece meal' with the threatening black cloud of running out on the horizon...
      But it's fresh, tender, soft, juicy, toasty and crispy--- with what I believe was a hint of curry...
      Very nice...

      Chef Gary Moran and his crew at Wimauma in South Tampa do a pretty good and awesomely presented fried chicken bucket... I think I have a pic... Munch's too...

      But as I drive around town I wanna know what's here, or there...

      It doesn't have to be Aunt Bea's Sunday fried chicken---- although it would be great to have access to the perfected classic---- ethnic places should be offering their own special versions...
      Heck! My mind's always racing with the possibilities... I'm gonna start workin' on it...

      So if you know of anyone making an effort to knock a fried chicken lover's socks off, me and a few of my buddies wanna know....

      Here's the pic from Wimauma--- darn, I know I have some Munch's pics here somewhere...

      4 Replies
      1. re: Mild Bill

        I agree with this sentiment and wholeheartedly support an all out search for the best fried chicken in the area. If anyone knows of a place around here that makes hot chicken ( that would also be very welcome information.

        1. re: jeff6806

          This is not quite relevant but attached is a picture of the fried chicken from Cask and Larder in Winter Park, the new restaurant by the Ravenous Pig people. Hard to tell from the picture, but it is two thighs, a leg, and a wing. On top of the chicken is smoked honey, which really added an interesting- slightly burnt- taste to the chicken. The meat itself was very tender and the skin was well-seasoned and crispy. I might ask for the honey on the side next time just to mix things up. I fully support the effort to figure out who has the best chicken in the Tampa area. Much of it is passable, but I have not had anything great in a long time. I use to like Aunt Lee's in Clearwater but they are long gone. I went to Munch's once but it didn't do much for me. I guess I will have to go back and give it another shot.

          1. re: CFishman

            Ooooo, this looks and sounds delightful.... ;-)

            1. re: CFishman

              Smoked honey!!
              Now that sounds brilliant and incredible.

        2. For an old school Sunday dinner experience the fried chicken at Heilman's Beachcomber Restaurant on Clearwater Beach is really wonderful. I would rate it in the top 10 I've had over the years and the best I've had in the Tampa Bay area.

          There is a nice photo of it if you watch the gallery here:

          5 Replies
          1. re: meatn3

            I have put Bob Heilman's off for too long. That's going to the top of the list.

            1. re: CFishman

              I can't speak to the rest of the menu but the chicken has always been consistently excellent.
              If you fall in love with the slaw e-mail me - I've got the recipe!

              1. re: meatn3

                I bought a mandoline a year ago thinking slaw was the solution to all of my problems. Of course, I have not used it since then, but I may take you up on your offer.

                1. re: CFishman

                  Slaw won't hurt, but bacon is the one true way.

              2. re: CFishman

                CF. Heilman's Beachcomber also has excellent fried Chix livers.

            2. Not many places around here. I'll throw Joseph's Cup out there. Pretty darn good all around soul food. Had this fried chicken today....perhaps a little overcooked but tasty, nonetheless. The chitlins are mighty good too.

              11 Replies
              1. re: Little T.

                That looks pretty tasty. Where is this place again?

                1. re: RibDog

                  1616 N. Fort Harrison Ave
                  Clearwater, FL 33755

                  Try the oxtail :)

                  1. re: Little T.

                    Oooo, sounds great... I always wanna try Chitlins when I can and Chicken Livers are a mega-favorite... An of course the Fried Chicken...
                    I'll try to hit it next week!
                    Ribdog, don't go without me!

                    1. re: Mild Bill

                      Just let me know when you are ready, Bill.

                      1. re: RibDog

                        When on the road East of I- 75 on Fruitville Road, (less than a mile), "Texaco Fried Chicken, among other goodies like Gorditas, Pork in Green Sauce, Chix Gizzards, livers.........

                        1. re: ospreycove

                          It is certainly worth the drive for their fried chicken and other tasty items.

                          The gas station on Rt 70 in Myaka City use to have terrific fried chicken but the last two times there, the quality has declined.

                          1. re: ospreycove

                            Now THAT place I wanna try. Must remember next time I'm down that way.

                      2. re: Little T.

                        Is Joseph's Cup still open? I drove by and just had a quick glance but it looked like it might be closed...

                        1. re: meatn3

                          I think? I'll check tho. Business is hard in that area. Hardly see anyone there.

                          1. re: Little T.

                            Now that I know the location I'll try to stop & check if I'm back that way.

                            1. re: meatn3

                              Just drove by and it is open. I need to get back there as well. I tried out Blue Rooster in Sarasota last week and wasn't particularly impressed. I have to check out this gas station on Fruitville that Jim has recommended. It's a hard sell to get my wife to drive down to Sarasota to eat at a gas station. She is usually a good sport but that may be pushing it.

                  2. Places I've been hoping to try soon are Manna from Heaven on 34th St. in St. Pete and Yoder's in Sarasota. Has anyone had the pleasure of eating at either of these?

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: jeff6806

                      I'm dying to get to Yoder's---- my friends love the place, and the fried chicken, but I 'have' been to Manna from Heaven... It's a real soul food spot... The chicken pieces were big, and it was good, but on that day it could have used a lil' more time in the fryer... The breast was a little bland and over-cooked while the thigh was 'just' cooked... Lucky I was able to appreciate their fried chicken recipe by the two smaller pieces, the wing and the drumstick, which were cooked well, and were juicy... If they staggered fryer timing it would have been so much better... And I think chicken pieces so big should be seasoned the night before, to get moisture and flavor in there, which I didn't detect they did... I'm hoping to go again soon to hone my opinion of the place... Collards were great, mac and cheese was just OK... It was gloppy with melted cheese---- no cheesy bechamel to smoove it all out... Not that I detected... Banana pudding they were braggin' on was just OK... It came in a too-cold plastic container... Tasted like some instant pudding mix... Chitlins were stinky but I got past it and cleaned the bowl.... I liked my visit over-all...

                      1. re: Mild Bill

                        First, with Manna from Heaven, the fried chicken both I and Dr. BBQ ate had broken bones throughout it. Since a customer does not expect this, it would be very easy to get shards in the eating process. Not good!!!

                        Second, with Yoders, it depends on which days you go. On Friday and Saturday, I believe, they cook their fried chicken in a skillet just like grandma used to make. And that chicken is pretty good. Not as good as some others I have had, but pretty good. The rest of the week they fry their chicken under pressure which I have never been a fan of. But that is just me.

                        1. re: RibDog

                          Thanks for the info. Disappointing to hear that Manna, for what great chicken they supposedly have from what I've read, isn't that great. I'll definitely make plans to get down to Yoder's on a pan-fried chicken day.

                          1. re: jeff6806

                            I haven't been to Manna from Heaven yet, but my experience at Yoder's is similar to Ribdog's. The pan-fried chicken is good but I wouldn't drive to Sarasota for it. Oddly, I have never been there for the non-skillet days. I suspect I would feel the same as Ribdog as I am not a big pressure cooker fried chicken fan either.

                            1. re: CFishman

                              Yoder's is an interesting place; a variety of "farm style offerings, HUGE portions; but for me it stops there. If you crave commercial bases and flavorings heaps of salt in the food and sturdy, basic dishes this is your place. Sometimes when the "Hunger Wolf" takes over, I will go for their breakfasts!!

                              1. re: ospreycove

                                Tried Joseph's Cup today on Little T's suggestion. I am glad to know about this place as I have been looking for a replacement to Aunt Lee's in this area for a long time. I got a breast, a wing, fries and a side of chicken livers for $12.50. The chicken was seasoned nicely and was fried hard, perhaps one notch too hard as Little T indicated. I will definitely be back, most likely for taking to the beach. I will also have to get back there for the oxtails and the chittlins.

                                1. re: CFishman

                                  I'm glad you made it there. That chicken breast looks good right about now. Definitely get back and and have some oxtails, mac n' cheese and try the butter beans if they are available! Awesome. I've yet to make it there when they have collard greens (they get wiped out early).

                                  I think I'll mention to them about the chicken being fried a bit too hard/hot because it really does have the potential to be /very, very/ good.

                          2. re: RibDog

                            That's too bad about the bones, RibDog. The chicken I had there with Mild Bill was spot on. I'm surprised no one ever mentions the Chattaway. I think it has some of the best fried chicken around. I actually prefer it to their better known burgers. But nothing around here matches Beach Road chicken in Jacksonville. Hands down the best fried chicken I've had in Florida, at least since Palios is gone. I'm going to try Manna again to make sure I didn't just luck out. In fact, I almost went there today but got lazy...

                            1. re: Tom Scherberger

                              Tom, I agree. I have enjoyed the fried chicken at Chattaway the couple of times that I have had it. I would put it near the top of my list as well. As for Beach Road, it looks like I will have to find a reason to go to Jacksonville.

                        2. re: jeff6806

                          Yoders is extremely bland. As a southerner, it's the first time I've ever had bad fried chicken.

                          I agree Publix is pretty good.

                          None as good as my grandmothers. She soaked hers in buttermilk.