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Feb 16, 2006 11:41 AM

good fried chicken in Austin (& beyond)?

  • c

So every now and then I'll get a hankerin for some good fried chicken. And I don't mean pounded boneless chicken breast (chicken fried chicken). I mean regular old pieces of fried chicken that come with sides like mashed potatoes and green beans. The old "meat and threes" type of thing.

I would even take a long drive to get it if I thought it would be good.

Do I have any options for fried chicken besides:

1) popeyes, church's, kentuckyjohnsilvers
2) Top Notch burger (good chicken, but fast-food sides and experience)
3) Luby's or Furr's
4) Bill Miller bar-b-que (not bad, but not great)
5) the many purveyors of chicken-fried-chicken - Hoovers, Threadgills, Tony's Southern Comfort (to my knowledge - i've never been)


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  1. I don't eat a lot of fried chicken anymore(no one makes it like Mom!), but chioce number 5 is probably your best bet, and of the three, Tony's is where I'd head.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Frank M

      I second Frank M on Tony's Southern Comfort. They serve waffles and whatever piece(s) of fried chicken you want (not just “chicken-fried chicken”).

      I went with wings and loved them. Tony's fried chicken has an interesting, well-seasoned, crunchy exterior coating on the outside and moist and flavorful chicken on the inside. Perfection.

      It's hard to produce, though. All the elements of the cooking process contribute to the final result: the temperature of the oil; the vessel used for frying; the type and flavor of frying oil/shortening; the quality of the poultry; the nature of and length of time given to pre-soaking the chicken pieces; the seasoning and type of coating; and, of course, the skill of the cook.

      I've been wondering myself where to get good fried chicken locally. I love the burgers and fries at Top Notch. Their fast-food fried chicken has its charms: it's deep-fried and crispy, with the kind of thick batter that soaks up a lot of grease. But, I'm hoping local hounds will contribute other suggestions.

    2. s
      Steve in Austin

      Call "Rosies To Go" in Bee Cave on SH 71. They used to do a really good "broasted" chicken.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Steve in Austin

        i hadn't ever heard of broasted chicken before. i just googled it - it sounds really good. i'll have to try rosie's.

      2. I'd definitely go to the Bluebonnet Cafe in Temple.

        Or Earl Abel's in San Antonio, if it hasn't closed yet.

        1. Had Bluebonnet Cafe fried chicken in Temple a month ago and it was very good, but not straight out of the fryer. I am a fried chicken freak myself, and can tell you the very best I've found is at the Tiptop Cafe in San Antonio (Fredricksburg Rd). Everything in there is cooked to order, so don't get in a hurry. Also the rings are to die for, CFS outstanding and a homemade tart french-style salad dressing. Homemade pies are super. I think they are closed on Monday so check it out before you go. Trust me on this one, this very small and old cafe is worth the drive for FC and all I mentioned!!!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Rockin' Tom

            In San Antonio I like the fried chicken at Earl Abel's (their closing date has been postponed until around March 11, I believe) and the CFS, rolls, greasy onion rings, and pie at the Tip Top Cafe. Both old-school diners are institutions. I wouldn't say that Tip Top's chicken-fried chicken is the best I've ever had. (Did I miss the fried chicken pieces on the menu?) But, it is very good.

            However, I love the Southern-style sides, the desserts, and the amazing fried chicken at Mr. and Mrs. G's on the south side of town (2222 South W.W. White). They make real Southern comfort food (sweet potatoes with vanilla, Southern-style greens, ham hocks). If you love fried chicken, you might want to check this place out sometime.

            Any suggestions for fried chicken within Austin?


            1. re: MPH

              They definitely have chicken pieces on the menu. Half chicken and half all white. And as you say CFC. I have never tried the CFC in 50 years so can't comment.

            2. re: Rockin' Tom
              Steve in Austin

              "CFS outstanding"

              Uh, No. I tried the place a few months ago and was very unimpressed with the CFS. And what's up with the BROWN gravy? All the REALLY old guys appeared satisfied though.

              1. re: Steve in Austin

                Have eaten there for almost 50 yrs. Never have seen BROWN gravy on CFS It is a light yellow color. Are we talking about the same place? DeWese's Tiptop Cafe.

            3. The fried chicken was really great for a long time at Gene's New Orleans Po-Boys on the East Side, but my last couple visits it was way too greasy. So I've laid off for a while in hopes that they were just going through a bad spell. But it might time to try them again, knock on wood.

              2 Replies
              1. re: johnm

                Sadly, Gene has moved back to New Orleans and sold the restaurant to a new owner (who apparently does not have Gene's recipe for fried chicken).

                1. re: msummerall

                  Walking into Gene's the other day the joint smelled like Janitor in a Drum.The hot fat and soul aroma was gone,gone and gone.I ordered my standard 6 wings with fries and garlic bread.It was the first time I ever had bad food at Gene's.The garlic bread has been replaced with toast,cooked bright and early and stored under a ceiling fan.The chicken had been repeatedly frozen,thawed and frozen.It was tough and gross.The fries were the same commercial style but cold and lifeless.My water glass smelled like ammonia.I miss Gene.