Tag Archives: Gus’s World Famous

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken–Little Rock, AR

Let’s face it. I love fried chicken. I’ll throw back a box of Popeye’s any day. Another local favorite (I’m from Louisiana) is Southern Classic. Apparently they are so ghetto, they don’t even have a web presence. I won’t even turn my nose up at KFC or chicken from the grocery store. Fried chicken is a southern institution and I’m doing my part by enjoying it.

It’s not difficult to fry chicken, but there is an art to it. Personally, I don’t care to fry because the splattering grease and clouds of flour turn my kitchen into a disaster area. I love cooking, but I’d rather get prison shanked than scour a greasy kitchen.

About a year ago I encountered the fried chicken that puts all others to shame. I was at the original Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken in Memphis on my first encounter. (Actually I think the original original is at a house in the sticks, but this was the original restaurant if my memory doesn’t deceive me).

The beans are punched up pork 'n beans, but the tang complements the spicy chicken.
The beans are punched up pork ‘n beans, but the tang complements the spicy chicken.

Today as we were passing through Little Rock, AR, I was compelled to try one of Gus’s latest satellites. It has the homey appeal of the Memphis location, but is punched up some as if a hipster was trying for the old authenticity, but you could feel the slick veneer. It’s all marketing, anyway. I really don’t care what a place looks like. In this case, the proof is in the chicken.

The crunch of the crispy skin is incredible. If you pay attention, you can tell that the skin tastes a bit like cracklings, or as we call them, cracklins. The juicy chicken contrasted by the über crispy, pork-esque skin is what makes Gus’s stand apart from the others. That, and they season the meat with a firey blend that adds yet another dimension.

This location isn’t quite as good as the Memphis restaurant, but don’t let that stop you from a day trip in search of culinary delights. I’d easily drive three hours (one way) for their chicken.

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The Cotton Boll Grill

Confident that my rheumatologist is nearing an explanation for my ailments, Heather and I decided to celebrate with lunch. Besides, I always get hungry when I have an appointment.

It’s been about a year since we visited The Cotton Boll Grill at 1624 Fairfield Ave. It’s not that we had a poor experience, we just aren’t in this part of town often and the restaurant closes at three.

As we sit down, the waitress comes by and asks, “Do you two know what–” Fried chicken! I never gave her a chance to get the words out. The waitress was taken aback and laughed. She returned shortly with the special of the day. Why can’t they sell fried chicken everyday?

I feel it is only fair to mention that this establishment has fallen to second place since I last visited. The current champion of fried chicken is Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken in Memphis, TN. Serious chicken. I wake up in a cold sweat like a panicked heroin addict in a shooting gallery and nothing but collapsed veins.

Gus’s satisfies an itch that you can’t scratch. Have your adenoids ever itched where you have to snarl your face and throat? Gus’s is more effective with their fried chicken. The Cotton Boll won’t soothe any itching adenoids, but it cures dry mouth and scurvy.

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I always have time for fried chicken.

That zing you taste is flavor, baby. It definitely has some cayenne to wake you up. You wanna know the Portuguese translation? FLAVOR. Actually, I think it’s cayenne, but I’m no linguist.

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See that orangish color under the skin? That’s flavor.

The potatoes were mediocre, but the pinto beans and blackeyed peas were delicious.  Besides, I don’t remember coming here for the mashed potatoes.  If I came for the potatoes, I would expect some top shelf spuds.

There aren’t many establishments in Shreveport that I would consider good eats.  I don’t normally get excited about food unless it’s exceptional.  This chicken is exceptional.