Fried chicken is serious business. We are in the South and it happens to be my death row meal. It’s one of those dishes on every plate lunch menu for good reason. Who doesn’t love fried chicken?
Around Mardi Gras, “Louisiana Cookin” came up with a fried chicken list of places you should try during your Mardi Gras festivities. Lacking from the list was Lafayette which outraged me. How can you include a list of fried chicken places in South Louisiana and NOT INCLUDE Lafayette?! They even included Lake Charles for crying out loud!
I promptly posted on the “Louisiana Cookin” Facebook page my five places to try fried chicken in Lafayette and proclaimed, “We don’t just chase chickens here, we know how to fry them, too!”
There is the fried chicken that made me write it a love song, fried chicken for breakfast and the fried chicken that makes me dance. Here in Lafayette, we don’t have a bunch of locally run fried chicken places, but the ones we do have are killer. This is a list of a few I think you should try.
Bread & Circus $$
337-408-3930, 258 Bendel Road
This fried chicken is so good, I wrote it a love song. Wednesdays are fried chicken day at the Circus, and when you open that brown paper box of fried chicken goodness, you smile ear to ear. It’s got flavor on the meat and the breading is a must, plus it’s juicy and spicy. The sweet and spicy dipping sauce is a bonus. The plate lunch comes with gouda mac and cheese and a slaw. Do what I do and mix the sauce with the mac and cheese and pieces of the breading that come off the chicken as you devour it. Maybe eat this one alone — it can get a little graphic.
Fat Albert’s $
337-234-4773, 1322 Moss St.
This is the only drive- thru chicken place on the list, and, I believe, the only locally owned drive thru chicken place in the city. I’ve written before about the love and the dance that accompanies a trip to Fat Albert’s. Not fancy chicken or a lot of spice, it’s just cheap good chicken. Perfect for those Sundays when you wake up late, not feeling so great from the night before.
Rusted Rooster $
337-534-4135, 105 St Landry St.
When you want chicken breast off the bone, this is your place. If you want it for breakfast, too, then this is a winning combination. Juicy with a killer breading, Rusted Rooster is known for their chicken biscuits. Try the coullion-a buttermilk biscuit with fried chicken breast and their homemade pecan-praline glaze. Rusted Rooster also is open for lunch. I like the Ciabatta Believe It (spinach, sun dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and pesto on ciabatta bread.) I get mine with fried chicken instead of grilled.
French Press $$
337-233-9449, 214 E Vermillion St.
This killer brunch spot boasts long lines on the weekend, but if you are fortunate to have Mondays off, this might become your new favorite spot. With so many great items, the chicken and waffles is another one you might want to become aquatinted with. It’s a cane jelly fried chicken with two cheddar waffles. It’s also off the bone, but not lacking in flavor. I’ve heard rumor you can order the chicken over pancakes instead of the waffles, but have yet to try this.
337-456-3274, 3901 Johnston St.
At a place known for upscale southern fare, fried chicken is a no brainer. The smoke fried chicken and biscuits is unusual in that it’s smoked then fried. Not only do you get the juiciness and fried chicken flavor, but you get the added bonus of the smokiness in the meat. The fried chicken is served with a ghost pepper honey, so prepare for the heat with this one. It’s sweet, salty, smoky and very spicy, your taste buds will thank you.
Want to follow Tiffiany Decou on more of her culinary adventures around the area? Follow her on Facebook at “Lafayette Food Junkie” or tune in to her nationally recognized radio show (along with co-host Zach Doise) Sunday nights at 6pm on Newstalk 96.5 KPEL.
PRICE KEY GRID:
$ Ballin on a budget
$$ Won’t break the bank
$$$ Special occassion kind of night