Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pass the Fried Chicken, Please! Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken - Memphis, TN

As a child I recall that my grandmother made good fried chicken. Crispy, good flavor and full of juiciness. But, (I’m sorry Grandma) Gus’s makes GREAT fried chicken. In fact, is there a bigger word than great? Let’s look it up in the thesaurus. Remarkable. Impressive. Illustrious. Celebrated. How about those words? That may capture it.

This is in downtown Memphis. Walking up to the building you may be unimpressed. I was excited. So was my husband. To one side there were broken sidewalks, dirt piles and weeds growing everywhere. The rickety front door made me know this was about to be a great experience. I actually got excited chill bumps walking through the door.

The jukebox was blasting Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls of Fire as my daughter danced. Everyone was happy. Every one. How could you not? The smell in the air was intense. You could just feel the history in the brick walls. You sat so close you could hear the conversations next to you and could almost touch elbows, but that didn’t seem to bother anyone at all. We saw people dressed from their Sunday best to biker gear to everything in between. We saw families and college students and couples. We saw all colors and all walks of life. All were there to enjoy a recipe that has been made for several years.

The menu is simple: white and dark chicken. Sides are: potato salad, fries (seasoned just right), spicy rice (there is a definite kick), cole slaw and baked beans. You can get individual or family style.

I am not a big fan of eating the skin off the chicken. I know. What is wrong with me? But then I had Gus’s. I couldn’t get enough. It was almost like if I didn’t eat the skin then I was not honoring the chicken or the person who just cooked it so wonderfully well. The seasonings were perfect and right on. I would taste one bite and even though it came straight out from the grease I couldn’t help it. I was willing to let my mouth be burnt a bit to get it in my mouth as quickly as possible.

I ordered a two-piece white, where each piece was served on a piece of white Wonderbread. "No lie baby," as my Dad would say. I saw about 50 loaves of Wonderbread in the kitchen stacked upon a rack. I am assuming they go through that easily in one day. There was something delightful about that warmed bread soaking up the grease from the chicken. I do monitor what my family eats, but you have to live a little. If you are going to splurge why not go all out on a place like this? It felt so good to be bad at Gus’s!

My Grandma Louise would have given it her stamp of approval right after she sank her teeth into a 2-piece dark and washed it down with a glass of sweet tea!

So when you find yourself in Memphis, make your way to Gus’s for an experience like no other.

Find them on Facebook: Gus's World Famous Friend Chicken - Memphis.
{bottom photo courtesy of}

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmm, I can almost taste the fried chicken! Thanks for sharing. Guess what? Interestingly, my name is Heather and my Grandma's was Louise too.