Barbecue Inn Serves Some of America's Best Fried Chicken, Says Food & Wine

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Photo by Robb Walsh
...to which Houston responds, "Well, yeah." Also: "Now go try Frenchy's."

We usually don't write up every single "Best Of" listicle that comes our way here at Eating Our Words, but we considered today's fried chicken announcement from Food & Wine a public service reminder that Barbecue Inn does, indeed, have some truly excellent chicken. (Not barbecue, oddly. But definitely chicken.)

We've given Barbecue Inn plenty of awards of our own over the years: Best Comfort Food in 2009, Best Fried Chicken in 2007 and an award in a category I'm still trying to understand: Best Vintage Fried Chicken in 2005. (I'm guessing that "vintage" fried chicken would exclude modern concoctions like the Captain Crunch-battered chicken at Zelko Bistro.)

It's this "vintage" fried chicken that makes Barbecue Inn a standout, though. It's been serving its fried chicken the same way -- always cooked to order -- since opening in 1946. Robb Walsh described it 64 years later as simply "amazing."

"The crust doesn't flake away -- it sticks to the bird like it was glued on, and the tender white meat of the breast is so juicy, it literally drips," he wrote, placing the chicken at No. 5 on his personal list of Houston's 100 Best Dishes.

The chicken has received praise even from John T. Edge, the paragon of Southern food writers and founder of the Southern Foodways Alliance. And that praise was for something fried chicken isn't often associated with -- an attribute that makes Barbecue Inn's chicken all the more craveable.

"Of course, all fried chicken comes with grease. The question is how much," Edge told Walsh. "The chicken at Barbecue Inn is pretty damn greaseless."



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Location Info

Barbecue Inn

116 W. Crosstimbers, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Frenchy's Chicken

3919 Scott St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Zelko Bistro

705 E. 11th St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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15 comments
Best BBQ in LA
Best BBQ in LA

The chicken of BBQ is always adorable.It is different,should try in different sauces also.

Joie
Joie

I would have to agree. BBQ Inn's chicken is so yummy. I just wish they had better (ie less sweet) gravy....

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

About a year ago, I ordered the chicken at the BBQ Inn to go.  On the way home, I also got chicken from the Randall's on Westheimer & Shepherd.  We got to eat both, side by side, for a good comparison.  The overall consensus was that, while BBQ Inn is very good, it wasn't enough to justify the extra cost and time.  Our winner was Randall's.  Could that have been because we waited 20 minutes after it was served to eat it?  I don't know.  I've never had it in-house.

AwesomeMargie
AwesomeMargie

I adore Barbecue Inn's chicken.  Good for them.  Well deserved.  

KING
KING

Easily better than Frenchy's. Every Frenchy's with the exception of Scott Street has fallen off a bit.

Eric S
Eric S

Looks like "vintage" fried chicken allowed Frenchy's to get the award for "best fried chicken." I'm generally in favor of recognizing more places for excellent fried chicken and am therefore supportive of that decision. 

The fried shrimp at Barbecue Inn are also excellent, and they serve the always delicious pies from My Dee Dee's. Other than the barbecue, there's nothing unlikable about it. 

I took my parents to BI for their first visit a couple months ago. After living in Houston for almost 35 years, I thought it was time for them to check it out. They loved it. Of course. 

Goldie
Goldie

Interesting.... worst cream gravy i've ever was there. No grease in it, lily-white, and sweet/sugary tasting. Really ruined my CFS for me.

Matthew
Matthew

it's even better with some of their cream (sauce) gravy.

houman
houman

Yes, I agree.  The food at BBQ In is good, the chicken and CFS are great but compromised by the HORRIBLE gravy.  What ever happened to places making gravy from drippings???  It can't be that difficult.If you keep frying things you keep getting drippings.  Just add flour and some milk.Endless supply of good gravy.

Mag
Mag

ever try Timmy Chan's fried chicken? its pretty good

Eat
Eat

They're gonna have to find a new suppPIEer because My Dee Dee's is shuttin' down.

Matthew
Matthew

yeah, it's not really a gravy. that said i love the cream taste. the hint of dairy sweetness goes really well with the salty fried stuff, imo.

Eric S
Eric S

I hope that's not true. I'm not a My Dee Dee's regular but have always enjoyed their pies since I was introduced to them a few years ago.

ostiones
ostiones

We always stop at Flying Saucer Pies just down the street.

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