The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Fried Chicken
Food & Wine called it some of the best fried chicken in America this year, and former Houston Press food critic Robb Walsh placed the stuff at No. 5 on his own 100 Favorite Dishes list before retiring in 2010. We've even 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. The juicy bird is served with a simple house salad (go for the Ranch or blue cheese, which are made in-house) and a baked potato that includes a tower of condiments delivered to your table, like a Christmas tree made of sour cream and green onions.
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 crave-able.
"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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