Food Finds: Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
As a foodie, one of my biggest aspirations is to travel, not for the scenery, not for the locals, not for the festivities, but primarily for the food. Now, as a young undergrad and someone working freelance in media, this is not always feasible. However, traveling for work is a HUGE benefit of working in media because there are events to cover! I had the opportunity to cover some interviews in Austin, TX earlier this year for SXSW where I first bit into the juiciest chicken breast I've ever tasted in my life.
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken was founded in the 1950s in Tennessee (of course it would be the in the South). Recently, I saw Gus's World Famous on my Facebook, checked if LA was one of their 15+ locations, and to my pleasure found out that it was 10 minutes away from me by car. It was meant to be.
I've been proclaimed a Chicken Connoisseur, deemed this title by myself and my sister, because many times I go out to eat, I order some form of fried chicken (wings a lot of the time) or at family gatherings or events I typically go for the chicken first. My favorite form of chicken is undoubtedly fried, although it's the hardest to make well, in my opinion. Why? Because no one is out there searching for the best GRILLED chicken or the best BAKED chicken, but MANY people are constantly on the hunt for the best chicken and wing spots. And the hardest part about comparing fried chicken you find at the fanciest spots, iconic places or any hole in the wall is that you have to compare it to your mom's or your own.
Well let me tell you, Gus's is the best you will find outside of your mother's or grandmother's kitchen. It's world famous for a reason.
When I went to Gus's World Famous, I ordered the 3 piece White Meat plate, consisting of two fried chicken breasts, one wing and two sides. By default, they give you baked beans and coleslaw, but I'm apprehensive on all slaw that isn't my own and I wasn't feeling baked beans, so I doubled up on seasoned fries, which are my favorite kind of fries to be honest.
While the smell of the chicken amped my anticipation as I was waiting for my food, I grew to appreciate the humble decor being that of a southern picnic or cookout from the plaid/checkered table cloths to the multicolored simple wooden chairs. Ahhh, Southern comfort in Los Angeles. Finally, the plate of chicken hit my table. Steam was emitting from the crispy skin, giving me a chicken facial, it was time.
Gus's markets their chicken as "hot and spicy" which is exactly what they live up to. And let's not mistake this for heat that numbs your tongue like that of a Thai Chile. No, this chicken has FLAVOR. You can see a red-orange tint when you lift the skin from the juicy meat. Call me corny for loving white meat, but a fried chicken breast is my favorite thing to eat morning, noon and night. The usual problem with white meat is that when you fry it, it may dry out. DRY WILL NEVER BE USED TO DESCRIBE THIS CHICKEN. I have never devoured a piece of chicken as moist as this. I don't like to pick up and bite the chicken the entire time, I'd inhale it. So to savor it, I pick at it, pulling layers of the flesh from the bone and inserting them into my pie hole. When I was finished, I had grandma fingers--when you've been in the pool too long and your fingers start to get wrinkly--THAT'S HOW MOIST IT IS.
My rating: 9/10
I give this Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken 9 flame emojis. Maybe even 9.5 because it is literally the best I've ever had. The spice is perfect, regardless of it being a bit salty for those who are sodium sensitive, but the heat is just right. Then again, this is coming from someone who has indulged in ghost pepper wings and loves most Asian and Caribbean cooking. However, I am only in my early twenties and have only been to eight states, so I wouldn't want to give a 10 to a chicken I just met, but I find it hard to believe I will find anything as juicy or flavorful.
Go! Google search if Gus's World Famous is anywhere near you right now. Then, come back and thank me for introducing you to a chicken that will change your life. You are most welcome.