Memphis – Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Back to January 2018 and there was one restaurant in Memphis that was outstandingly well rated (and it still is) and something of a culinary experience. This was evident when I got there and saw how many people were standing outside waiting to get in, on a mid-week afternoon in January…. Fortunately, it was organised and so I went in and put my name on the list and was told there would be a table available in around thirty minutes. But, sometimes fine food is worth that wait. It’s like waiting in Greggs for eight minutes whilst they put a new batch of chicken bakes in so that I can get a beautiful piping hot one. And, soon enough, after around thirty minutes a staff member came outside and shouted “Julian”, so it was time…..

The menu, all clearly laid out and I think highly tempting.

This is Memphis, so of course the service was engaging, efficient and personable. It’s not large inside the restaurant, but it was atmospheric and had a sense of fun to it.

Can’t beat a bit of hot sauce. Well, you can I suppose, but this was a perfect complement to the meal.

And the main event, two pieces of chicken breast, a chicken wing, baked beans, slaw and fries. And I got an unlimited Dr. Pepper, so this truly is the land of dreams. And, as for the chicken, it was as near perfection in a fried chicken dish meal as I’m sure it’s possible to achieve. A crisp exterior, with no irritating flabby skin on the chicken, moist and tender chicken which fell apart with a really depth of flavour to the coating. The fries were moreish, fluffy on the interior and firm on the exterior and the slaw was creamy. Fried chicken shouldn’t need to be greasy, something which some KFC outlets haven’t yet worked out, it should be just like this.

The wait at the beginning also added to the whole experience by increasing the anticipation for the food, with the service always being pro-active. I thought about this meal numerous times in the weeks after, this is a slice of the true America as far as I’m concerned. Impeccable. They have some more outlets in this small chain, I am today promising myself that I’m going to go back and visit another one.