A few friends and I got together yesterday with one single goal: to seek and destroy some delicious Memphis food. Since we didn't want crying children to ruin our food adventure, we got a babysitter and set out on a culinary journey to Gus's Famous Fried Chicken (of Food Network and Man vs. Food fame) and Kooky Canucks (of Man vs. Food fame.) If you've ever seen either of these two restaurants on TV, you know that their food just looks way too good NOT to try. For some reason, the Memphis episode of Man vs. Food always seems to come on TV when I'm working out. It's extremely difficult to focus on running when Adam Richman is chowing down on some of the most delicious looking fried chicken I have ever seen. Being pregnant is also a great excuse to go downtown for some grub. Or go anywhere for some grub for that matter.
Our first stop was Gus's Fried Chicken. We had been warned that Gus's was kind of a hole in the wall, but hey, some of the best restaurants are. When we got there, we could see why. Upon first glance, Gus's wasn't anything special. A small, inconspicuous-looking restaurant a short walk from Beale St. with a single sign out front simply stating "Gus's Friend Chicken, World Famous." Pretty lofty claim for such a small place, but one step inside the barred door proved that many people agreed with their claims.
As we walked in, the smell of fresh chicken and fries was everywhere. The walls were simply decorated with eclectic pictures of dancing chickens and the daily beer offerings, and the room was packed with a number of small tables filled with hungry people. We were seated at a table in the corner after a short wait and introduced to our waitress who (luckily for her) was able to handle plenty of sarcasm. We each ordered heaping of plates of fried chicken accompanied by baked beans, coleslaw, and slices of white bread - and for the true southerners with us, sweet tea - and discovered after the first bite that the chicken at Gus's was worth all the hype.
Each bite had just the right amount of spice and crunch. Unlike other places where I've had fried chicken, the breast meat was juicy and plentiful and fat-free - meaning well-trimmed. Only in my dreams would this chicken have been a fat-free food. A girl can dream, right?
I first learned about Kooky Canuck (formerly Big Foot Lodge) on Man vs. Food when Adam Richman went to Memphis to tackle their Big Foot Burger - a 7 pound mammoth hamburger the size of a small child. But other than making huge hamburgers that can feed a small army, they also have delicious desserts, like the skillet chocolate chip cookie that I shared with the hubby. The cookie is not just any cookie - it's served in a skillet, piping hot from the oven and topped with delicious vanilla ice cream. If I hadn't just eaten a giant plate of chicken, I'm sure I could have eaten this cookie all by myself. I couldn't even get a picture before tearing into this thing. They even offer peanut butter cookies topped with ice cream if you prefer. I'll definitely be going back for that one.
So that's how my Saturday was. I hope yours was just as delicious.