...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."