I think it's clear people in Texas are into eating fried food. And, it's becoming even clearer that we aren't shy about deep-frying non-traditional items. Why, then, should we be limited to chicken (and maybe fish) when we're craving a red-and-white bucket of battered goodness? Attention, colonel! Here are five riffs on KFC I want to see in H-town:
5. Kentucky Fried Vegetables. "Tempura" is probably a more accurate description of how I envision broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, eggplant, etc. would be prepared at KFV, which may also sell handrolls, but would focus mainly on fried vegetables. Unlike most Japanese restaurants, KFV would offer segregated tempura vegetables as well as mixed batches in paper boxes of various sizes.
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4. Kentucky Fried Oreos. Granted, this popular fair and carnival treat is so rich that it's hard to eat more than two, but what if you want to provide dessert for a crowd? A drive-through KFO open late night would be perfect for picking up last-minute confections for a party and a welcome addition to Houston's selection of drunk- food meccas.
3. Kentucky Fried Tofu. Already a common appetizer on Thai and Chinese menus, fried tofu seems to have won over Americans with its savory squishiness and crisp, salty coating. The next step is offering it in buckets small, medium, and large and providing a selection of dipping sauces.
2. Kentucky Fried Quail. What is a quail, really, but a cousin to the chicken? I mean, they both belong to the Order of the Galliformes, right, so why fry one in large quantities but not the other? Their size makes them easy to eat on the go, and if KFQ decides to box legs only, you'll have yourself a fine snack indeed. I'll admit, the acronym (KFQ) may pose some problems, as I'm sure it'll take only one hot minute for someone on the internet to joke, "KFQ? Oh K, eff, Qyou!". Wait, that's me.
1. Kentucky Fried Soft-Shell Crab. This isn't the first time and certainly won't be the last time I make a public plea for a joint devoted exclusively to vending fried soft-shell crabs in half-dozen and dozen portions. There's something incredibly appealing about being able to consume a whole creature in toto and combine that pleasure with the unique briney batter of the soft-shell crab. It's a dish that demands to be eaten in multiple servings.