Hot Dish: Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

By Lesley Balla  |  September 14, 2016
Credit: Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

There is no shortage of great fried chicken in this town, from Korean glazed wings to Roscoe's chicken and waffles and Howlin' Ray's Nashville hot chicken, but there is always room for more. Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is not a misnomer. A longstanding family business, the Memphis chain is known the world over for its cayenne-spiced, red-tinged crisp chicken. It's surprising that it's taken this long to make it out west, but if finally has, landing in a brick-walled spot in Mid-City. The space is casual and familial, with checkered tables, TVs and neon signs and music memorabilia on the walls. Just the kind of place for a fried-chicken drop-in.

The thing to know about Gus's is that although it calls its its fried chicken "hot and spicy," it's not mouth-searing like Nashville-style chicken. There's no extra coating of seasoning and spice on the outside; instead, the batter is laced with cayenne pepper for its kick. Every meal (usually two pieces of white and/or dark meat) at Gus's comes with white bread, which helps sooth the burn, but a little ranch dressing wouldn't hurt either. It is, in fact, recommended. Of course a side of coleslaw or mac 'n' cheese also helps, or beans and greens or any of the other down-home sides that can come with a chicken plate. You can also get legs, breasts, thighs or wings a la carte, but you'll only use that option to add more chicken to your order. You'll never want just one piece of chicken and nothing else. Other fried things (all fried in peanut oil, mind you) include perfect green tomatoes, okra or pickles, and ends to the meal include chess pie. Gus's is open 11 AM-9 PM, Sunday through Thursday, and until 10 PM on Friday and Saturday.

1262 Crenshaw Blvd.; 323-402-0232