Fried Chicken in Houston - Frenchy's, Just Oxtails

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2009/03/05 11:21:18 (permalink)

Fried Chicken in Houston - Frenchy's, Just Oxtails

Frenchy’s has been a Houston favorite for fried chicken since 1969 when Frenchy Creuzot introduced his spicy, Creole-style fried chicken, served with a side of jalapeno pepper, years before Popeye’s came to town.  For years the only location was on Scott, just off the corner of the University of Houston campus.  People from all walks of life and economic station came from all over the area, especially on weekends when it was difficult to squeeze your way into the parking lot and the lines were very long.  The success of the place has inspired various copy cats locally such as Frenchey’s, Little Frenchie’s, and even O’Frenchy’s.  (I stole all of this information from other sources.

Like many places in Houston and all over the Texas Gulf Coast, Frenchy’s still lacks a street-side sign 6 months after Hurricane Ike.  The tail-end of the line for the drive-through window can be seen on the far side of the building and sometimes stretches out into the street.

Recently the company has been expanding with numerous locations around town, usually just small, hole-in-the-wall, mainly take-out operations.  It seems the quality has slipped a bit as a result.  The fried chicken was known for being amazingly ungreasy and the crisp, crunchy, firmly attached breading; it’s still good but not as good as I remember it from years past when I had it.  It’s gotten greasier and also seems to me it’s not as spicy as it used to be.

A rare sight at Frenchy’s, especially just minutes before noon, short lines at the windows.  There are four windows with the one to the far right, not open in this picture, just for phone-in orders. The dining area is fully enclosed now and has heaters for the winter time and ceiling fans for summer.

The chicken is deep-fried and held under heat lamps but because of the volume of business I’ve never had any that had dried out due to the wait at the main location but that’s not true at some of the satellite stores.  Besides the fried chicken the sides are worth a visit, especially the greens with pot likker and red beans, rice and sausage, which uses Frenchy’s own Cajun sausage.  The Frenchy Fries are very popular.  I also like the po’boys, served on a good, crusty French roll, especially the sausage po’boy.

A two-piece Mini order with red beans, rice and sausage plus a side order (medium) of greens.  I forgot about the biscuits when ordering.  Both the cornbread and biscuits are good but I prefer the biscuit usually.  I had to re-attach a bit of the always-stays-attached breading for the photo.  This was $9.71 including tax.


Just Oxtails, Reed Rd. on the South side, off 288.

After getting disappointed several times at Frenchy’s and trying O’Frenchy’s (not recommended) and one of the Frenchey’s (not bad), I heard about this place, a soul food cafeteria.  They serve fried chicken on Friday’s and Sundays only and it’s really good.  I’ve heard it is skillet fried but don’t know for sure but  I’ve been 3 times in a month and a half.  The portions are very large and very good.  A three piece dark with 3 sides is $8.65 including tax. 

All the sides I’ve had are good.  The dark meat pieces have been very juicy and flavorful.  I think they use a little more black pepper than most in the seasoning and it works well.

The picture comes from the time I picked up two meals to go to take home and share with a neighbor who’s been undergoing chemo; she has a pretty good appetite but not the stamina to go out.  On my first visit I couldn’t help but be impressed by the look of the catfish, served only on Friday so just so the picture doesn’t go to waste: 

This was awesome even after about a 20 minute drive home although the bottom sides of the chicken pieces had gotten soggy.  Those were some of the biggest catfish pieces I’ve ever had.  They put foil in the box to protect the fish from getting soggy from the juices; I wish they’d done that with the fried chicken or at least put the mashed potatoes in a separate container.  We got to share some of all the sides and the two entrees and it’s hard to say which I like better but Houston has lots of good catfish places and great fried chicken is harder to find.  The catfish dinner was $10.81 including tax.  We calculated that between the green beans, pintos and greens, there was probably the equivalent of 2 rashers of bacon on the two plates.  This is a good thing.  I think I like the greens here better than Frenchy’s. 

I haven’t tried the gumbo, haven’t even remembered to look at it when I go through the line, but every time I’ve been there I’ve seen people buying it by the quart to go.

This is not in the most scenic part of town but whether it’s dangerous or not I don’t know.  Some people come all dressed up, even on Friday, but it’s not fancy at all.  If you go, go very hungry and not in a hurry.  My first visit, about 1:15 on a Friday, it was 37 minutes after I walked in the door until I got through the line.  I tried another time to get there right at 11am and there was already a line (and they didn’t open until about 11:10).

Just Oxtails

post edited by dexmat - 2009/03/05 11:27:17

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    Filet Mignon
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    Re:Fried Chicken in Houston - Frenchy's, Just Oxtails 2009/03/05 11:30:50 (permalink)

    Nice report.

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    Re:Fried Chicken in Houston - Frenchy's, Just Oxtails 2009/03/05 13:28:09 (permalink)
    How do they prepare the Oxtails at Just Oxtails???
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    Re:Fried Chicken in Houston - Frenchy's, Just Oxtails 2009/03/05 17:37:54 (permalink)
    I haven't had them yet, just discovered this place a few weeks ago.  I'll try them someday and report back.  I'm not even sure I've seen them but that '40 weight gravy' doesn't look very heavy to me.
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