"If you haven't eaten at Gus's. . .
. . .you haven't eaten fried chicken."
Or so their T-shirts say.
Last weekend, my g/f and I went to Bozo's in Mason, Tennessee and I posted about that visit in the BBQ forum. I mentioned in that thread that the aroma fromnearby Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken tempted me, so I made a return visit to Mason this past Saturday afternoon.
I am breaking in a rebuilt engine on my motorcycle, so like last weekend, I stuck to the backroads between Memphis and Mason in order to keep the speeds variable and slow. During the ride, we once again saw that ZEBRA! in a pasture eating grass among a herd of mules, but I digress.
We arrived at Gus's around 4:30 or so in the p.m. on Saturday afternoon. We were the only customers at that time, but the place quickly began to fill up shortly after we arrived. We took a seat at a table and had to wait several minutes before a girl working there took our order. I ordered the 2 pc dark plate but asked specifically for two thighs. My g/f got the two pc dark plate too, and it came with a leg and a thigh. The plates comes with beans and slaw, and we each ordered a side of french fries too.
Our food arrived quickly. The beans were nondescript. There was some Crsytal hot sauce on the table, so I added it to them to give 'em a boost. The mayo-based slaw was flavorful, if a bit sweet. My g/f suggested it was similar to KFC, yet good. The fries were not exceptional but certainly edible.
But the sides really weren't why were there. We came for the yardbird!
My fried chicken thighs were fried very dark. They were not very greasy at all and it looked like they were fried to the point of being well done. The batter was very crisp, flavorful, and mildly spicy. Inside, the chicken was hot, moist, tender and cooked to perfection. The flavor of the meat balanced very nicely with the crisp and spicy texture of the batter and skin. My g/f enjoyed hers too, and was curious about the dark color of the breading and pleased with the relative "ungreasiness". My thighs were a bit on the smallish side, so I later ordered a breast because the chicken tasted so good and I had room for a little more! The breast was as enjoyable as the thighs. It was also not as dinky in size as the two thighs.
In sum, Gus's is certainly worth a stop if you are in the general area. My local favorite, Jack Pirtle's, is equally enjoyable yet different. Plus, Pirtle's has gravy fries! Maybe I need to do some quality control at Pirtle's soon and post a full report.