Posts Tagged ‘Gas station Chicken’
I’ve written a lot about what I (and apparently others) call “gas station chicken.”
Across the deep south, you’ll run into these fairly often. Some call them “fry delis,” and the independent ones often have a melange of offerings, fried chicken, tenders, egg rolls, corn dogs, catfish nuggets, potatoes.
I’ve done kind of an overview in the past, traveling across the south.
I’ve driven by another operation with multiple locations, Dodge’s Southern Style, but my attempt at research to find their origins or number of locations came up dry. (Other than they are old, and possibly based in Tupelo, MS). But I bumped into one recently in Dyersville, AR, near the Tennessee border. For many people, Dodge’s is a gas only operation, they pull in, fill up without every experiencing the wonderment which lies just inside the glass doors.
In a word, I like Dodge’s a LOT. Their batter has more cornmeal than competitors, so it comes out crispier. They also feature “Jo Jo” potatoes, and while different places offer a product with the same name, most often they are deep fried potato wedges, quarters. Why no one ever trademarked/patented it/them, I’ll never know. First time I ever recall seeing them was on a Shakey’s pizza buffet. Various places attribute the name originally to a joint in Waconia, MN, and the name spread across the Upper Midwest. Who knew?
“Dinners” or “plates” also come with a dinner roll, which is fine, nothing to write home about. In any case, lacking a national director of Chesters, Krispy, and Dodge’s, and having to rely on highway information signs to locate them, usually, I know now I can be satisfied at any of these three operations!
Dodges published monthly specials on their spartan website.
Dodge Southern Style Chicken Review
You know I’ve written a lot about “gas station chicken,” or “fry delis” as they are called in the deep south. Counters inside of gas stations, c-stores, or truck stops, these enterprises sell freshly fried chicken, and sometimes sausage, fish, shrimp, eggrolls and the like.
The Calument gas station (formerly Spur) at the food of the Blatnik Bridge in Superior, Wisconsin, is home to Franks Fast N Fresh Deli, serving plate meals and individual pieces of chicken and other goodies early til late. They also have fries, corn dogs, cheese sticks and some sides.
The chicken is reportedly some of the finest to be found in Duluth-Superior. But then, what gas station chicken isn’t?
Locals “in the know” fondly call the gas station “Chicken Spur.” It’s on Hammond and N. Fifth Street, across from the Hammond Steak House in the map below. Lest out of towners get further confused, Superior is sometimes referred to as “Soup Town.”
Franks Fast N Fresh Deli
I know, what the hell is BurgerDogBoy doing writing about chicken? On any given day, if you asked me what i wanted to eat for my next meal, chicken usually wouldn’t even be in the top 25. Yet, this week, I had it no less than 5 times! WTF? Do I need to start a new blog? Chickenman? Oh, wait, somebody already did that.
Maybe I cracked. Maybe I have mad cow. Maybe I am just bored as shit from eating the same stuff over and over again?
In no particular order, except oops, it’s an order, I am starting with the best, Mrs. BDB fired up the cast iron tonight to fry chicken and home. Never a shortage of condiments or boxes of every kind of mix one can imagine in the world, naturally, this week on the road, I picked up more, including fried chicken mix from Sylvia’s, the original soul food restaurant of Harlem. The package proclaims “it’ll make the colonel cry”, which would be quite a feat, considering his tear ducts turned to dust decades ago. Maybe they mean some other colonel.
In any event, this powder made some of the best damned fried chicken we have ever had at home. Mrs. BDB makes champion fried chicken in any event, but this was extra tasty, and a beautiful golden color. See?
I have written in the past about c-store pizza vendors and franchises, but didn’t include a discussion of Chester Fried, which is a similar notion to people like Hunt Brothers Pizza, but purveying fried chicken instead, from various locations ranging from c-stores to food courts. The company was started in the 50s but evolved into Chester Fried by the mid 70s and now boasts over 1500 locations. That ain’t chicken feed, as they say!
While not purporting to be a chicken expert of any kind, among KFC, Popeye’s and Chester, I find the latter to be a far superior product, even tho their menu offerings like the depth of the larger mentioned chains. Why? Often KFC seems to be out in the alley shooting junkyard dog chickens, I find their meat stringy and tough more often than not; Popeye’s seems to use dwarf chickens exclusively, or maybe it’s the equivalent of chicken veal, as these are the smallest chicken parts I have ever experienced. Chesters, on the other hand, offers large, flavorful, juicy chicken pieces, and some pretty fair “potato wedges’ to go with it.
Their menu has an odd assortment of other deep fried items, using the same batter – corn dogs, burritos, and curiously, deep fried corn on the cob, which I haven’t tried. I love corn on the cob in almost any form, but I fail to see how deep-frying it would enhance the product in any means. As for sides, there’s barely a fast food side that can touch the quality of Popeye’s red beans, but that dish in itself is kind of a regionally acquired taste. Having lived in New Orleans (the birthplace of Popeye’s btw), I have a fondness for it, and local legend speaks to it’s fine taste coming from using lard as an ingredient. Maybe yes, maybe no.
I did like the Chester Fried, however, and won’t hesitate to order it again.
My local Chinese restaurant, which has fairly authentic offerings on the menu (I judge this only because I lived in China for some years), also has the standard Americanized entrees, and his (whatever your local place calls it) fried chicken with the sweet orange colored sauce, is above reproach.
I don’t know what possessed me to get that for take out on a) the first nite home from a burger tour, and b) in a week where I had eaten chicken several times, and c) the nite before Mrs. BDB was going to whip up HER fried chicken.
Maybe it’s all because I just felt “chicken” about coming home. An inside joke here.
All in all, I was happy with each of my chicken selections this week, but of course, Mrs. BDB’s ruled the roost.