For the last fifteen years, I’ve been wanting to try Gus’s Fried Chicken, in Memphis. We had been to Memphis a couple of times over that span, but the chicken encounter never seemed to happen. This fascination all goes back to reading, somewhere, that they had the best fried chicken in America. A couple of weeks back, when we were in Oxford, I saw that there was a Gus’s there, on the square, but we had other plans. Last week, I saw a Facebook post that someone was at the new Gus’s in Atlanta. What?
So on this Sunday morning, we headed downtown to Peachtree Center. We didn’t really have an address beyond “Peachtree Center”, which is a fairly broad starting point. We parked in a parking garage, in the building that houses Agatha’s and walked out the front door onto Peachtree Center Avenue and found it diagonally across Andrew Young Internstional Boulevard. It looked like I knew exactly what I was doing – score! For reference, it’s right next door to Benihana’s. The decor is urban chic – in fact it reminded me of an Urban Outfitters – with concrete floors, and reclaimed wood paneling on the walls and the ceiling. In a not so shocking turn of events, we both ordered fried chicken.
I ordered a three piece white, with fries and mac-n-cheese. Jo had two pieces with slaw and baked beans. I’ll get back to the chicken in a minute. For the sides:
- the fries were fairly nondescript – they appeared to be frozen;
- the mac-n-cheese was odd – it was like Kraft macaroni and cheese with two other kinds of grated cheese on the top;
- the baked beans at least tasted home-made – if they used a prepared product as a base, they made them taste good; and
- the slaw (according to the BBEEEST) was very good and very fresh.
The chicken was excellent – the crisp skin opened to a very moist chicken inside. And it was spicy – you can see the spice here.
When we ordered, we asked “how spicy” was the spicy chicken and were told “not very”. This was not terribly accurate. It was more than “not very” spicy, which was not too spicy for us, but would be a shock to someone who did not care for spicy food. Honestly, the chicken was so good that we ordered six more pieces to take home for dinner one night in the week. In the next several months, when there are articles and comments about who has the best fried chicken in Atlanta, I think that Gus’s name will be at, or near, the top.