Restaurants

It's National Fried Chicken Day. Get a leg up on where to celebrate in DFW

Grandma's fried chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans at Little Red Wasp in downtown Fort Worth
Grandma's fried chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans at Little Red Wasp in downtown Fort Worth rmallison@star-telegram.com

Restaurants come and restaurants go — including restaurants that serve fried chicken. The past couple of years, we've listed places to celebrate National Fried Chicken Day, which happens to be today, as in July 6. But some of those places are gone, and at least one moved.

There is also an existential question to deal with: Should we include the places where the fried chicken only comes on a sandwich or a biscuit? We're going to go with "yes," but within limits.

And of course, you have the option of making the fried chicken yourself (or eating some someone made for you) or going to any number of fast-food chicken joints. But here's an update list of other places you might consider celebrating.

FORT WORTH area

Babe’s Chicken Dinner House: The place in DFW for pigging out on fried chicken, which means a lot of people thinking about National Fried Chicken Day are going there — and if you’ve ever seen the lines at some Babe’s locations, especially the one in Roanoke, you know that a lot of people go there for dinner, anyway. The chicken comes family-style, so bring family, friends or just a whopping appetite. 104 N. Oak St., Roanoke, 817-491-2900, http://www.babeschicken.com; eight other North Texas locations, including 120 S. Main St., Burleson, 817-447-3400, and 230 N. Center St., Arlington, 817-801-0300

Brewed: The "locals' living room" started as a place to get coffee and/or beer, hence the name, but has continually tweaked things and added to its menu — including an all-day breakfast featuring the Magnolia Chicken Biscuit ($10), a huge biscuit with a fried chicken tenders, applewood bacon and Provolone; and an offbeat take on chicken and waffles ($10) that features a waffle made out of macaroni and cheese. 801 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-945-1545, www.brewedfw.com

Buttons: Soul-food Keith Hicks was a Fort Worth pioneer when it came to chicken and waffles, which now seem as common on breakfast menus as eggs Benedict and pancakes. But you can also skip the waffle and get two pieces of Hicks’ fried chicken with two sides at lunch for just $9, and three “chicken wangs” with Jamaican jerk seasoning at dinner for $10. Or just dive in to the Sunday buffet for $21. 4701 West Fwy, Fort Worth, 817-735-4900, https://buttonsrestaurants.com

Chef Point Cafe: On the menu, it’s called “Better Than Sex Fried Chicken” ($20) and while we’re not sure we’d go that far, it is some of the best fried chicken we’ve ever had — crunchy, mildly spicy coating (“with secret sauces and spices,” says the menu) with a succulent interior. Comes with fries or roasted potatoes — and a suggested wine pairing. 5901 Watauga Road, Watauga, 817-656-0080, http://chefpointcafe.org

Drew's Place: Aka Drew’s Restaurant in west Fort Worth, this 31-year-old spot has a reputation for some of the best fried chicken in the city. Some places say it’s the best. Last year, they were on vacation during National Fried Chicken Day, but this year, you can crunch into some chicken.  Just be aware that they close at 3 p.m., but they're open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, and who's to say you can't have a Fried Chicken Weekend? 5701 Curzon Ave., Fort Worth, 817-735-4408, http://drewssoulfoodfw.com

Fixe Southern House: A place with "Southern House" in its name should have good fried chicken, and Fixe, opened within the past year in the Shops at Clearfork, stands by its fried chicken platter by putting a $21 price tag on it. 5282 Marathon Ave., Fort Worth, 682-707-3965, https://fixesouthernhouse.com

Gus’s Fried Chicken: Memphis-based chain, known for its spicy but not Nashville-hot chicken, added a Magnolia Avenue location late last year in Fort Worth. It’s proved popular, with good lunchtime crowds. “No two legs or two thighs look the same, and I have a hunch that many diners are reduced to squabbling about whose breasts are bigger,” Anna Caplan wrote in her Star-Telegram review. 1067 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-927-4693, gusfriedchicken.com

Little Red Wasp: A couple of years ago, downtown fine-dining spot Grace’s more casual sibling Little Red Wasp added “Nashville hot” chicken to its dinner menu. It remains one of the best places in Fort Worth to get Nashville hot — and it also offers other variations, including “Grandma’s” and “Brothers Barbequed Chicken.” Each plate comes with leg and thigh plus sides (which vary depending on the style) for $18. 808 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-877-3111, littleredwasp.com

Lucile’s: Southern fried chicken is a relatively recent addition to Lucile’s menu but man, they do it right. First off, you’re not going to go away hungry: you get a breast, wing, leg and thigh, along with mashed potatoes with perfectly peppery gravy and corn on the cob with a nice little smoky char on it. But back to the chicken: the crust is mildly seasoned and gloriously crunchy — we were scraping up crumbs of it when everything was done — the chicken juicy and with some buttery hint to it. The whole thing is $14.95 at lunch ($16.95 at dinner), and it feels like a steal at that price. 4700 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, (817) 738-4761, http://www.lucilesstatesidebistro.com

Mash’d: When a place calls itself a moonshine bar, it doesn’t necessarily raise high hopes about its food — but Mash’d has consistently done well with the non-drink side of its menu during our visits. At Mash’d, chicken is brined overnight in a solution of salt, sugar, lemon and fresh herbs, then double-dredged in heavily seasoned flour before being fried and served with jalapeño-berry marmalade. It’s become one of the most popular things on the menu. The moonshine drinks? Those are pretty good, too. 2948 Crockett St, Fort Worth, 817-882-6723; also 3401 Preston Road No. 1, Frisco, 214-618-9440; http://mashd.com

Max’s Wine Dive: The restaurant’s slogan is “Fried chicken and champagne ... why the hell not?” When the chicken is as large and good as it comes at Max’s, why not indeed? Especially on National Fried Chicken Day, when both DFW locations will be offering fried chicken for $10 (regular $18) all day long. And that includes mashed potatoes, collard greens, Texas toast and chipotle honey butter. 2421 W Seventh St. No. 109, Fort Worth. 817-870-1100, http://www.maxswinedive.com/fort-worth-west-7th-st

Paris Coffee Shop: The historic diner was on Magnolia Avenue way before Magnolia was cool, but if you want to celebrate National Fried Chicken Day here, get there before lunch ends at 2:30: One of the Friday specials is southern fried chicken and cream gravy. 704 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-335-2041, http://www.pariscoffeeshop.net

Reata: A couple of years ago, Reata added fried chicken and grits — inspired by founder Al Micallef’s favorite recipe — as a Monday-only item. But it was too popular for Mondays only, and now it’s a regular lunch item. It’s easy to see why it caught on: The pieces are huge, the crust crackly with a hint of seasoning, the interior juicy and the accompanying poblano and bacon grits — practically an entree in itself — is a creamy complement. 310 Houston St., Fort Worth, 817-336-1009, http://www.reata.net

Roy Pope Grocery: Historic, old-school west Fort Worth grocery also has a busy deli, where you’ll see lots of white- and dark-meat fried chicken behind the glass. It might not be quite as hot as you’ll get at a restaurant, but the chicken turns over fast, keeping it warm enough (and fried chicken is one of those things that’s good at almost any temperature, anyway). The crust was more tender than at some other places on this list, but nicely seasoned. And the chicken, two sides and a soda from the cooler were barely more than $10. 2300 Merrick St, Fort Worth, 817-732-2863, http://roypopegrocery.com

Taste n See Chicken and Waffles: Formerly located on Altamesa Boulevard, this modest restaurant moved to the TCU area this year, taking over the space formerly occupied by Cafe Brazil. You can get chicken and waffles the old-fashioned, bone-in way, but you can also get them with a bone-free chicken breast. The waffles are pretty good, too. 2880 W Berry St., Fort Worth, 682-841-1870, http://tastenseefw.com

DALLAS area

Bbbop: One of the most popular dishes at this Oak Cliff “Seoul Kitchen” is “Not Your Mama’s Fried Chicken,” which can be lightly glazed with your choice of soy ginger or spicy chili. 828 W. Davis St., Dallas, 469-248-3702, http://www.bbbop.com

Chicken Scratch: Tim Byres’ funky west Dallas spot offers buttermilk fried chicken on or off the bone. The website calls it “Chicken made from scratch with a nostalgic flavor profile.” But there’s something about any kind of fried chicken that’s nostalgia-inducing for a lot of us. 2303 Pittman St., Dallas, 214-749-1112, http://cs-tf.com

Prohibition Chicken: Restaurant/cocktail bar takes aim at Babe’s with family-style dining, including “crispy fried,” “hot chili-fried” and “smoke-fried” (pecan smoked) chicken. Come with an appetite, and remain thirsty for the Prohibition-era-style cocktails that give the place half of its name. 201 W. Church St., Lewisville, 214-222-3302, www.prohibitionchicken.com

Stampede 66: The acclaimed restaurant is pushing Dallas celebrity chef Stephan Pyles’ honey fried chicken ($16 lunch/$24 dinner), based on his grandmother’s recipe [and] is served with buttermilk biscuits and gun barrel gravy. 1717 McKinney Ave, Suite 100, Dallas, 214-550-6966, https://stampede66restaurant.com

Ted Miller, Ellis County BBQ, makes his Texas Hotties - chicken, cheese and jalapeño wrapped in bacon - out of the deep fryer at the Bedford Blues and BBQ festival in Bedford, TX, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner)

This report includes material from Star-Telegram archives.

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