It's National Fried Chicken Day! Five Places to Celebrate in St. Louis

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The fried chicken at Porter's - IAN FROEB
  • Ian Froeb
  • The fried chicken at Porter's
Today, July 6, is National Fried Chicken Day. So why don't you celebrate the festivities the only logical way: Eat some fried chicken! Yeah, yeah, we all know that Hodak's is the area's most famous fried chicken, but here are some of Gut Check's favorite spots.

Porter's Fried Chicken
3628 South Big Bend Boulevard, Maplewood
314-781-2097

Recently featured as one of my 100 Favorite St. Louis Dishes, the fried chicken at Porter's is outstanding: crisp exterior, juicy interior and, if you like, very spicy. It is also an absurdly good value. As pictured above, it costs only $4.99.

Young's Restaurant & Ice Creamery
206 Meramec Station Road, Valley Park
636-225-6677

The individual pieces are given a saltwater rinse, coated with the obligatory secret breading and then cooked in a pressure fryer. (You could call it Broasted if Broasted weren't already trademarked.) The batter is thin and crisp, with just enough residual oil to give the chicken that extra fatty indulgence without toppling over into greasy. The breading's seasoning is restrained, accenting rather than masking the taste of the tender chicken.

-- "Fry Me to the Moon," November 26, 2009

The fried chicken at Pat's - IAN FROEB
  • Ian Froeb
  • The fried chicken at Pat's
Pat's Bar & Grill
6400 Oakland Avenue
314-647-6553

Look at that batter! You can almost hear it crunch. If you can resist the temptation to devour all the breading before you dig into that chicken, you will find moist meat that, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, is nearly as indulgent as its breading.

The chicharron de pollo at Fritanga - IAN FROEB
  • Ian Froeb
  • The chicharron de pollo at Fritanga
Fritanga
2208 South Jefferson Avenue
314-664-7777

In the chicharron de pollo, the chicken (a breast and wing) is hacked into small pieces. This provides at least one advantage: the ratio of meat to crisp, light batter is much closer to even than it is in a whole fried chicken breast. The chicken is marinated in lemon juice prior to deep-frying, which gives the flavor a pleasantly bright edge. For an added kick of flavor, to each piece I added a dollop of Fritanga's awesome homemade chimichurri sauce, tart and spicy.

Café Lazeez
14248 Manchester Road, Ballwin
636-527-5900

If I were visiting Café Lazeez on my own dime, I might not have glanced at the American part on the menu. That would have been a mistake: Café Lazeez offers a couple of fast-food gems -- notably its "broasted" chicken. Broasting produces incredibly tasty chicken. The breading is thin, very crisp and not exceptionally greasy. The chicken itself is very tender and juicy and surprisingly spicy.

- "Creative Fusion," July 16, 2010

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