The Best Damn Chicken Trail Guide for Southeastern Indiana

Yeah, this is a hiking website, but you’ve gotta eat too, right? Ever heard of a culinary trail? Think of it as a trail you hike with your face.

The best damn fried chicken restaurants in the United States are all conveniently clumped together in one little artery-clogging corner of Southeastern Indiana. Here, fried chicken is lifeblood, and we’ve assembled a comprehensive list of establishments on (and off) the famed “Chicken Trail.”

 

Behold, fried fanatics! I present to you the ultimate chicken trail interactive map.

(Click or tap the icons for location information.)

CHICKEN TRAIL INTERACTIVE MAP
  Official Trail     Butch’s Extended Trail

  Scroll for details  

Official 2019 Chicken Trail passport

Below are the most recent members of the official annual Chicken Trail organized by Main Street Brookville, Inc. in which participants can have their passport stamped to be entered in a cash prize drawing.

(Please note that this website is not affiliated with Main Street Brookville, Inc., or the restaurants listed, but we’re big fans.)

Collecting trail stamps for the drawing ran from April through September of this year, but of course fried chicken is great during the colder months too. Hot months, cold months, dinner time, picnic lunch … breakfast in bed …

 The Chicken Trail rundown

The Fireside Inn

2174 S County Line Rd, Greensburg, IN 47201
(812) 934-4174
Hours: Sun-Mon CLOSED, Tues-Sat, 5pm-10pm
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member Fireside Inn restaurant exterior facade in Enochsburg, Indiana.

Simply put, this place does fried chicken right. What started out as a tavern for a veteran and his war buddies in 1950, the Fireside Inn later began its legacy of fried chicken perfection in the 1960s and has spanned three generations of owners in the Kinker family.

Restaurant patrons seated in a dining room at the Fireside Inn restaurant in Enochsburg, Indiana.

If you love their addictive “crisp chic” chicken batter, you might be interested to know that they use it for other menu fare as well. For something different, try Wednesday night’s all-you-can-eat whole-fried catfish, or get some gizzards on Thursday night. You will not be disappointed. Unless of course you choke on a catfish bone — then maybe.

Foil-lined basket of fried chicken with sides of cole slaw, french fries and a salad at the Fireside Inn in Enochsburg, Indiana.

The Fireside also has taco night on Tuesdays. I’m still trying to convince the owner to offer a fried chicken and coleslaw taco, but maybe Enochsburg isn’t ready for that.

 

If you’re a fan of Indiana University basketball, walking into the Fireside is like stepping back in time to the 1980s when Bobby Knight was throwing chairs and the Hoosiers won the NCAA men’s basketball championship. The irony of ironies, however, is that the owners are both Purdue grads. They decided it’s best not to rock the boat — their customers will decide who to root for, thank you very much.

(Full disclosure: I am an Enochsburg native, practically everyone in my family has worked at the Fireside at some point, and I’ve known the current owner since kindergarten. I’ve eaten my body weight in this chicken many, many times over and, yeah, I might be the sliiiightest bit biased when I say that I think the Fireside Inn has the best chicken on the face of planet Earth. Tell me YOUR favorite in the comments below!)

Wagner’s Village Inn

22171 Main St, Oldenburg, IN 47036
(812) 934-3854
Hours: Sun 10am-8pm, Mon-Sat 10am-9pm
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member Wagner's Village Inn exterior facade in Oldenburg, Indiana.

The pepperiest pepper chicken there ever was, experiencing this pan-fried delicacy is a must for any chicken aficionado. Of course, since Wagner’s chicken is seasoned to order, you can actually request them to hold the pepper. But why in the world would you do that?!!!

Close up of chicken pieces peppered and seasoned before cooking at Wagner's Village Inn in Oldenburg, Indiana.

Pro tip: You can also request EXTRA pepper. This is a thing you must do, and you will be glad. The New York Times recently bestowed the honor of “best of the best” upon Wagner’s chicken, and most won’t disagree with that statement. Chicken is a territorial thing in these parts, though, so don’t be surprised if your opinion opens up a full-on chicken-fried debate.

Wagner's Village Inn owner Ginger Saccomando pan fries chicken in the kitchen.

Wagner’s is open on Sundays whereas the Fireside is not, so score one for Wagner’s in this friendly battle for chicken superiority.

This is neither here nor there, but the restaurant also has a creepy ass clown painting in the corner. Request the table next to it and eat silently in terror. Just you and your loved ones, a basket of chicken, and the cold deadly gaze of a deranged clown — the perfect atmosphere for any get-together. (Just teasing guys — we love you.)

The author poses next to a painting of a clown that hangs in the dining room at Wagner's Village Inn.
It’s looking at me, isn’t it?

Wagner’s has Warsteiner Beer on tap as well, a favorite consumed in mass quantities during Oldenburg’s summer Freudenfest. It goes great with chicken, so be sure to pair a dunkel (or two!) with your meal. Prost!

 

Stone’s Family Restaurant

2376 E Co Rd 820 S, Greensburg, IN 47240
(812) 591-2435
Hours: Sun-Tues CLOSED, Wed-Fri 5pm-9pm; Sat 11am-9pm
  Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member Stone's Family Restaurant exterior in Millhousen, Indiana.

Stone’s Family Restaurant in Millhousen is one of the more out-of-the-way locations in relation to the “central” Chicken Trail, but the list wouldn’t be complete without this Decatur County icon. The fact that it’s the only Decatur County restaurant on the official trail shows a certain level of respect. It’s worth the trip.

Not only is the fried chicken yummy as heck, Stone’s also wins the unofficial prize for the most photogenic bird. Don’t ask me why — this chicken just photographs well (see the image below as well as the main photo at the top of this article). If there’s such a thing as Instagram-ready chicken, this is it.

A table with plates of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, a dinner roll, corn and a piece of pie.
Stone’s menu fare
Restaurant patrons seated in one of the dining areas at Stone's Family Restaurant in Millhousen.
The Brau Haus

22170 Water St., Oldenburg, IN 47036
(812) 934-4840
Hours: Sun 11am-8pm, Mon CLOSED, Tues-Sat 11am-9pm
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member the Brau Haus exterior in Oldenburg, Indiana.

If you find yourself eating fried chicken in Oldenburg and you’re not doing so at Wagner’s, it can only mean that you’ve heard the Brau Haus serves up a mean bird in this town as well. And it does. Really mean.

In fact, although it might be sacrilege for an Enochsburg Fireside die-hard to say so — *gasp* — the last time I ate at the Brau Haus the chicken rivaled anything I’ve ever had. Kudos to the cook frying that day, because it couldn’t have been any better.

A basket of fried chicken between two plates and two mugs of beer.

You’d be remiss if you didn’t try the pork schnitzel dinner as well. Alas, that’s a different trail though.

Bonus points: Spaten Beer is on tap. Drink a few and have your picture taken next to the dicke Frau painting outside for the win!

St. Leon Tavern

28920 IN-1, West Harrison, IN 47060
(812) 576-3401
Hours: Sun CLOSED, Mon-Sat, 11am-12am
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member St. Leon Tavern exterior in St. Leon, Indiana.

When the New York Times mentions your restaurant’s chicken in the same sentence as the words “some of the best I’ve tasted,” it’s cause for celebration.

Such high praise on a national level wasn’t just a boon for St. Leon Tavern, it shone a well-deserved spotlight on something we Hoosiers in the southeastern part of the state have known all along — the chicken isn’t just good around here, it is its own culture.

The NYT article was vindication for this culinary heritage at last. Folks in St. Leon stand a little taller these days, and new customers continue to flow into the establishment on a daily basis seeking the holy grail of piquant peppered poultry.

The only thing the New York Times sort of missed in its article was the headline: ‘If It’s Sunday in Southeastern Indiana, Order the Fried Chicken.‘ That was probably the fault of a careless copy editor, because I’m positive the author knew that about half of the places in his article are actually closed on Sunday, including St. Leon Tavern.

St. Leon Tavern interior with tables and chairs and a bar area.
Klump’s Tavern

9809 N Dearborn Rd, Guilford, IN 47022
(812) 623-4175
Hours: Sun 12pm-10pm, Mon-Sat 10:30am-10pm
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken trail member Klump's Tavern exterior in New Alsace, Indiana.

The historic Klump’s Tavern in charming New Alsace serves up a wide variety of tasty concoctions including a half-pound “Dale Burger,” deep fried pickles and a chicken hoagie known as a “choagie.” But on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it’s the fried chicken you need to set your sights on.

Here, you can order your chicken by the piece or by the bird, so dinner is easily customized for members of your party who might prefer more drumsticks and thighs than white meat, or vice versa.

 

When we arrived at 2:30 on a Friday afternoon, the tavern was about to close for the night due to a funeral. Only in a small close-knit town will you find a business that closes on one of its busiest nights, and although we were a little disappointed, we understood.

Klump's Tavern interior showing Christmas lights on the ceiling over a bar area.
Lil’ Charlie’s

504 East E Pearl St, Batesville, IN 47006
(812) 934-6392
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm; Fri-Sat 11am-10pm
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member Lil' Charlies restaurant exterior in Batesville, Indiana.

Lil’ Charlies Restaurant & Brewery in Batesville has built itself a fine reputation for some of the best steak around — so much so that it might overshadow the fact that they also fry up a tasty half chicken coated in course black pepper.

Since the chicken is made to order, the restaurant asks that you be patient as it does take “a little extra time for this hometown favorite.” Also, it might not go with a chicken dinner, but the warm soft baked pretzels and bier cheese appetizer is too good to pass up.

Lil' Charlies interior showing a dining room with tables and chairs and a bar area.
Osgood Grub Company

406 N Buckeye St, Osgood, IN 47037
(812) 689-4362
Hours: Sun-Thurs 10am-9pm, Fri-Sat 10am-10pm
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member Osgood Grub Company exterior in Osgood, Indiana.

The Osgood Grub Co. has been family owned and operated since 1977 and features a fun atmosphere with whimsical iron sculptures by artist Dale Loughery. Fried chicken dinners are served with rolls and one side (get the slaw or fries) and come in half orders for $8 or whole for $14.

Since a whole chicken is going to be split by two or three people, you’ll want to add an à la carte side or two to your order.

For something out of the ordinary, go for the twice fried wings. The Grub Co. also offers what looked to be a decent buffet.

Food buffet at Osgood Grub Company restaurant.
The Reservation

1001 N Warpath Dr, Milan, IN 47031
(812) 654-2224
Hours: Sun 6am-8pm, Mon-Sat 6am-9pm
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

A man enters the front door of Chicken Trail member Reservation Restaurant in Milan, Indiana.

The Holt family has operated The Reservation since 1985, and during that time they’ve built a strong tradition in Milan and an impressive menu. The fried chicken is not served every day, so be sure to visit on Wednesday, Friday or Sunday if you want to see for yourself how their bird stacks up against the others.

If you happen to find yourself at the restaurant on a day that their chicken isn’t the daily special, they do offer a chicken & waffles sandwich topped with hardwood smoked bacon. Yum! Other favorites include bacon cheese fries, grilled chicken alfredo and the “Big Chief” — a full one pound Angus hamburger.

If you have any room for dessert after all that, The Reservation has homemade cobbler and an “ultimate chocolate chip cookie skillet.”

Dairy Cottage

1116 Main St, Brookville, IN 47012
(765) 647-5451
Hours: Sun-Thurs 9:30am-9pm, Fri-Sat 9:30am-10pm
 Menu (Items, prices and store hours are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member Dairy Cottage interior showing a tile floor and a green painted ceiling.

People in Brookville often wax poetic about the Dairy Cottage. “Have you tried their (such and such)?” That’s how a lot of conversations begin in this town. And if your answer is no, any proud Brookville-ian will likely offer to drive you there. Immediately.

The Dairy Cottage is that good, and their “flavor rich fried chicken” is the highlight of the menu. This may be the only place on the trail that offers chicken buckets and party packs with a “deluxe” option — no backs.

 

The sparkling interior of Dairy Cottage makes it one of the brightest and most inviting stops on the Chicken Trail as well.

J’s Dairy Inn

207 W Union St, Liberty, IN 47353
(765) 458-5812
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member J's Dairy Inn exterior facade in Liberty, Indiana.

The folks at J’s Dairy Inn are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and this family restaurant offers good eats at wallet-friendly prices. Chicken is sold in a 3-piece basket and includes “Jo Jo’s” (potato wedges) or regular fries, two rolls and their heavenly cole slaw. For an extra twenty cents, J’s will turn your Jo Jo’s into “Chuck” Fries with their special season salt.

A smart addition to the menu are the chicken bits — small bites the kiddos will love. For those with bigger appetites who aren’t in the mood for chicken (what’s wrong with you?), there is the Jumbo J-Boy, the restaurant’s half-pound version of their signature double-decker burger.

An interesting fried chicken footnote to the J’s story is that Col. Harland Sanders approached the restaurant owners in 1957 looking to sell a franchise of his recipe. J’s politely declined.

J's Dairy Inn interior showing red tile floor and wooden booths.
Pioneer Restaurant

412 Court St, Brookville, IN 47012
(765) 647-7935
Hours: Sun 12pm-12am, Mon-Sat 7am-12am
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member the Pioneer Restaurant exterior in Brookville, Indiana.

Pioneer Restaurant and Lounge sits directly behind the beautiful Franklin County Courthouse in Brookville. The restaurant’s “Saturday Nite Special” is a heckin’ deal that includes a 3-piece chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, cole slaw and a hot roll — all for $8.95.

The Pioneer also serves gizzards, which makes them near and dear to my heart. The livers on the other hand you can keep, hahaha. Nothing against the Pioneer, I just couldn’t ever get my taste buds to agree with livers. If you’re feeling wild and want to expand your chicken horizons, go for the “Chunky Chic’n Cheese” sandwich.

Note: The closest parking requires paying a meter during daytime hours, so be sure to break your piggy bank before heading out.

The Pioneer Restaurant interior showing tables, booths and wood paneling.
American Legion

1290 Fairfield Ave, Brookville, IN 47012
(765) 647-4613
Hours: Closed to general public. Look for event info.

A large painted stone chicken stands outside the sign for Chicken Trail member American Legion Post 77 in Brookville, Indiana.

Even the local American Legion post in Brookville gets in on the fried chicken fun, and these vets know their ways around a fryer. The Bernard Hurst Post 77 often has a “fried chicken drive thru” among its monthly public events, and you can’t beat the price at $10 per bird ($6 for half). Call (765) 647-4613 to find out when their next fry is scheduled.

In past years, the Brookville VFW Post 2014 participated in the Chicken Trail as well, and some locals say both camps make the best bird in town. Of course, those might be fightin’ words depending on who you talk to.

American Legion Post 77 exterior.
Liberty Bell

215 S Main St, Liberty, IN 47353
(765) 458-6115
Hours: Sun-Sat 6am-9pm
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member Liberty Bell Family Restaurant exterior in Liberty, Indiana.

Liberty Bell Family Restaurant has an unapologetic red state vibe that smacks you right in the face the moment you walk in the door. If you like your chicken with a side of politics (and your politics are on the same side as theirs), then you’re going to feel right at home.

Otherwise, the mannequins with Trump 2020 hats might spook you just a little — in which case you should probably get your chicken to go. Democrats still gotta eat, after all, and a Republican chicken tastes the same as a regular one — it just has different beliefs about its eggs.

 

On Saturdays, Liberty Bell lets you gobble as much of their famous pressure-fried chicken as your poor belly can handle, thus helping make America great again one hypertensive diabetic at a time.

To ensure this is a bipartisan ribbing, Democrats should know prior to visiting that there is no free government fried chicken program, so they will have to pay just like everyone else.

Now that I’ve offended everyone (except for Libertarians who don’t count), let’s get back to the trail.

Rack with several "MAGA" Make America Great Again and Trump hats at Liberty Bell Family Restaurant.
Ainsley’s Cafe

15179 Old State Rd 101, Liberty, IN 47353
(765) 458-7474
Hours: Sun 11am-9pm, Mon-Tues CLOSED, Wed-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm; CLOSED November-March
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member Ainsley's Cafe exterior showing view of Brookville Lake, Indiana.

Ainsley’s Cafe offers lakeside dining on beautiful Brookville Lake and is hands down the most scenic stop in all of Chicken Trail-dom. That said, we were left scratching our heads about the restaurant’s inclusion on the list because they don’t serve fried chicken in the traditional sense — at least not on a regular basis. Hot wings, yes. A chicken dinner, no.

They do, however, make a mean chicken parmesan that is the best around, and the onion straws are top notch. You should definitely visit Ainsley’s for an excellent meal with great service and unbeatable atmosphere, but you should know in advance that you won’t find a fried chicken dinner here.

Also note that Ainsley’s is open seasonally from April to October, so follow the Ainsley’s Cafe Facebook page to ensure they’re open before heading out.

Cricket Ridge

22087 Pocket Rd, Batesville, IN 47006
(812) 934-6348
Hours: Sun-Thurs 8am-8pm, Fri-Sat 8am-9pm
 Menu (Items and prices are subject to change without notice.)

Chicken Trail member Cricket Ridge exterior showing golf carts in Batesville, Indiana.

You don’t have much time to experience the glorious fried chicken at Cricket Ridge, as all operations will cease after Dec. 31, 2019. Growing up, going to Cricket Ridge to eat with our large extended family was always something special. This place just felt like home, and it will be sad to see it go.

The restaurant and golf course is up for sale, and locals are hopeful a buyer will be found to save this countryside gem in which so many of us have fond memories.

The Farmhouse

19049 Clayborn St, Metamora, IN 47030
PERMANENTLY CLOSED

Unfortunately, the Farmhouse in Metamora closed in July 2019. We wish the owners the best.


 Off the beaten meat trail

After my dad and I drove to each stop on the Chicken Trail circuit one day, Dad asked why some of the places we’d passed or knew of were not on the trail. These thoughts prompted him that night to have a dream about adding our own stops to the trail.

Here are his thoughts encapsulated in a voicemail he sent me the next day that had me in tears.

Dad’s hilarious voicemail

So adding more stops is exactly what I’ve done. I’ll need to think more about how to repackage Dad’s “shit your pants” ratings system for the general public, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for my own reality TV series, but he had some solid ideas. It’s worth noting that in Dad’s eyes if you don’t serve beer, you’re immediately disqualified, haha. I told him those are the places he’ll just have to get his chicken via carry out.

 

You won’t get passport stamps for these places, but the deposits they’ll leave in your ventricles will surely be memorable for years to come. And although they aren’t part of the most recent official trail — who knows — maybe they’ll be invited to participate in future years.

So without further ado …

 Butch’s Extended Chicken Trail

Is fear of missing out on every single amazing morsel of fried chicken giving you the meat sweats? Fear no more! Below are some excellent outliers on what we’re calling “Butch’s Extended Chicken Trail” that are steeped in the same Southeastern Indiana fried chicken tradition.

Cedar Grove Tavern
405 4th St., Cedar Grove, Indiana
(765) 647-6240
Hours: Sun 12pm-12am, Mon-Sat 11am-2am

Homeboyz Fried Chicken and Fish
1451 Washington St., Columbus, IN 47201
(812) 657-7977
Hours: Sun-Wed CLOSED; Thurs 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-5pm

Laurel Hotel
200 Pearl St., Laurel, IN 47024
(765) 698-2912
Hours: Sun 11am-9pm, Mon-Wed CLOSED, Thurs 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm
Menu

Napoleon Tavern
US 421 & 229, Napoleon, Indiana
(812) 852-4404
Hours: Sun CLOSED, Mon-Sat 6:30am-9pm

Storie’s Restaurant
109 E. Main St., Greensburg, IN 47240
(812) 663-9948
Hours: Sun CLOSED, Mon-Sat 8am-7:30pm

Have a suggestion for the extended trail? Let us know!

 Or heck, why not make your own?

I asked my brother-in-law over at Brookville Butcher what went in to making a great fried chicken, and he came back with this dead simple recipe:

 Brookville Butcher Best Damn Fried Chicken Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 10-piece cut chicken with breast cut across
    (this way the breast pieces aren’t too big and fry more evenly)
  • Buttermilk
  • Salt
  • Course ground pepper, a.k.a. restaurant-style grind
  • Flour
  • Lard

Directions:

  • Soak chicken in buttermilk
  • Season with salt and pepper before dredging in flour
  • Pan-fry in lard

Garnish with cold Busch Light Draft.

In exchange for this recipe that I probably could have Googled I’m supposed to tell you that the Brookville Butcher has fresh chicken delivered three times a week and you should visit their Facebook page. They don’t sell Busch Light though — that’s a couple blocks down at Tebbe’s.

 Forever in our aortas

Restaurants previously participating in the Chicken Trail that sadly are no longer open include:

  • Bayshore, Lake Santee (although we’ve heard it’s now called Bryants and serves chicken — something to investigate)
  • Bonaparte’s Retreat, Napoleon
  • Farmhouse, Metamora
  • Goldfinch Restaurant, Brookville
  • Grote Trading Post, Bright
  • Hearthstone, Metamora
  • Lincoln Street Grill, Greensburg
  • Mousie’s, Connersville
  • Old Brick Tavern, Penntown
  • Ye Old Shack, Brookville

 What is YOUR favorite?

We’d love to hear about your own chicken-fried experiences. Have you ranked this list? Think we’ve missed a place? Let us know!

Drop us a comment below!

 Now take a hike!

If you’ve gone on a 10-mile hike, you’ve earned yourself a half chicken dinner basket. Alternatively, if you’ve just eaten a half-chicken dinner basket, you now need to go hike 10 miles just to burn off those calories.

See how we tied this all back to hiking? You’re welcome.

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15 Replies to “The Best Damn Chicken Trail Guide for Southeastern Indiana”

  1. Okay there are so many parts of this that made me laugh, but Andrew’s face next to that creepy art definitely takes the cake…er…chicken. I also need to eat my way into a heart attack by trying every single place and following that killer map! You guys rock!!

    1. Hahaha, thanks Jessie! If you’re ever in our neck of the woods we’ll give you the full culinary tour: fried chicken, pork tenderloin, mock turtle soup and goetta (a.k.a. Cincinnati caviar). 🙂

  2. That day I showed up late to your wedding and met your dad, I definitely saw him in you. And now with the voicemail, he definitely sounds a lot like you. Go figure.

    For years I’ve told Teresa I need to start a blog on heritage bakeries (my word) that features recipes handed down through generations. Ones that still use all sugar, real eggs, etc. and don’t focus on cupcakes, gluten free items, or artisanal breads. Basically the artery clogging desert companion to the fried chicken trail.

    This also brought back some good memories of the Humpty Tenderloin Trail. With onion rings.

    Genes Cafeteria used to be known for it’s fried chicken in Columbus. So I have fried a few hundred dozen chickens in my life growing up. Some day I’ll need to get geared up and try to recreate. You two will be on the guest list.

    1. Ooooh, now there’s a blog I’d read — that’s a great idea! And I totally agree about our tenderloin week. I must have gained ten pounds, haha. That’s the next food post I should write. I look forward to being a guest at your next chicken fry! Thanks for reading Greg!!!

  3. We’re new to Columbus Indiana, and we were finally off together on a weekday to try Shorty’s ( they’re only open during the week at lunchtime) and we lucked out that it was Fried Chicken day. OMG the chef is from New Orleans and she makes the BEST fried chicken I’ve ever had. It looks a mess but don’t let that stop you from partaking! Mashed potatoes and gravy with green beans finished out our plate, and my husband also had to try her red beans and rice. He loved it. Seriously though the chicken was superb. I think they said they only make it on Tuesdays but they really should make it a daily thing.

    1. Thanks for sharing Maureen! I’ve only had the biscuits and gravy at Shorty’s, so I’ll have to give the fried chicken a go. I was lucky enough to have met Shorty, God rest his soul. The breakfast was outstanding, and I couldn’t believe how cheap the bill was. I haven’t been back since Shorty died, so I don’t even know if they still do breakfast there. But if the chicken is as good and messy as you say it is, well I only work a handful of blocks away. I think it’s time to go get messy, hahaha!

  4. Head a little further north to Willow Springs in Hagerstown, Indiana. Last time I was there (couple years ago), they were using some sort of spice on their cast iron pan fried chicken. Also, a place called Baby’s Indy on the near north side of Indianapolis is serving a spiced/zesty broasted chicken. It was really good.

    I hope to get out and try some of the other places on your list soon.

    1. Thanks, I’ll have to check them out if I’m ever in those areas! I tend to prefer just salt and pepper on my chicken, unless we’re talking Buffalo wings, heh. But I have an open mind, so I’d be willing to give it a shot.

  5. The Pioneer has the best chicken, service and hours. Dawn does a great job!
    Relative to your doing your own:
    1. Deep fried is best.
    2. Deep fryers can be made relatively easily. 55 gallon drum, furnace burner, gas regulator and cast iron tub
    3. Lard is the nectar of the gods.
    4. No buttermilk! Keep it simple salt pepper and flour.

    1. Thanks Joe! I was never sure if buttermilk did much for the flavor, but then again I’m not sure which places use it. When I ate at the Brau Haus last week, I commented to my dad that the chicken seemed kind of … buttery … and more milky-tasting. It didn’t dawn on me until later that it had probably been soaked in buttermilk, haha. It was excellent though! Thanks for reading!

  6. This one may not exactly qualify, unless counting your car/van/truck as a dining room, but A & W in Greensburg has been making some damn good chicken for many years. Just saying. Also, it features O’Mara’s chicken as do many of the places mentioned on your list.

    1. It’s funny you mention that because one of my Greensburg friends said the same thing. Also, growing up, my mom always said Fry’s A&W was her favorite, but in all this time I’ve never had it. I knew they remodeled not long ago to look more like an A&W chain, and I’d assumed (incorrectly) that with that they got rid of their carry out chicken. My Greensburg buddy and some of our friends are talking about a little road trip to investigate. I’m going to do some research to see whose recipe it is — Fry’s or the chain. If it’s a local recipe, then I’ll most definitely add it to the “extended trail.”

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