Let’s start with the Louisiana kitchen at Popeye’s! I ordered up a standard 3-piece meal (dark) along with a side of dirty rice. Popeye’s is decked out in the traditional orange fast-food motif but we’re here for the fried chicken, amiright? My chicken came out very lightly fried without much grease. Popeye’s fried chicken is famous for its Cajun style spice so their chicken has a tiny kick at the end. The batter is pretty light and not overdone at all, just enough to keep the meat juicy!
Bojangle’s fried chicken is cajun-style and a bit heavier on the breading so there’s a lot of crunch and snap to the skin. Inside the chicken was really juicy and there was just a hint of heat at the end. Portion size, the chicken was about the same as Popeye’s but the biscuits at Bojangles are solid: large, fluffy and with a bit of salt. The mashies? Well, nothing to write home about but if you put sausage gravy on top, I’m eatin’ it! Bojangles makes some excellent fast-food fried chicken, you really can’t go wrong here.
Going up the fried chicken food chain is the down-home, Dames Chicken and Waffles in Durham. I’m not sure who the brilliant person was that concocted this combination but they should be congratulated! Dames is a small family-run joint that has only one thing on the menu: chicken and waffles. BUT you get to choose from a variety of plates for chicken drums, wings or filets. There are different types of waffles and different shmears (flavored butter) and syrups to go along with that delicious fried chicken. Home-made sides ranging from fruit to mac n cheese and sauteed squash, finish off the meal.
Supported by a group of voracious Triangle Yelper’s, we popped into Dames for lunch today. My order of the Red-Crested Rose Comb comes with two chicken legs kissed with powdered sugar, strawberry shmear and a beautiful, soft waffle. Dames really knows its fried chicken: well-seasoned coating, deeply fried which makes it tender, tasty without much grease. Syrup at the table gives you an opportunity to bling out your waffle a bit. Slice off some chicken, fork it on with some waffle, dip it into some butter shmear-syrup and whoa. Flavor party in your mouth! The side of macaroni and cheese was also great, creamy and spiked with oregano. At $12.80 not a bad deal at all for the chicken, waffle, side and sweet tea. (Note: Dame’s dishes out a LOT of food and in our group, the clean plate club was dominated by the Yelp women. A tip of my hat to the ladies…)
Now it’s really hard to go wrong with fried chicken, it’s all good! And I’m certainly not trying to directly compare upscale Beasley’s chicken with Bojangles but you do need to know what you’re getting for your hard-earned dollars. You can go fancy, get the frou-frou honey-chicken at Beasley’s (check our my updated review here!) or just feel content to eat your fried chicken at a plastic table, the choice is yours. Or you can go the middle route of fried chicken with those delectable waffles! And don’t forget the biscuit, mac n cheese and collards, because the sides count too. Bawk-bawk and bon appetit…
Great Fried Chicken in the Triangle
Popeyes- Various Locations
Bojangles- Various Locations
Dame’s Chicken and Waffles- Durham
Beasley’s Chicken and Honey- Raleigh