Gus’s Fried Chicken – Fort Worth, Texas

I will do it, but rarely. I will write about chain restaurants. In this case, the closest locations to the one in Fort Worth are Austin and Little Rock, so I think it’s OK.

Gina and Ms. Maggie Vanderbilt built their first fried chicken place in Mason, TN in 1973 after many years of selling their chicken out of the back door at a local tavern. After they passed away, their son, Gus, inherited the business and changed the name to Gus’s World Famous Spicy Fried Chicken.  Years later after eating, making and serving the chicken, Wendy McCrory opened the Downtown Memphis location. With 14 locations in 8 states and more coming, they still use Na’s original and very secret recipe.

This is damn good chicken.

You need to know they only sell spicy chicken. There is no mild version. Even the kid’s meal is spicy.  The strips are a little milder than the chicken if that helps.

If you take home leftovers the chicken gets about twice as spicy when it cools overnight. Like, it-will-hurt-your-butt, spicy.

On my most recent trip, my friend Lisa came with me.

We started with the Fried Green Tomatoes. They come out fresh, hot and crispy served with Ranch dressing. They are as close to perfection as fried green tomatoes can be.

© 2017 Ricki K Ewing

Lisa got the 3 piece Dark Meal with Potato Salad and Cole Slaw. Both, but especially the slaw, were refreshing sides to the heat of the chicken.

© 2017 Ricki K Ewing

I ordered the Chicken Strips with Mac and Cheese and Baked Beans. The beans are sweet with a hint of spicy and the macaroni and cheese was super creamy and cheesy.

© 2017 Ricki K Ewing

Both meals are served with a slice of white bread. Order extra if you need to tone down the heat a bit.

Then there is pie. Man, I love pie.

There were so many choices we got 3 pieces and shared them. There was Chess Pie (some people call it Buttermilk Pie), Chocolate Chess Pie (I call it a slice of pure chocolate greatness) and Lisa’s favorite, Coconut Pie. It is hard to pick a favorite. They were all good and that crust – it was good old fashioned crunchy, flaky goodness.

© 2017 Ricki K Ewing

If you want dessert but don’t want to spring the cash for it, ask them if they have any Ugly Pie. For a $1.50, it is the same pie but just ugly – broken crust or a little torn – tastes the same.

Come here hungry and with patience. If you are not an early eater, there will be a line to get in the building.

Gus’s Fried Chicken

1067 W Magnolia Ave.

Fort Worth, TX 76104

(817) 927-4693

Location:  32.73047, -97.33658

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