A family of Atlanta chickenistas has moved into the little Westside building that briefly housed LeRoy’s Fried Chicken. While this restaurant also focuses on fried bird and the street sign and building are basically as they were before, there are several distinctions between the patriarchal Curly’s Fried Chicken and 1021’s former tenant.
First, Curly’s doesn’t focus on the locavore movement (aka – no “gourmet” Springer Mountain chickens). Second, in lieu of lard, Curly’s uses canola oil to fry their product in. Third, the prices at Curly’s are more inline with those of most chicken shacks (LeRoy’s was hella expensive). There are a handful of other differentiators, but those three points alone establish a very different playing field for Curly’s, and by consequence, produce a very different type of expectation for a meal at Atlanta’s newest fried chicken parlor.
If a person was to ask you to explain the definitive dish at the institution of Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, your response might read something like this:
Chicken and waffles: noun – 1) a deleterious combination of crunchy waffles and crisped chicken skin, met in the middle by juicy, intensely seasoned chicken meat under an onslaught of airy, melted butter and slathered in a bath of hot sauce, gravy, and maple syrup. 2) death on a plate.
One of the oldest symbols of inbred fusion cooking, an order of chicken and waffles is, for better or worse, a staple of Southern food and an expose of its soulful influences. While it is most oft-identified with the Deep South, where places like Gladys Knight’s rule the roost, the Los Angeles based Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles, might be the most famous purveyor anywhere.
Well, leave it to the better half of the Ambiguously Foodie Duo to spill the beans. As first noted by @EatItAtlanta, Curly’s Fried Chicken has now opened at 1021 Howell Mill, the previous home to Julia LeRoy’s eponymous LeRoy’s Fried Chicken. According to the Curly’s website, Curly is Steve’s dad and Steve is the dude who runs Curly’s.
The menu at Curly’s is a little more expansive than LeRoy’s as it includes white fish and fried shrimp in addition to fried chicken and some classic Southern sides. Prices are much more reasonable than they were under the previous tenant. I’ll hit y’all up with the 411 re: how the food tastes just as soon as I have more time on my hands. In the meantime, Jimmy already walked up and tried it. See what he had to say.
It’s a typical Atlanta summer night. My windows are ajar, the shades open, and the late night sun has finally dipped beneath the event horizon. However, I’m not on my porch puffing a cigar nor in my media room kicked back and taking in the comedic barbs of Jon Stewart. No, I find myself curled up in bed, lights off and prostrate to the world. I’m suffering from one of the most intense food hangovers I’ve wrestled with since I began this online journal. Such is the result of my meal at LeRoy’s Fried Chicken, a Westside take-out food stand that has opened with a thud.
Recently fried (aka opened Wednesday) on the Westside, chef Julia LeRoy, Clay Harper and Mike Nelson have introduced LFC in the spirit of a culinary rage. Fine dining is out whereas food trucks, fast casual grub, and playful rifts on the traditionally simple seem effervescent. LeRoy’s finds itself somewhere in the middle of this world. Save for the slightly edgy fried chicken liver sandwich, this is a traditional and no frills soul food endeavor. As LeRoy’s espouses the use of locally raised, ethos conscious chickens, this is simplicity for simplicity’s sake in all of its glory.
On a recent working weekend, after Adam and I were rejected by Busy Bee Cafe (they are closed on Saturdays), we were forced to look elsewhere for grub. We volleyed back and forth until Adam suggested Paschal’s, a long-standing highbrow soul food joint. It’s amazing to me how many times I’ve visited Castleberry Hills for a meal, only to drive right past Paschal’s. Furthermore, it’s not a particularly good sign that when pressed to come up with a place to get my Suth’un fix in, Paschal’s almost never comes to mind. This despite the fact that it is in close proximity to where I work/live.
Started as a motor hotel by a couple of brothers way back yonder, this Atlanta mainstay has gone the way of corporate America. As my only previous visits to Paschal’s occurred around the time I just started to learn my two plus two’s, I cannot really speak to what once was. What we have now, for better or worse, is the fine dining version of Mary Mac’s Tea Room.
JCT Kitchen just donkey punched me… alright, just had to get that out of the way.
I’ve been all up and over the Westside recently. In that spirit, it’s no surprise then that I found myself dining at JCT Kitchen yet again. It’s time to throw some more stars out, and so JCT gets the nod.
It’s a restaurant I’ve dined at a number of times over the last couple of years; early on, I felt the food drifted toward decent and solid. The unfortunate fact is that the more I visit JCT, the less I like it. In fact, elements of my last couple of meals have ping ponged back and forth between passable and horrendously terribly unforgivably bad (take that senior English teacher!). Alright peeps, no pictures for this one (crushing I know), but plenty of things to discuss.
Ahhhhhhhhh … everyone’s favorite gut buster … none other than Carver’s Grocery on the Westside of Midtown. Okay, in all technicality – what you have is a restaurant (aka Carver’s Country Kitchen) inside a grocery (aka Carver’s Grocery). The reality is that in all my years of visiting the Carver’s and their restaurant, I’ve never once see anyone purchase anything remotely approaching a “grocery.” So for the sake of brevity, let’s just call them one in the same.
Carver’s, named after owners Robert and Sharon Carver, is yet another in a long list of Atlanta institutions that serves soul food, aka southern cuisine, aka meat’n three (though they are actually a meat-and-two). Truth is, the vast majority of long standing Atlanta restaurants serves the aforementioned. But that’s neither here nor there, and the culinary classification that you ascribe to this joint is nothing more than a matter of semantics. At the end of the day, you’re going to walk out with your waist line expanded and your health calorically challenged by indigenous food from south of the Mason-Dixon.