Louisiana Fried Chicken - Soul Food Extravaganza 

Who you callin' chicken?

Hear ye, hear ye! On this 26th day of July, I Rachael Daigle bequeath upon Louisiana Fried Chicken the most honorable title of "Best Damn Fried Chicken in the Stinkin' Universe." Sorry, Mom. And yes, dear readers, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but this here space is my column (and if you don't like my outlandish and absolute proclamations, then go get your own).

So there I was, sitting on the curb in front of the recently opened fried chicken purveyor just moments after interviewing California native LFC owner Randi Miller, who explained that LFC is a not a franchise, but rather entrepreneurs purchase licensing rights to sell the chicken in a new or existing business. I was watching the traffic shuffle in and out of the Broadway shopping center's parking lot while my hiney roasted on the pavement—which, prior to my brief inhabitance, had been baking in the 100-plus degree day—facing a moral dilemma. To eat, or not to eat, that was the question. See, during a brief lunch rush meeting, general manager David Mikell grabbed a piece of fried chicken out of the fryer and served it up to me on a paper towel, declaring that if I was planning to write about it, I better eat it first. Ah, an empiricist. Possible insinuations of editorial bribery aside and the fleeting mental image of PETA pics depicting overstuffed chicken coops dismissed, I sat on the curb staring at the spiced-speckled thigh and asked myself, "should I cheat?" (The verb "to cheat" is used here not in the biblical sense—which would have made for an interesting lunchtime curb-side scene with a drumstick—but in the way that you promise yourself not to feed your body anything other than raw vegetables for the sake of bikini season.) Brief consideration lead me to the conclusion that the fried morsel in my hands was a thigh for my soul, not my thighs.

Slightly spicy, crunchy batter, tender chicken and with the skin still on (yes, for the love of poultry, the skin still on), I sucked the bones clean and licked my fingers greaseless. And that's no gratuitous use of a variant on the overused phase "finger licking good." LFC earned every licked finger.

My obsession aside, you can get your chicken fix combo style (the Second Down with a leg and thigh, small side, small soda and a roll is only $3.99), in strips, in a bucket or piece by piece for around a buck. Fried shrimp is also on the menu currently, as are a whole list of "off-sides," including red beans and rice, dirty rice, corn on the cob, slaw, mac and cheese, greens and hush puppies. And according to Mikell, ribs, gumbo and jambalaya will soon make appearances on the menu, just in time for football season. Mikell, a former Boise State football teammate of Miller's son, says LFC plans to woo tailgaters all over town with catering specials that include, among other choices, the "Best Damn Fried Chicken in the Stinkin' Universe."

Louisiana Fried Chicken, 2132 Broadway Ave., 424-0208

Heads up!

Get your palate cleanser and your baby wipes ready, because Soul Food Extravaganza is happening on Saturday, August 5. Brisket, ribs, slaw, pulled pork, fried chicken corn bread, gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, black eyed peas, fried catfish (ooh, my favorite), BBQ chicken, collard greens, pecan pie, lemon cake, sweet potato pie ... with enough sweet tea to drown all your sorrows, it's heaven for the soul food lover.

14th Annual Soul Food Extravaganza, August 5, 11:45 a.m.-8 p.m., Julia Davis Park

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