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Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken, Memphis

310 S. Front Street
Memphis , Tennessee
Tel: 901 527 4877's insider take:

Gus's casual checkered tablecloths and concrete floors hint at this location's humble past as a machine shop, and you might lift an eyebrow at Gus's self-proclaimed "world famous" status, but the poultry haven has indeed cultivated an enviable reputation. The recipe for Gus's success: bone-in chicken coated in a somewhat spicy, special-recipe batter, and then fried in peanut oil to a state of crispy, brown perfection. Once you visit, you'll understand why many visitors skip the side items to save room for more bird. But if you're intent on sides, try the not-too-mushy potato salad or the Cajun fried rice. (Isn't everything better fried?) For dessert, there's chess pie, with a rich filling that resembles a room-temperature custard—but with a tad more sugar and butter. In February 2007, Gus opened a second shop in Collierville, east of the city (215 Center St.; 901-853-6005). A word of caution: Avoid the imposter Gus places around town. As the staff here will tell you, "They just ain't the real deal."

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