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Fried Chicken on My Mind

Jennifer Reed is a South Florida chef and owner of the the Sugar Monkey. She blogs on Clean Plate Charlie about food and the people who make it.

A three-week road trip through the South and Midwest was exactly what I needed to gain ten pounds and get in touch with my hillbilly roots. And I say this from the bottom of my heart. I love that part of me -- the hillbilly, not the ten pounds. I grew up eating my grandma's fried chicken and biscuits. For the biscuits, she just threw all the ingredients in a bowl. She didn't measure; she just eyeballed everything, even the big spoonful of lard she threw in last. And collard greens with hamhocks, fresh green beans cooked with bacon, and the corn bread... Oh, that tender corn  bread. 

Whenever I know I will be traveling through the South, I am always searching for fried chicken and biscuits. So I read. I read all the Southern magazines and foodie websites, always on the lookout for somewhere new to try. And this time, I really thought I was onto something. 

I had read about the fried chicken at a certain cafe in Asheville, North Carolina,

numerous times. I had also read that they were on the locavore

bandwagon -- or part of the Foodtopian Society -- as they put it. Just

another reason to check and see what all the buzz was about.


first look at the menu, and I knew some serious l-b's would be added to

my ever-expanding rump. Have you heard the argument that you can't find

anything healthy to eat at a locavore restaurant? OK, so I was going

there intentionally to eat fried chicken and biscuits, but a nice light

starter would have been oh-so-welcome! We opted for the hot pimento

cheese with tortilla chips. It was exactly that. The fried chicken that

I ordered turned out to be one boneless, skinless, dry, split chicken

breast. Oh yay, so glad they didn't state that on the menu! What a

nice surprise not to have cut through any crispy skin and tear any juicy

flesh off the bone! My husband, whatever, he got a big fat sandwich. Please don't make me talk about the biscuits.


suppose I am just a little shocked and being harsh because you can get a

salad there. Or a one-pound burger! But "Ashe-thentic" (their word, not

mine) food was everywhere I looked -- only I kind of felt like I was at a

Ruby Tuesday's.  

So if you ever find yourself

in that area, keep on driving right over to Glenville, North Carolina. There is a

little restaurant there called Happ's Place.

You can BYOB anything you want. Even Barefoot Sauvingon Blanc like

the table next to us. They are known for their trout, but I got the

chicken. A boneless fried chicken breast, just like the menu says. It

was beautiful and golden brown outside, tender and juicy inside. Oh Grandma, you would have loved this place.

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Jennifer Reed

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