Today, my mother and I had lunch at Gus's Fried Chicken. And when I say Gus's, I mean the Gus's. The only one. The one on Front Street. For me, it's still the only one that exists. I'm a Memphis purist that way.
But anyway. Our lunch at Gus's.
Gus's is a Memphis institution. Like all self-respecting Memphis restaurants, it's a bit shady-looking and a bit run-down. And also like all self-respecting Memphis restaurants, it doesn't pretend to be anything more than it is.
So what is it, exactly? Well, it's the best fried chicken in the city. It's some pretty darn good baked beans. It's some awesome seasoned fries. And it's hands-down one of my favourite places in Memphis.
My general go-to at Gus's is the 2 piece dark meat plate, which comes with a thigh and a leg, baked beans, slaw, and 2 pieces of white bread. Depending on who I'm with, I'll trade out the slaw and substitute it for something else [usually mashed potatoes], but since my mother likes slaw, I just shared it with her. She had a breast piece and a side of baked beans, and we shared a medium basket of the seasoned fries. My favourite part of fried chicken is obviously the skin, and theirs is fantastic.
Throughout our lunch, I just kept saying over and over to my mother, "My stomach is so happy right now". I don't get down to my downtown and Midtown restaurants as often as I'd like, since we live so far east, so it's always a bit of a treat to get back to one of my classics.
Location: on Front Street just south of Beale in downtown Memphis.
Parking: street parking wherever you can find it. be sure to pay attention to the No Parking signs.
Serves: lunch and dinner.
Portion sizes: pretty big. there was a day not so long ago when I could finish 2 pieces of chicken, 2 sides, and the 2 slices of bread without blinking. my appetite these days is a little less than what it once was, so even that is a bit much for me.
Prices: very reasonable. I want to say the 2 piece dark meat plate was around $8. our total bill - including 2 drinks and 2 breast pieces that we packed for my father - was $22, which is pretty good considering that fed 3 adults.
Methods of payment: accepts cash and credit.
And did I mention the cups are souvenirs that you get to take home? A pretty good deal, if you ask me.