With over 300 fried chicken joints in the Carolinas, what’s more fitting than to celebrate July 6, National Fried Chicken Day at one or more of the listings in “The Great Carolina Fried Chicken Map.”
From Biscuits n Porn, located in a gas station in Nags Head, North Carolina, to the elegant The Pump House, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, this publication is suitable for framing. Included are enough fried chicken spots to keep the day tripper on the road for months.
Trivia buffs will appreciate facts and figures like a chicken’s maximum flight speed is 9 miles per hour; the average American eats 80 pounds of chicken per year; or that the chicken is the closest living relative to the dinosaur.
So many varieties from the classic, heavily-battered, Southern-fried to the lightly dusted Calabash chicken, and you will find chicken and waffles, Korean double-fried, and Carolina Dipped (a recipe involving brining with any ingredient from salt to champagne). Here are but a few of the eateries listed on the back of the map.
Smith Street Diner, Greensboro, NC, for chicken marinated in buttermilk and hot sauce on Fried Chicken Thursday. Voted Best Breakfast Restaurant in Greensboro, think Chicken and Waffles.
Biscuit Head “Put some South in your mouth,” Asheville, NC, and Greenville, SC. Mimosa fried chicken brined in champagne and orange juice, served with an amazing biscuit. You’ve heard of beer flights? How about gravy flights to dip your chicken and biscuits?
Bay Street Biergarten, Charleston, SC. “Garlic, onion, soy juniper, pineapple & lemon marinated chicken that turns up on a waffle sandwich with green tomato jam, bacon & hickory syrup.”
Piggly Wiggly, Ware Shoals, SC. This age-old grocery store is noted as the first self-service grocery, with fried chicken offered as a take-out staple.
Big Bull’s Bang’n BBQ & Southern Comfort Food, in Columbia, SC, takes the chicken wing to a whole new level. Deep fried then topped off with Sweet Golden Honey and Bull’s White Sauces. Or go sweet and spicy with 7 Seconds Sauce.
Leroy Fox, with two locations in Charlotte, offers a sandwich made with biscuit topped with fried chicken, crumbled sausage, scrambled eggs and white pepper gravy. Bring on the heart defibrillator!
Momma Lou’s Gullah Cuisine, Beaufort, SC. The Gullah are African Americans living in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina. The fried chicken cuisine offers a bit of African flavor and might come smothered or as chitterlings, gizzards or livers.
Somebody’s House, Hodges, SC, might be difficult to find online but once you find the house on Emerson Street, you won’t be disappointed. Sunday buffet only.
The Clock on Cedar Lane, Greenville, SC, reveals that “the original location outsold a nearby KFC in chicken, sending them packing with their tail feathers between their legs.”
Get thee to church for another experience. In Wallace, North Carolina, look for a little pink house. Originally located in the Northeast Pentecostal Freewill Baptist Church, the Pink Supper House was started over 70 years ago by the Ladies Auxiliary Guild. Recently the community took over the eatery and uses its income to support community projects, helping those in need.
In South Carolina, The Soapstone Baptist Church, in Pickens, serves up a feast in the fellowship hall of the oldest African-American church in the upstate. This holy house was formed in 1899 by freedmen. Every third Saturday of the month, the church throws a fish fry which also includes ribs and chicken. Proceeds help keep the church afloat as well as preserving the adjacent historic slave cemetery.
If you just can’t handle another chicken leg, look for these monuments to the savory bird located around the Carolinas. Yogi Bear gets his due in Rocky Mount, NC, holding a piece of honey fried chicken. These statues adorned the 1960’s chain but are now in various front yards with the only remaining location in Hartsville, SC.
Head to Rose Hill, NC, to discover the World’s Largest Frying Pan & Poultry Jubilee. Every November the town drags out the 2-ton frypan and fries up thousands of chickens in 200 gallons of oil. The seventh largest chicken processing plant in the U.S. is located in Montaire Farms, Lumber Bridge, NC.
In the late 1960’s, someone, at the Savannah River Site, SC, got the bright idea to “test the chicken’s fortitude for relocation to a Martian farm.” Ninety fowls were lowered into a pit with low levels of radiation for a few minutes a day to simulate the environment of space.”
Apparently, the chickens passed the test but have not yet been sent to Mars! The SRS is a Department of Energy site which processes and stores nuclear materials in support of the national defense and U.S. nuclear non-proliferation efforts. Open for tours, security is tight and you must be 18 years of age or older. Keep an eye out for glow-in-the-dark chicks!
You can purchase the Great Carolina Fried Chicken Map online, as well as a frameable poster, with over 300 restaurants listed, along with fun facts about everything chicken.
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