Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Price's Chicken Coop

1614 Camden Road, Charlotte, NC - (704) 333-9866
Posted By Chris & Amy Ayers on 12/10/2007 7:14:00 PM
Good fried chicken can be found effortlessly in the Carolinas, and Price’s Chicken Coop serves some of Charlotte’s most famous. Tucked away on a side street parallel to bustling South Boulevard, Price’s was one of the original businesses of Charlotte’s South End, a run-down district of urban deterioration up through the 1970’s. City officials saw the future profit in renovating the neighborhood, and now the “historic” (an epithet often added to urban enhancement) South End is one of the most visited hotspots in the area, thanks to old mills converted to costly loft condos and numerous flashy gourmet cafés and nightclubs.

Price’s, however, has not changed at all to follow the trends of the city glitterati. Housed in a simple brick building, these soul food purveyors do chicken best. When we walked up to the door just after noon, customers nearly filled the small waiting area inside. We queued up and within three minutes were at the front of the line. After we ordered, we barely had enough time to grab the cellophane-wrapped desserts before our dinner box had arrived at the register. A quick pause at the in-house vending machine for two cans of Cheerwine, and we were on our way out the door.

There is no seating area inside Price’s, and naturally all the food is boxed to go, so patrons usually eat in their cars. One might think that the city planners responsible for the South End’s urban renewal would have built a small park, gazebo, or even benches nearby, but there are none in the vicinity. We drove five minutes south to Sedgefield Neighborhood Park on Elmhurst Road, where we found ample picnic tables and paved trails with numerous dog-walkers enjoying the sunny weather.

Price’s prints the entire menu on each box top, and a staffer marks its contents on the lid. We chose the quarter-chicken dinner (white meat), fried apple pie, and sweet potato pie. After opening the box, we observed a napkin draped over the plate, which had blotted some of the chicken’s grease. When we picked up the chicken, a little grease remained on our fingers, but the golden crust nearly retained all the liquids. Every bite was very juicy, and the crispy skin had just enough salt and pepper to send our taste buds into orbit.

The sides are forgettable, however. The mayonnaise-based slaw is texturally sound but bland; the hushpuppies could’ve been frozen: too perfectly ovoid, too doughy, and bordering on gummy. The tater rounds are interesting, at least, in the context of this plate: flattened disks of shredded potatoes, like fat quarters, are reminiscent of those from our elementary school’s cafeteria. The desserts didn’t fare any better: the fried apple pie looked promising, but two bites proved it to be too heavy on the dough, with about as much apple filling as a Pop-Tart. Though made with a commercial crust, the sweet potato pie is palatable, with a filling that is almost not sweet enough, and certainly not worth multiple bites.

Without a doubt, Price’s does chicken best, as long as you stick with the poultry by the piece and skip the superfluous sides. Fried fish is also a steady seller, and the BBQ pork demands attention on our next visit.

14 out of 14 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Rate this place

Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Desserts at the register include fried apple pie and sweet potato pie, plus cans of Cheerwine from Price’s in-house vending machine.
"Desserts at the register include fried apple pie and sweet potato pie, plus cans of Cheerwine from Price’s in-house vending machine."
Chris & Amy Ayers





A typical boxed chicken dinner with tater rounds, slaw, hushpuppies, and roll.
"A typical boxed chicken dinner with tater rounds, slaw, hushpuppies, and roll."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Every Price’s box lid has their complete menu with the order circled, plus phone number and hours (click on picture to read text).
"Every Price’s box lid has their complete menu with the order circled, plus phone number and hours (click on picture to read text)."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Price’s humble sign in the heart of the now ritzy South End.
"Price’s humble sign in the heart of the now ritzy South End."
Chris & Amy Ayers


There is just enough tail sticking out from the crust of each shrimp to serve as a handy handle to pick it up. This is a close view of a shrimp dinner. Note the edges of hushpuppies on the left and, in the foreground, tater tots and a roll. Not pictured: sweet tea.
"There is just enough tail sticking out from the crust of each shrimp to serve as a handy handle to pick it up. This is a close view of a shrimp dinner. Note the edges of hushpuppies on the left and, in the foreground, tater tots and a roll. Not pictured: sweet tea."
Michael Stern


My kind of dining room. In nice weather, the light-rail berm is an ideal place to open a box of Price's chicken and dig in.
"My kind of dining room. In nice weather, the light-rail berm is an ideal place to open a box of Price's chicken and dig in."
Michael Stern


This close view of a drumstick gives a slight idea as to the juiciness that awaits once the skin is crunched.
"This close view of a drumstick gives a slight idea as to the juiciness that awaits once the skin is crunched."
Michael Stern


Gizzards are boneless and therefore easy to pop in the mouth and eat. They don't drip as much juice as familiar chicken parts, but they are loaded with flavor.
"Gizzards are boneless and therefore easy to pop in the mouth and eat. They don't drip as much juice as familiar chicken parts, but they are loaded with flavor."
Michael Stern


Please pay attention when you stand in line at Price's. It moves fast, and when your turn comes you better be ready to place your order ... without distractions!
"Please pay attention when you stand in line at Price's. It moves fast, and when your turn comes you better be ready to place your order ... without distractions!"
Michael Stern


The logic of a sandwich of chicken wings is slightly elusive, but you can understand it when you realized just how useful the soft white bun is in blotting up the juices that get released from the chicken as soon as you sink your teeth into it.
"The logic of a sandwich of chicken wings is slightly elusive, but you can understand it when you realized just how useful the soft white bun is in blotting up the juices that get released from the chicken as soon as you sink your teeth into it."
Michael Stern



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com