Price’s Chicken Coop
Review by: Michael Stern
Memorable | One of the Best
There is excellent fried chicken almost everywhere in the nation, especially in the South, and most especially in North Carolina. Some of the best of the best is served at Price’s Chicken Coop, an improbable beacon for Charlotteans of every demographic. You can see the chicken fried in tanks of bubbling oil along one wall. When the pieces are golden-brown, the basket is hoisted from the oil and emptied; still glistening, they are instantly boxed and delivered to the hands of grateful customers. We cannot tell you the secret of this chicken’s superiority; but we can tell you that it has a surfeit of crunchy skin that is imbued with the silky, savory goodness of chicken fat; and while the skin is chewy, these pieces that strip off the meat underneath melt in your mouth and transform from crunch into pure, essential chicken flavor.
Both white and dark pieces are available (as are gizzards, livers, and wings) and, expectedly, the meat of the dark parts oozes savory juice. Not so predictably, even the big, meaty breasts are juicy and flavorful in a way that white meat almost never is. If the truth be known, there is much fried chicken that comes in such a delicious envelope of crust that we are tempted to simply strip it off and eat it, leaving much of the meat behind. Not Price’s! The meat is as succulent as the skin.
To call this place informal is extreme understatement. Customers stand in one of seven lines that lead to three cash registers. Everything comes in bags and boxes and the management provides no place to eat it. The only on-site alternative, other than dining in one’s car, is to cross Camden Road and sit on the grassy berm alongside the light rail line and eat fried chicken in the Charlotte sun. Deep-fried dining gets no better than this.
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|