Additional Information: Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken is located in a strip mall, so parking is of medium availability.
About Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken
So, Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken’s backstory is like something out of a movie. To begin with, Lou got his start cooking for his siblings while his mom worked two jobs. From there, his passion for the kitchen led him to start his own catfish business in 1985. However, after two failed business ventures from 1985 through 2001, Lou swore off the restaurant business. But, a close friend inspired Lou to try once more, thus, Lou opened up Uncle Lou’s on April 4th, 2001.
Now, Uncle Lou’s is famous for their Sweet Spicy Love Sauce, which can be bought online or at their location on Millbranch Road. He says the recipe comes through his mother from his grandmother. However, the sauce was originally called Honey-Dipped, and had won an award for “Best New Food Item” in the 2001 Mid-South Fair!
Interestingly, the sauce’s name was changed on January 31st, 2008 after a suggestion from Guy Fieri, the host of “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”, as seen on The Food Network. Importantly, Lou’s business was on the brink of failure, not pulling in enough business to pay his creditors. Fortunately, the time spent in the national spotlight saved his business, and now Lou’s has been in business for almost 18 years at the time this post is written!
Thanks to brother Guy (you may want to know this author and Guy Fieri are both alumni of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity), we have insight into arguably the best chicken that Memphis has to offer.
If this author has his information sourced correctly, then Uncle Lou starts by dredging this chicken in his famous Corruption Seasoning. At first, this can seem counter-intuitive to what most of us know as fried chicken with a crispy exterior crust. However, this author will tell you that aside from it’s un-ordinary texture, this chicken has some bite!
The Sauce Is Really Unreal
Uncle Lou’s Set Spicy Love Sauce may have been named by brother Guy, but it is the passion of the man who makes it. Lou’s sauce is arguably the best part of his entire confection. In fact, one could even argue that it is better than the chicken it covers, which is damn near the best cooked chicken you can get anywhere!
Before getting to the chicken score, one must acknowledge the downsides to this chicken. First, the chicken could use more sauce, since this is the best part. Sometimes, it seems that they are trying to save on sauce, even though wet chicken should be well coated! Second, Because the chicken is both wet and has no flour dredge, the skin of the chicken can get a little iffy if left too long. Therefore, one is advised to eat this chicken immediately after receiving it!
In all honesty, there is not much to change about this chicken. Therefore, stand alone, the 3 piece dark and white mixed fried chicken, which comes with a breast, a thigh, and a whole wing for (pre-tax) $7.68 deserves an honest and impressive score of 8.6/10.0!
The Sides? Not As Good As The Chicken…
…But Get Your Ass Some Biscuits!
At first glance, these sides look okay. Plus, the rave review for the chicken could entice some of you to believe that those fries look tasty, crispy, and crunchy, just like the fries at Crumpy’s on Highland.
However, let this author be the first to tell you that these sides, specifically the seasoned crinkle fries, the fried pickle spears, and the fired corn nuggets, are not up to par with the chicken here. In fact, they are below average for most places in Memphis!
But, you will want to know about the delicious hidden gem of Uncle Lou’s…their Honey Buttered Biscuits! If you buy one thing from this place, buy these. they are hands down the tastiest piece of cooked dough you will ever put in your mouth. “Why”, you ask? Because these biscuits epitomize the essence of soft, sweet, savory, warm, and fully cooked!
All in all, the biscuits deserve a 9.5/10.0 in this author’s eyes. However, when combining the other, lesser sides, one has to give the overall side menu at Uncle Lou’s a 7.0/10.0. Simply because the other sides have limited flavor, and have noticeably been under-optimized by this restaurant’s owner.
Brother Guy Can Do No Wrong
Let Me Re-Iterate
After all, the most important thing to remember is that when one looks for chicken, it is because they are engaging in luxury. In fact, dining on fried chicken is an act of celebration of success. Therefore, the food should represent that success in all aspects of its presentation, flavor, service level, quality, and atmosphere!
So, armed with these criteria, we can conclude that Uncle Lou’s has average presentation, advanced flavor, above average service level (Uncle Lou is usually in the store and is a people person), above average quality, and, finally, average atmosphere.
In conclusion, this food is great tasting, but in a poor location. The presentation of this above average quality food is standard for the industry (paper and plastic utensils). The service level is above average, as Lou will personally help you order if you are new to his restaurant. The atmosphere is positive, but the restaurant could use a cleaning and an updated interior. One could also do without driving to the boonies to get their fix on Lou’s chicken as well.
Consequently, Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken’s final score results in a grand total of 8.3/10.0! Aside from all the drawbacks to the sides, the location, and the dim grungy appearance of the restaurant, this food is actually that good. Guy Fieri found and incredible restaurant, and we are all better for having helped Uncle Lou get a T.V. spot, effectively saving the business and bring some more Love to all of us!
Thank You For Reading
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