Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Off the Map: Greasy, But Not in a Derogatory Way

Golden Brown Southern Fried Chicken -- Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe, Phoenix, AZ
Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe

If we're being honest, if Beau MacMillan had not instructed us to go to Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe in Phoenix for the fried chicken, we most likely would not have set foot in the place.
Well, Doesn't This Look Inviting?
It's not that we are put off by bars on the windows (oh, who are we kidding?  We are), but more that we were forced to pass through a Nascar exhibition tour on our way to the place.  Let's be clear: we hate Nascar.
Way to Class Things Up, Phoenix
However, if this restaurant is the home of Beau MacMillan's Best Thing I Ever Ate FRIED CHICKEN dish, then we will not let slightly-shady ambiance nor men sporting hideous race car jackets dissuade us from our mission.
There's Also the Whole Business of the - Literal -  "Writing on the Walls"
We enter Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe after the lunch rush has ended, which seems to be code for "after they have run out of all the good side dishes."
Here's a Hint: This Isn't One of the "Good" Ones
The very pleasant waitress comes over to take our order for one sweet tea (for Ginger), along with three pieces of fried chicken, mac and cheese, and sweet potatoes.  No problem.

Except they're out of mac and cheese.

And sweet potatoes.

And "green beans and cabbage" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Where Are Our Carbs?!
Ginger, claiming "dry heat exhaustion," starts gulping down her 32-ounce sweet tea, pausing midway through to inform us, "Also, I'm going into a diabetic coma."
Sweet Tea, Prison-Style
Luckily, she does not have to wait long for a tray of food to arrive in order to soak up her sugary stomach contents.  While meanwhile:
"This Is For You," Ginger Says to Vodka
Along with out two chosen ("chosen" is a relative term) sides, we have received a slice of intensely-yellow cornbread.
You Are My Sunshine
The corn bread is rich and sweet and has difficulty removing itself from the roofs of our mouths.  But it is not the reason we are here.  That distinction belongs to the golden brown Southern fried chicken, and it is just about everything that Beau MacMillan had promised.
Here, Chicky, Chicky, Chicky
The breading and skin is crispy and salty, and the meat itself unbelievably moist.  It causes us to lick our fingers after each bite, appropriately greasy in the best possible way.

The chicken is pretty near perfect.
A Chicken Wing Being Slowly Massacred
Now, while we agree that the chicken is excellent, we come to a standstill over its comparison to Hill Country's version; Ginger much prefers Mrs. White's more traditional variety, while Vodka is adamant that Hill Country's is ten times superior (and not just because Hill Country's side dishes could kick Mrs. White's over the Mason Dixon line).
Those Beans Are No Pimento Mac and Cheese, Is All We're Saying....
Vodka relents on the 5 star rating because Ginger is so convinced of Mrs. White's gold medal status, yet she remains happy with the fact that Hill Country is the fried chicken establishment located in our actual city of residence.
This Chicken Is Just Not Worth a Blog Civil War
Indeed, it is probably best that we not discuss the green beans or cabbage (both a deadly combination of "mushy" and "bland," or as Ginger insists on calling them, "authentic") so as to not detract from the truly wonderful fried chicken.  Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe seems to prove that you do not have to go to the South, or even to New York City, to procure truly great fried chicken.

You just have to go to a would-be jailhouse in the middle of the Arizona desert.
Amen, Mrs. White, Amen
Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe's Golden Brown Southern Fried Chicken: 5 stars*

*Certifiable Best Thing We Ever Ate

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