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Katie Davis

@PopCultureCuisine

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Oil Spill in N’awlins

Friday, September 3, 2010 @ 07:09 AM

071And we’re back…from vacation that is, and I was more than ready to get back to reality after a week of relaxation and gluttony.  I love vacation, don’t get me wrong.  Traveling and road tripping is the best, however after a week or more I do start to get a bit antsy and start to think about that list of things I gotta do at home.  But speaking of trips and gluttony…this week’s feature came from a long weekend that was just that.  I mentioned previously that we visited New Orleans back in May with our friends, Garrett and Audra, and that this trip in particular had a great deal of PCC worthy places planned out.  I would have to say that since my little blog started, that particular trip had to be the most amount of feature restaurants we have tried to undertake in one trip.  We hit up 7 worthy joints in just 3 days!  True, that does seem pretty crazy and indulgent now, but hey go big or go home right?! :) 

Well, I already told you about our first meal out at Drago’s, which unfortunately left us pretty disappointed, making us look forward to our next restaurant that much more.  In fact, from its notoriety on television, this next place was at the top of my list and it didn’t hurt that they are known for their fried chicken…one of the best evidently.  Willie Mae’s Scotch House has been a New Orleans staple since the late 1960’s, where Willie Mae herself started serving up southern home-style meals to the locals.  Unfortunately, their original location was wiped out by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but luckily the city stepped in to help them rebuild so they could continue to serve the good ol’ southern favorites, most famously their fried chicken; and when I say famous…I mean famous!  We saw this restaurant featured on both Travel Channel’s “Deep Fried Paradise” and “Chowdown Countdown,” both claiming this chicken as “TO DIE FOR.”  And it doesn’t stop there.  Bon Appetit Magazine even named Willie Mae’s Scotch House as its BEST FRIED CHICKEN winner.  That is some famous fried chicken if I do say so myself, and fried chicken that famous deserves to be tried…(as if I would actually turn down fried chicken :)).  So let’s just say I knew it was a must visit!

We decided we would make it our lunch spot on our 1st full day, and according to our Google map it was “walkable” from our French Quarter hotel.  Well, let’s just say that Google was a little deceiving and between that and the park being closed for us to cut through, we had to walk a good 2 plus miles in the heat, and I was maybe not dressed for walking walking. :)  It didn’t help that Willie Mae’s is not necessarily in the best neighborhood either, and although not funny at the time, it is quite humorous now to think about Adam having to practically drag me away because I thought maybe we should ask the “guys on the porch” for directions. Yeah…blonde moment I know!  After a good trek we finally reached our destination, which we could tell we were close when we saw the house with people gathered all around it, which although at this point we were starving, meant we still had to wait.

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Lucky the wait was not outrageous and we even moved ahead a bit because that couple behind us was not allowed in due to a sleeveless shirt incident.  So I will say it now…Men beware…put on a shirt with sleeves before you venture to Willie Mae’s. 

Walking into the main dining room is literally like walking into the front room of a house, the main dining area is not much bigger than that.  There is another back dining room past the kitchen located in the middle, but overall it is easy to see why people have to gather outside.  When we were seated we all knew exactly what we were getting…fried chicken!  And then we each chose our respective sides.  Garrett and I both chose red beans and rice for our sides to try a traditional New Orleans’ favorite, while Audra went with fries and Adam got potato salad.

081 087 090 096095 Looks pretty dang good huh?  And with all that food we also each ordered some of their homemade fresh corn bread, which actually was not out of the oven until we were finished with our chicken.  But, of course, that was not enough to hold us back, so we all grabbed a piece of chicken and dug in.  The first bite was definitely crispy and juicy.  But what I began to quickly notice was it was also VERY GREASY!  With each bite you could taste the oil that the chicken was cooked in, and because it so heavily battered, that oil seeps into the breading and then squirts out with each bite.

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Don’t get me wrong…I know that this a fried dish and some of that is supposed to happen, but it was a little over the top.  The breading was also entirely too thick in my opinion. and that with all the grease after the first piece or so started to make my stomach feel a little queezy.  I mean, come on…I know that there was an oil spill that week, but this was ridiculous, especially when chickens are on land!…(bad metaphor I know, but we think this was also the dish that put Adam over the edge and caused him to be sick the rest of the weekend).  And as far as the red beans and rice were concerned, neither Garret nor I did enjoyed them.  Whatever spices they used tasted funny and not what I am used to. 

In short, by no means was this the best fried chicken I had ever had, but sadly close to the opposite.  The saving grace for the oily greasy chicken was their corn bread.  When it made it to our table I was not really hungry, but wanted to give it a chance.  Holy cow!  It was so warm, fresh, and buttery, I could not resist eating my whole muffin.  It was the perfect end to the meal, but a meal in which we all left feeling a little sick and kind of surprised by how famous this chicken was…

097Although I know fried chicken is more of a local thing where everyone knows the best place in their town, but I thought since this was so well known in popular culture, my socks were going to blown off and they just weren’t. :( 

 

SIGNATURE DISH: I am pretty sure you realize it by now, but they are most famous for their fried chicken…I’m talkin’ WORLD FAMOUS!  They do have other southern home made favorites, but from looking around the restaurant while we were there, no one else had anything other from chicken. 

TASTE: I don’t know if it because I had such high hopes for this chicken, but unfortunately it just did not live up to the hype.  I would not describe it as inedible, but I don’t have good memories; and there is no way it was even close to the best I have ever had.  As I mentioned, the breading was too thick, too oily, and not really seasoned.  Instead it was just heavily breaded and heavily soaked fried chicken that left a pit of oil in my stomach; and of the 4 or us, only Audra thought it tasted all that good.

AMBIANCE: I thought being located in a house, it was very cute and historical.  It really made you feel at home and was decorated just simple and classic.  Although a bit crowded, it does feel like you are truly enjoying a home cooked meal, especially because you are literally in a home.

PRICE: Each of us ordered the fried chicken dinner which came with one side and then we also ordered the corn bread on the side.  The meal is $15 for 3 pieces of chicken and a large side portion.  This was a little high for three pieces of fried chicken and sides, but my guess is you’re paying a bit for the “best” factor.  Not worth it.

SERVICE: Our waitress was very attentive, but a bit short tempered.  I equated  that to being swamped and it being hard to move around inside, but she seemed to keep forgetting things we asked for.  Also, it kept taking time to get Adam a refill on his Diet Coke…which never bodes well :).

So although I had such high hopes, those hopes were not even close to met; and I have to, unfortunately, give Willie Mae’s Scotch House 1 1/2 ‘Little Piggies’

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One Response to “Oil Spill in N’awlins”

  1. […] of our trip (for you PCC regulars out there you know that this is the evening of our lunch visit to Willie Mae’s Scotch House, which you may or may not remember being especially memorable for Adam for all the WRONG […]

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