| The exterior of Chatman's Chicken - home of the juiciest fried chicken in San Antonio. (Photo by Laura McKenzie) |
You have to go for the first bite: a sensously surprising burst of hot grease that will convince you that this is the best fried chicken you have eaten in your life. Pierce the perfectly crisp batter with your teeth, and the rush of chicken juice spills into your mouth, filling those nooks and crannies you didn't even know you had with a tender sensation of warmth. The experience was so fufilling that I had to sacrifice the first bite of my second piece of chicken to my dining companion, who moaned in appreciation.
Chatman's Chicken, located on the East Side, is a deceptively small building that houses a plethora of fried goodness. The chicken - moist and succulent under its crispy shell - splattered grease all over the table, a mess I happily made to taste the tender flesh. Both light and dark pieces satisfied equally.
Visitors to the modest chicken house find themselves greeted by large color photographs of the featured plates, laminated and hung on the white walls. Ordering is fast-food style: Pay at the register, and your meal is brought to you on a plastic tray. The staff is friendly to an extreme - the cashier
| CHATMAN'S CHICKEN |
1747 S. WW White
Hours: 10:30am-10pm Sun-Thu,
10:30am-midnight Fri & Sat
1316 Pat Booker, Universal City
Hours: 10:30am-9pm Sun-Thu,
10:30am-10pm Fri & Sat
Price range: under $5
Dieters should steer clear of the menu: Fried chicken, fried livers and gizzards, and fried catfish comprise the dining options. Sides include fries, corn fritters, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, fried okra, and rice and beans. The fried catfish should make everyone's to-do list - a long, tender filet of thinly sliced fish, with a salty, tangy flavor that is perfect without the accompanying tartar sauce and lemon juice packets. The breading on the catfish is exactly right - delicate enough to allow the flavor of the fish to shine, but just the right consistency to keep the moisture of the fish inside. Jalapeño poppers rounded out the meal, oozing a thick cheddar Cheez Whiz-esque substance that was ridiculously sinful in light of the calories already consumed.
A mere $3.99 gets you two pieces of chicken, a healthy side of fries, a jalapeño, and two soft rolls. Hands glistening with grease from the chicken greedily consumed with our fingers, we sucked the last morsel from the bones. The first bite was definitely the best, though - which is why I'll be returning to Chatman's as soon as possible. •
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