Louisiana Fried Chicken & Wings

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So I believe Louisiana Fried Chicken has opened a location here in AZ on a couple of occasions. I remember reviewing one awhile back in Phoenix during my Urbanspoon days and then it abruptly closed without any notice when I tried to return. So the Chandler area is now their newest experiment. Louisiana Fried Chicken & Wings actually came out of LA in the 70’s and has over a hundred locations in the US. The Louisiana name comes from how the chicken is cooked –  Cajun battered and deep fried. They also have fried shrimp, chicken tenders and fish. There are several entree combinations to choose from with or without sides and whatever quantity you want. Side items include mashed potatoes, okra, red beans & rice and coleslaw. There’s a bit of an Asian influence with rice combinations and egg rolls. And they have gumbo too! The family pack combos must be popular because there were several people waiting in the lobby for large to-go orders. The restaurant itself isn’t very large but pretty clean. I thought the chicken was pretty tasty with just a hint of spice and a nice soft crunch to it. They have bottles of hot sauce available that you can spice your chicken up with. Overall Louisiana Chicken is a nice fast casual chain if you are looking for a quick affordable bite of some Cajun chicken (a 3 piece combo will run you about $8). It will be interesting to see how they do in Chandler across from Food City. Btw… they have a couple different slices of pie for dessert and boba tea.

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3 Piece Combo

Louisiana Fried Chicken & Wings Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Southern Rail

ARW

I started Arizona Restaurant Week off with a bang by eating at Southern Rail Restaurant. I had the pleasure of dining at award-winning Chef Justin Beckett’s restaurant Beckett’s Table during Restaurant Week in 2012 and really enjoyed that experience. I recently sat in on one of his cooking demos and was looking forward to eating at one of his establishments. Southern Rail is his most recent kitchen that opened in 2014. Located inside The Newton (former home of The Beef Eaters) and right off the Valley Metro light rail path, SR has become a popular dining destination for Valley foodies. The Newton is a mixed-use concept space where you can shop, read or dine. In addition to Southern Rail, there is a Changing Hands bookstore, Southwest Gardener and First Draft Book Bar.

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Southern Rail is a beautiful restaurant with lots of open space. It has an open kitchen and a large size patio/bar area. Its rustic-style, nostalgic decor that gives off a warm, hospitable feel. The food has an American Southern theme to it with flavors inspired by dishes from Georgia to Alabama to Mississippi. They also have an award-winning wine list along with a selection of local craft beers. With the Restaurant Week menu, you have the option of choosing from three different menu items for each of your three courses for dinner. Because it was my first time, I went with some of their signature dishes. The cup of Gumbo Ya-Ya for appetizer, the Cider Brined and Slow Roasted Pork Loin for my main course and their delicious Red Velvet cake for dessert. Also included was a local beer (I got one my favs – San Tan Kiltlifter). I was met with great service and enjoyed every bite.

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Gumbo Ya-Ya

Gumbo Soup Ya-Ya

Cider Brined and Slow Roasted Pork Loin

Cider Brined and Slow Roasted Pork Loin

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

Southern Rail was a wonderful culinary experience for me. The Gumbo soup was full of flavor and delicious. The Pork Loin was nice and tender and you can’t go wrong with the Red Velvet cake. I’m a huge fan of Chef Beckett and his influence on the growing food culture here in the Valley of the Sun. I highly recommend either one of his restaurants. I look forward to stopping in again on the popular Fried Chicken nights on Wednesdays.

Southern Rail Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Louisiana Fried Chicken

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Greatness is not “WHAT WE HAVE”
Greatness is “WHAT WE MAKE”

Another Soul Food Chain hits the Valley. Louisiana Fried Chicken is a franchise/chain birth out of L.A. with a New Orleans southern influence to their food. I picked up a Groupon to this place and decided to check it out. Soul food is pretty popular these days with restaurants everywhere adding chicken and waffles to their menu. It will be interesting to see how LFC does coming off the heels of Lo-Lo’s which made soul food a hit here in the valley. The fried okra was great and I loved the sweet potato pie. Overall it was a decent experience. (Note – they have a tendency to close at odd times whenever they run out of chicken or have A/C issues. I tried to return for a second visit and it looks like they have closed permanently. Oh well.)

  • – from their website

Joe Dion was the founder of Louisiana Famous Fried Chicken. Dion came to Los Angeles from Michigan in 1957 with nothing in pockets and inclination to work in restaurants. After a month in his garage with a 30 pound fryer, experimenting with a recipe he says he obtained from New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme, he arrived at a product chicken in a Zesty Cajun batter fried to a soft crunch and finished with a slight, spicy heat.

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3 Piece Pac (with Fried Okra and Mashed Potatoes with Gravy)

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Sweet Potato Pie

Louisiana Fried Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Winter Chef Series

Phoenix Public Market

Travis Timmons, 38, came from Chandler to Tuesday evening’s demonstration. As a former cook, Timmons said he liked “getting to know the chef personally, where his influences come from and the stories behind why he cooks things that way.” – Downtown Devil

Chef Matt Taylor

Phoenix Public Market brought in Matt Taylor from Noca in Phoenix for their popular Winter Chef series to put on a cooking demonstration for us. I love these types of events as not only do you get to eat some amazing food, but you get to know the chef behind the food. They like to share some tips on cooking and some fun kitchen stories.

Matt Taylor has worked with four James Beard award-winning chefs and comes from the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. He’s a pretty young chef and brings a Southern style cuisine to Noca. I enjoyed both his personality and his cooking style. I loved the risotto and the beignets were delicious and paired well with the dessert wine.

Carolina Rice Grits Risotto

Here was the menu for the night:

1st Course: Bacon Chowder (celery, crispy potatoes, lardons); paired with Oak Creek Nut Brown Ale. 2nd Course: Carolina Gold Rice Grit Risotto (golden beets, black garlic, baby fennel, parmesan cream); paired with Keeling Schaefer Grenache. 3rd Course: Granny Smith Apple Beignets (bourbon & maple syrup); paired with Rancho Rossa Shadow.

Bacon Chowder

Granny Smith Apple Beignets

Downtown Devil wrote an article on this fun event (one I was interviewed for). You can check it out here

PPM

photo by Madeline Pado

Phoenix Public Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato