Chicken House (Plus?)
4839 Gaston Ave.
Dude Factor: 9, or Animal House, on a scale of 1, Little House on the Prairie, to 10, the Playboy Mansion.
By the time we made it to Chicken House (Plus?) yesterday--Did it test positive for chicken? Does the "plus" refer to pickles? We don't really know, but it's weird--the Dude Food posse was on the third stop of our wild goose chase to find lunch in East Dallas. First, we went in search of breakfast burritos at La Victoria, only to find it closed. Then, we tried the Taco Joint, but found a line out the door--no good as we were short on time. Finally, someone suggested the former Brothers Chicken--now known as Chicken House--where we were the only walk-up patrons, giving us ample time to study the confusing, expansive menu (and reflect on the fact that we were standing where a fellow chicken-seeking dude once met his untimely demise when a car came flying through the front window.) Luckily, we weren't drunk--otherwise I'm pretty sure trying to read the whole menu would have given us the spins.
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Most of us went with various chicken combos, except for fellow Dude Fooder and all-around contrarian Patrick Michels, who went for the catfish. He instantly questioned his decision when the guy taking our order informed him that "CATFISH DOES NOT COME WITH DRINK," but stuck to his guns, ordering a seperate drink (Seriously, why can't the catfish come with a drink, too? Especially considering that the catfish combo is cheaper than the chicken combos, this makes no sense whatsoever. It's a bird-brained policy.)
From the stony silence that overtook the office once we returned--interrupted only by the occasional smack, grunt or "goddamn,"--we can only assume that everything was just as good as our chicken strips combo, which featured perfectly seasoned, crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside tenders on a bed of spicy seasoned fries. That all this goodness came with pickles and a jalapeno pepper only made it better, as did the white bread, that staple of working class Texan cuisine that's so often forgotten by BBQ and chicken joints when they get all city-fied. (White bread plus anything is good; white bread plus chicken and gravy=heaven.)
We didn't eat enough Brothers Chicken in its heyday to definitively state if Chicken House (Plus?) holds up--though fellow Observer staffer Daniel Hopkins claimed it tasted pretty much the same to him--but if it was better than this, Brothers must've really been something. It definitely had a much cooler name...