Cheap Bastard

Miss Chicken

Hot sauce packets I got with my order count: 10

Times I thought they might sell Canadian boner pills to me in a back room if I said the secret code word count: 2

When you walk up to Miss Chicken downtown on Elm Street, it looks like it might not be open. But there are a couple of photos of pretty yummy-looking food in the windows, so you try the door and bonus! It opens! And then, once you're in the place, for a second you forget why you're there. Was there a drug deal you'd been meaning to do here? Is Miss Chicken your pimp? And if so, do you owe her money? And if so, will she trade you chicken and a gun for some of your American Airlines Advantage Miles since you're a little strapped for cash right now, what with the recent hike in gas and cocaine prices?

I've been to plenty of perfectly delicious Dallas restaurants that look like and likely are fronts for other types of illegal activity, but this one wins. There's no décor on the walls aside from a giant Miss Chicken cartoon and the menu. It would make sense that this place is a front, considering that there are state and federal courthouses within walking distance. You know what I bet? I bet they're the biggest underground sellers of Trapper Keepers and slap bracelets in the country. You know how many school kids I saw in there while I was eating? Zero. School's out for the summer. Kids should be downtown eating chicken in a dive, right? No way. They're in the back, smuggling Tinkerbell slap bracelets and Lisa Frank paraphernalia.

And Miss Chicken has a more extensive menu than her name might suggest: In addition to serving chicken and chicken-fried steak, she also fries up shrimp, tilapia and catfish. For $4.99 I got a breast, wing, one side, a roll and a drink. (But, if you're more of a Chicken Leg Person than a Chicken Boob Person, you can go for the $3.99 special, which gets you a leg, thigh, one side, a roll and a drink.) My one side? Duh. Mashed potatoes. The roll they served me came directly out of a Sara Lee bag, for which they receive two points for having giant balls. I mean, if I expect a homemade roll I'll go to Miss Roll. I'm here for the chicken. I'd go back again, and in the meantime, I'll be taking bets for what's being hidden in the back.

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Alice Laussade writes about food, kids, music, and anything else she finds to be completely ridiculous. She created and hosts the Dallas event, Meat Fight, which is a barbecue competition and fundraiser that benefits the National MS Society. Last year, the event raised $100,000 for people living with MS, and 750 people could be seen shoving sausage links into their faces. And one time, she won a James Beard Award for Humor in Writing. That was pretty cool.
Contact: Alice Laussade