Cheap Bastard

The Hot Sauce at MJ’s Chicken & Rice Makes Everything Else in the Place Nice

I've driven past several Chicken & Rice restaurants in Dallas and always kinda wondered what goes on in there (besides the obvious chicken-and-rice-ing). The windows of MJ's Chicken & Rice always particularly confused me because of their neon signs that read "Chinese" and "Catfish." It's like they picked all of the trashiest food in the cheap food realm and put it under one roof. Just for me.

MJ's is flanked by a Payless ShoeSource (you know how hungry those bitches get after they get their BOGO on) and a Little Caesar's. (True fact: Their Crazy Bread is laced with cocaine. I'm kidding, of course, but another true fact: That is the most addictive stick of bread I've ever met.) Inside MJ's, things are spare and simple: a couple photographs on the wall of their various chicken offerings, which look really real—like they are the actual food you get to eat and not some stupid fake food that a food stylist made out of marzipan (which is to say that the photos look nasty), a couple of tables and a TV playing Blue Star Ointment commercials.

They have a mishmash of meal options, many of them Chinese-foody choices (the rice they speak of is your traditional Chinese fried rice) and lots of fried goodies. French fries, catfish—basically, if you can throw it in a fryer, they serve it. I had the A1 Combo, which is four pieces of chicken with rice for $2.99. Not bad. I picked a drink out of the fridge ("Three different flavors of Fanta?!!"), paid my 20 cents for two buckets of hot sauce (Yeah. They charge for sauce. Stop your bitchin'.) and waited for my food.

My four giant chicken strips (battered like fish and chips, or that really thick Chili's chicken strip batter) and two giant fried rice boobs were tasty. I poured a little soy sauce over the rice, dipped my chicken in that hot sauce and enjoyed. (Holy crap, it was good on the chicken. Do not pass up the hot sauce. They offer sweet and sour sauce too, which would make instant sweet and sour chicken, if you're into that.) Overall, I gotta say the chicken's the whole point of trying this place out. The rice wasn't anything special (other than being funbag-shaped), but I guess they know that and that's why the place isn't called MJ's Rice & Chicken.

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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

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