Ever since I stumbled upon Rudy’s Chicken’s Facebook page, I’ve been meaning to visit this South Dallas icon at 3115 S. Lancaster Rd., where the neighborhood goes for its chicken. And, truthfully, any page with the tagline of “CHICKEN SO GOOD YOU’LL SLAP YO MAMMAS MAMMA” gets my blood flowing. It makes me want to yell “chicken” the same way Mel Gibson drags out “FREEEDOOOOMMM” for 8 seconds long, right before he gets beheaded in Braveheart.
Yesterday Matt Shelley and I arrived in front of an unassuming, white building at 1:30 p.m., where the drive-thru line for Rudy’s Chicken was about five cars long, and the stand-outside-pick-up line had 6 to 8 people waiting. But the lines at Rudy’s move quickly. You’d think there might be little green elves inside, but no. Employees wear red polo shirts, rushing to fill orders as they received orders. “What you got?” called a man from the back. “Two breasts and two legs!” I shouted through the thick, hazy smell of oil. “That’ll be seven dollars,” said the woman operating the cash register. “It’s cash only.”
Matt grabbed his separate order of 13 thighs, legs, and breasts (it came with 14, but he gave one of the legs away to a homeless man standing nearby) and we drove off. There’s nowhere to sit inside at Rudy’s Chicken. If you want liver and gizzards (7 of each for $5), it’s a 10 minute wait in the hot, hot sun. So we stuck with fried chicken, got our order and buzzed outta there. It felt like we were carrying gold in our hands.
The only problem with being the driver of a large vehicle is that you can’t hold the wheel and eat fried chicken at the same time. Matt – the lucky sonova – had two free hands to reach inside our thick white paper bag and discover the goods. He pulled out a piece of chicken and gobbled it up in, I don’t know, two seconds. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but I do remember thinking it had to be good, because he wouldn’t shut up about how moist… so moist… how moist… how nice and salty it was. For the two minutes he kept yapping about the skin and how great it all was, I wasn’t paying attention and kept driving south instead of north. I even went up a one-way the wrong way. My car smelled like State Fair of Texas. Rudy’s Chicken is so distracting.
Closer examination at the office showed us that the chicken came on top of a bed of fries, which had some seasoning (Old Bay, maybe?) on it. (They didn’t travel well, so we dumped them after eating a handful.) On top of the chicken had three pieces of white processed bread, so the chicken had two great grease-suckers on top and bottom. Whole jalapenos also came with the chicken – for grease breaks, I’m guessing. The chicken itself had thin, crunchy skin that’s easy to pull off with your teeth. It’s salty and seasoned with pepper and other secret good stuff. Glistening, juicy chicken lay underneath. Honestly, it’s greasy. Very greasy. So greasy it’s good, y’know?
My car still smells like Rudy’s Chicken today. It’s awesome.