Best Fried Chicken - 2004
Pork Store Cafe
We love fried chicken both in its high form (a crisp breast at Chez Panisse) and its low (an order of the extra-spicy from Popeye's with a side of red beans and rice). But the best fried chicken we know is the honey-dipped served at the Pork Store (despite its name, which refers to the original inhabitant of the space, a butcher who'd been in residence from 1916 until the '50s). You get a disjointed half-chicken -- breast, thigh, leg, and wing -- in a light, lacy batter that cooks up thin and crunchy, with the flesh of the bird still moist under its crisp crust. The sides are terrific, too: real mashed potatoes, soft baking-powder biscuits, and impeccably fresh leaf spinach. And all for only $7.75.