Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Classic Route 66 pit stop since 1946.
If you've paid a lick of attention to the Dell Rhea's fried-chicken debate over on Yelp (sample bitchiness: "I guess if you are using Chick-fil-A, KFC and/or Popeyes as your points of comparison for what defines good fried chicken, you probably enjoy this place," "What it lacked for me was spice. I guess it is to be expected for northern fried chicken"), you've done yourself the disservice of overthinking what's best left to blissful simplicity: superjuicy, just-salty/briny-enough flesh inside a crispy, never overbearing shell. That divine balance is true of Dell Rhea's signature battered bird and everything else we sampled. The buffalo wings were expertly fried with a delicate proportion of batter—which allowed the buffalo sauce to interject without interrupting. Gizzards were remarkable in their juiciness, swaddled inside a substantial cornmeal batter; velvety catfish also benefited from a slightly higher batter-to-flesh ratio. Dell Rhea's decor is legitimately kitschy—the operation has been housed in the same neon-lit building on Route 66 since 1946—and high on charm. That—and the adjoining cocktail lounge (with a beer list featuring American craft and Belgian brews)—make the 30-minute fried-chicken wait tolerable.
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Dell Rhea's decor is legitimately kitschy—the operation has been housed in the same neon-lit building on Route 66 since 1946—and high on charm. That—a roadhouse would be attached is also retro, but this one, which goes by the Blue Rooster Lounge, has a perfectly contemporary beer list featuring American craft and Belgian brews. —Mara Shalhoup