Andria reviewed Gus's Bartlett location six years ago, so I figured it was safe to talk about the "new" East Memphis spot.
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
730 S Mendenhall Rd.
A friend's mom once said, "If you want to be thin, you have to give up fried chicken and donuts." Wiser words were never spoken, or ignored more often. Last Saturday we not only went to Gibson's for a post-soccer donut, we immediately followed it up with fried chicken at Gus's. (Staring at the building through Gibson's window made it hard to resist!)
The building is free standing (read: not in a strip mall like the Bartlett version) and even has a cute little patio.
There is not a lot of parking, but we managed to park two cars on the street without any problems. (Warren and I have to divide and conquer on soccer days.) I noticed the Gus's hearse parked near by. I assume it is for catering?
Warren was worried that there was going to be a long wait for a table, but we got a table right away. (The restaurant was about 95% full.) It typically takes awhile for the food to come out too, at least downtown & in Bartlett where we have dined in the past, but we were not so worried about that having already fortified ourselves with donuts.
The last time we went to Gus's downtown, it wasn't a hit with the monkeys (Satchel, 10, and Jiro, 8). They were too young to like anything spicy. Now, Satchel is a hot wing/spicy anything lover and when I mentioned they also sold fried pickles, we couldn't get to the restaurant fast enough.
I haven't been downtown recently enough to know if the menu is the same (it seems quite different from Bartlett based on Andria's review) and I haven't been out to Collierville's location, but it seems pretty basic. My understanding is that downtown, East Memphis, and Collierville are all owned by the same people so I would guess they all share this menu.
Look closely. They have 40 oz beers on the menu!
Our server was awesome and came over right away for drink orders. We went with waters all around since we came in with high amounts sugar already coursing through our veins. We went ahead and ordered the fried pickles so Satchel would stop licking his lips and making slurpy noises. There was some discussion about whether the order of pickles would be big enough to share, but thankfully the waiter said, "Let's start with one and see how you do." It was plenty big to share. Satchel wasted no time stuffing his face.
For our meals, we ordered "light" which was good since the food came out really fast. Satchel, of course, had an order of three wings.
Due to the earlier donuts and pickles, he only ate one. But as you can see, he comes from the Warren Oster school of cleaning chicken to the bone. (Jiro comes from the Stacey Greenberg school of eating as much as you can without looking greedy.) We could have ordered him just one wing, but that seemed silly.
We ordered Jiro the two drummy kids meal with fries which also landed him a free soft drink. Sneaky.
Jiro only took one bite before declaring his chicken too spicy. I was surprised since I didn't think mine was very spicy. I took a bite and his was actually much spicier than mine. So he just ate the french fries, which suited him just fine.
I had a 2 piece white meat snack with a side of fries. It was yum.
Warren had a 2 piece dark meat snack with a side of collard greens. He was very happy.
Our bill came to $28.41 (plus tip) and we had a styrofoam box of chicken, fries, and white bread to take home for later. Gus's is definitely rocking out on the styrofoam.
All in all it was a great lunch, which is bad, because now I will have to field requests for fried chicken on a regular basis.
By the time we got home, both Warren and I were regretting the gluttony and retired to the bedroom for a nap. The kids seemed fine. The leftovers were gone by morning.