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Famous Louisiana Fried Chicken

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It was dinner hour when we screeched into the parking lot of the retail strip mall on Broadway where Louisiana Fried Chicken (LFC) dwells--and I hadn't eaten all day. A beckoning finger of chicken-scented aroma tickled our noses as we leaped from the vehicle and marched across the asphalt toward the source of the delectable smell.

The little take-out joint is bedecked in Boise State Broncos colors and paraphernalia. Frankly, the football motif didn't accentuate the concept of Southern fried chicken, but I understand the choice of decoration. The restaurant is owned by Gerald Alexander's mother. Who's Gerald Alexander? He's No. 2 and plays safety for the Broncos.

When we entered, there was an assistant manager and a cook calling the plays. Three customers were on the sidelines awaiting their orders. The young woman who greeted us was friendly and patient as we scanned the overhead menu. I ordered a "Deuce Special"--two pieces of fish and four pieces of shrimp. For sides, I selected red beans and rice and seasoned french fries.

My dining partner opted for the "4th Down," featuring all the major chicken appendages, two small sides, a large soda and two rolls (cornbread). He picked macaroni and cheese and coleslaw for his sides. We topped off the feast with a slice of sweet potato pie.

The wait for our dinner was about 20 minutes. We were undaunted by this because we knew the chicken would be freshly prepared. The assistant manager and the cook were kept bustling by the demands of the dinner crowd, but eventually the friendly young lady emerged with our burgeoning bag of fried delicacies.

At home, we settled ourselves in front of the television and dove into our goodies. The cornmeal-coated fish in my Deuce Special was flaky, mild and not at all greasy. The shrimp were also breaded in cornmeal, which was surprising. I'd expected the shrimp and the fish to wear the same crusty, golden garments as the chicken. The shrimp were good, but a little soft and lacking in personality. The shrimp and fish had been placed in their snazzy white container--on top of the seasoned fries. The fries had suffocated in the process. Although the seasoning was just right, the fries were so-so.

I popped open my container of red beans and rice. The flavor was quite good, but the beans were lukewarm. A trip to the microwave was called for. The cornbread we received with our order had perfect texture and was enjoyable, but not warm enough to melt the butter we slathered on it.

On to the chicken! I wrested a plump, golden-brown hunk of chicken from my dining partner's hoard and bit down. The crust was very nice: thick and crisp. The chicken underneath was sweet and juicy. The coating was not spicy or "cajuny." Overall, we rated the chicken highly and finished it off in no time.

We searched the bag for our macaroni and cheese and coleslaw but instead discovered another container of red beans and rice and one of potato salad. We were disappointed!

Lousiana Fried Chicken is a nifty dinner option, but of the courses we selected, I would stick with chicken. The sides were tasty, but didn't stay warm for the five minutes it took to get them home. I think the flavor of our food would have been improved by being warmer.

Another LFC is planned in the area of Eagle Road and Overland. I think they'll have a promising future once they've solved the minor problems we encountered. The prices are very reasonable and the portions are generous. Their product is good, their staff is courteous and proficient--and, need I say it? They are the fried chicken home team of Boise.

--Denise "Jake" Freeman likes to try chicken on for thighs.

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