Sunday, October 9, 2011
Moore’s Famous Fried Chicken
115 Walton Ferry Road
This well-worn strip mall in Hendersonville has produced so many restaurants it’s hard to count. Most have come and gone in a flash. Lately though, two contenders have taken over and they seem to have staying power: Sax Deli and Moore’s Famous Fried Chicken. Both give reason for Nashvillians to make a road trip. I reviewed Sax a while back and now it’s time to investigate Moore’s. Owner Dave Moore loves to talk about football and fried foods. That’s a good combo in my book. His recipe is an across the board batter and fry method that is hot chicken in style, even if he doesn’t advertise it that way. Moore’s is building a real following of regulars. On one day, what seemed to be half the Hendersonville Fire Department filled the place and they all knew the menu by heart.
The recipe is a spicy, slightly sweet and relatively complex batter that works well for chicken and for fish. Start off with Original and you get an extremely flavorful piece of chicken, with perhaps a hint of cinnamon? You can kick up the spice level from there. Spicy has a nice heat, comparable to Prince’s mild. Hot would be a safe bet any day for most hot chicken eaters, and Mr. Moore would probably be willing to kick it up a notch above that if you ask. He marinades the chicken and fish and makes every batch to order. You’ll find juicy chicken in a huge breast quarter. The next visit calls for catfish and while the batter flavor is the same, the firm and tasty fish does give it a different twist.
The vinegar Cole slaw is cubed and chunky and the baked beans have an addictive smoky flavor. Fries prove to be the generic crinkle-cut version and the seasoning on top seems vaguely reminiscent of the spices in the chicken.
Be prepared for a conversation as you eat, depending on how busy they are. It’s a tiny storefront with just three tables and a TV. It’s comfortable enough for indoor dining, if you can find a seat. You can’t get anything like Moore’s in Hendersonville, so it may be the perfect match to get folks off of Main Street, taking a turn onto Walton Ferry and then an immediate left into the strip mall lot. Who knows what will pop up there in the future?
I paid $11 with tax and tip for fish and $11 for chicken.