A Queer Vietnamese-Houstonian-New Yorker Writer musing about the arts and absurdities when not screenwriting or playwrighting

Verifying Authentic KFC-Bootleggy Texas Fried Chicken in Harlem

Ever since I left dear Houston, Texas to settle in Harlem, New York City, this has been a major mystery: Why didn’t I just walk into that nearby Texas Fried Chicken place sooner? How could I procrastinate on sampling a fried chicken place like I do with my novel writing (don’t get me started on my nanowrimonth2017 project)?

One Sunday, I decided to take a break from non-fiction homework and just stroll out into the breezy New York winter air for some brain exercise. Giving scathing critiques (haha, nah, constructive criticism) on my classmates’ stories could wait.

So the eye-catching thing about this store wasn’t the “Texas,” but the “Fried Chicken.” “Texas,” as I understood, was an arbitrary branding, as irrelevant as the “Kentucky” in Kentucky Fried Chicken. Hey, as long as it is meaty chicken and fried, I don’t care which state you claim that chicken is from–or more accurately, styled after. I didn’t walk in this store expecting a taste of nostalgia and a seasoning of long-lost Texas. Besides, I never got the impression that Texas had its own signature fried chicken.

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Right when I walk in, the server said, “Hello, Sister!” and I feel right at home. She called other customers, “Brother/Sister.” She asked me where I was from and was really happy to actually have a Texas customer.

I unearth this $4 combo meal.

If it wasn’t Captain Obvious enough, the Texas brand is bootleggy. But it was well-oiled, if not a tad over-greased. But it didn’t taste salty, which is important, so I didn’t feel like I was consuming too much sodium.

When I was telling my roommate about it, we discussed other knock-off joints like Kennedy Fried Chicken or Kansas Fried Chicken.

All in all, I was satisfied with the so-called Texas fried chicken. And a $4 meal was a good price. There’s room for me to get indulgent in the future and get the 3-piece $5 combo.

To my roommate, “As long as it taste fine, is not too salty, and is at a good price, I don’t care, I’ll eat it.” I’ll take it over KFC (I mean, the real Kentucky Fried Chicken) if the price is that good.

Then my roommate went, “I’m actually glad those knock-offs are around. They’re kinda taking money from capitalist corporation KFC.”

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