Break out your tiny violins, because I have quite the sad story to tell. I, Sarah Rufca, have never had the fried chicken from Barbecue Inn.
It's not because I haven't tried. Somehow a series of small disasters always keeps me from making it to the Garden Oaks/Independence Heights area before 9 p.m., and with only a half-hour to close, Barbecue Inn doesn't cook the one menu item that takes 25 minutes to prepare.
It's a fair policy, and I've always been happy with my consolation chicken fried steak. But now that Food & Wine has named Barbecue Inn's dish to its list of the 30 best fried chickens in America — for the second time, at that — I feel like this is one legendary local food that I have to eat.
It's one of those Houston restaurant initiations that one must complete to be a full citizen, like seeing George H.W. Bush at a restaurant (check), the Jose's Dip at Molina's (check-plus), getting yelled at by waitresses at Avalon Diner (check) and the bananas foster at Brennan's (check).
Where do you think has the best fried chicken in Houston? And what else should be on the required-for-citizenship Houston restaurant experience list?