11. Festival de moles
> Restaurant: Guelaguetza
> City: Los Angeles
Since 1994, this Koreatown favorite (it’s in a building that used to house a Korean restaurant) has been representing the culture and cuisine of Mexico’s Oaxaca region — famous in culinary circles for its moles. (They are so key to Guelaguetza that its web address is ilovemole.com.) The best introduction to these complex Oaxacan sauces is this family-style sampler platter of shredded chicken in four different moles.
12. Fried chicken
> Restaurant: Gus’s Fried Chicken World Famous
> City: Memphis, Tennessee
Though it’s now a chain with at least 25 locations across the country, for decades Gus’s was simply the go-to fried chicken place in Memphis. However many offshoots it may have spawned, the downtown Memphis restaurant remains unpretentious, perpetually crowded, and very good. Fresh hormone-free chicken is fried in peanut oil, then served in various combinations of parts with baked beans, cole slaw, and white bread.
13. Fried chicken
> Restaurant: Ma’Ono
> City: Seattle
With three Seattle-area locations, this Hawaiian-inspired restaurant serves twice-fried locally raised chicken, with rice and kimchi, in quarter-, half-, or whole-bird portions. It’s like a variation on the classic Korean fried chicken, not as brittle, but spicier and still very crisp. Chile or honey mustard sauce comes on the side.
14. Fried chicken
> Restaurant: Rip’s Tavern
> City: Ladd, Illinois
When Silvio “Rip” Gualandri opened his bar, originally called the Old Tin Front, in 1934, he gave away fried chicken to his drinking customers. It became so popular that it became the focus of the place as it evolved. Available in half or quarter dark or white meat portions or a mix of half and half, and for many years proudly served on paper plates (a tradition since abandoned due to supply issues), this is impeccable fried chicken with no tricks or gimmicks.
15. Hot chicken eggs Benedict
> Restaurant: Beasley’s Chicken & Honey
> City: Raleigh, North Carolina
At noted North Carolina chef-restaurateur Ashley Christensen’s place Beasley’s specializes in “fried chicken + seasonal Southern sides” (as well as non-seasonal waffles). Chicken pot pie, chicken biscuit, and chicken sandwich are on the menu, but the most unexpected offering is this interpretation of everybody’s favorite brunch dish. In this case, the Benedict is made with two poached eggs cloaked in classic béarnaise sauce atop buttermilk biscuits — and with slabs of spicy fried chicken instead of the usual Canadian bacon or ham.