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My New Orleans Bites: Willie Mae’s Scotch House

August 4, 2015

“I think this might have ruined fried chicken for me forever.”

You know you have just stumbled upon fried chicken gold when you find yourself uttering these words.  That was exactly where we found ourselves for our last meal in New Orleans sitting in the middle of the dining room at the famous Willie Mae’s Scotch House.  The homey dining room was nearly empty only because it was barely 10:15 AM in the morning on a Tuesday but we meant business.  After all, it’s never too early to have fried chicken, especially when you are in the South.

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We had our suitcase in tow on our way to the airport but we knew we could not miss out on a meal here at Willie Mae’s.  Our friendly waiter pointed us to a few of his favorite sides which we were more than happy to listen to and placed our orders.

We started with a basket full of fried okra bites.  These golden nuggets were perfect for popping into your mouth as a snack or a side.

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They did not steal the show though from the fried chicken lunch that came out immediately after.  There is a lot of hype around this family owned spot that has been a mainstay in New Orleans through thick and thin.  With a reputation that stellar, it can be hard to live up to it, especially when you have been crowned as the best fried chicken in the US.  One bite into the golden crispy chicken pieces, we were believers.

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One of the biggest part of what makes a fried chicken memorable is the crust.  After all, the crispy golden crust is the first thing you break through.  The crust at Willie Mae’s shattered the second we bit into it, not heavy nor greasy but that perfect balance of airy yet crunchy.  The meat inside was so juicy and flavorful that even the white meat was something worthy of a sigh.  We were silent as we devoured the fried chicken, minus a few sighs of satisfaction here and there.

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In addition to mac n’cheese and green peas, we also ordered a side of green beans and gravy over rice. These might look simple and potentially boring, the beans were surprisingly full of flavor and the pepper flakes gave a lovely kick.

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We saved a little room for dessert and the bread pudding was just the right size.  Soaked in buttery goodness, the moist bread pudding was bite for bite heavenly.  Every spoonful was a golden caramel and the perfect consistency evenly throughout.  The humble shop of Willie Mae’s Scotch House in Treme embodied some of the very spirit of New Orleans in the delicious meals that the little restaurant churned out day after day.  There was not a better meal we could have asked for to end our culinary journey through New Orleans.

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Willie Mae’s Scotch House |  2401 St Ann St, New Orleans, LA 70119

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