Bummed by bumper-to-bumperdom, Seattlest recently jumped off I-5 and onto Route 99 for a journey north. Late for an appointment, we now had limited time for a much-needed snack. We wanted it quick, cheap, and crisp. Yes, we had a crispy craving (not to be confused with a Krispy Kreme).
Aurora Avenue was serving up lots of Asian options, which ordinarily might have met much of our criteria. There were also many fast food joints (have you ever noticed the number of Jack in the Boxes every mile or so up there?), but we wanted something unique. Something local. You know… non-chainy.
As we hit Lynnwood, that’s when we remembered Ezell’s Famous Chicken.
A quick turn west and we eventually found it. We could smell it coming.
Upon entering, straight ahead, are the rows of chicken pieces—golden and glistening and gleaming. For $3.25, we got the two-piece dark; it comes with a cloud-like roll, and we added a 99-cent cole slaw for vegetable goodness.
The Lynnwood shop has a seating area… without seats. So, like many before us, we jumped in the car, put the Styrofoam container in our lap, pushed the steering wheel up, and ate in the driver’s seat. The first bite pierces the protective armor—perfectly fried skin and incredibly moist meat within. Oh, have napkins ready. These babies definitely bathed in a hot oil bath before coming to your mouth. But the grease is minimal and the taste and texture are just like your real or imagined southern grandma would make.
And yes, there’s a photo of Oprah on the wall of the restaurant. Ezell’s still boasts her claim that they serve “the best fried chicken I’ve ever tasted.” She may be the most powerful woman on television, able to fly chicken to her home in Chicago, but for mere mortals like us, Ezell’s is readily available to provide a smile whenever we motor up Route 99.
Originally posted at Seattlest (where “we” = me) on August 23, 2006. You can find Ezell’s crispy goodness at many locations, including central Seattle.