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The Gentlemen of Chicken take on St. Louis

January 25th 03:01pm, 2013

Meet Derek Coleman (pictured, left) and Kevin Seltzer (right), otherwise known as the Gentlemen of Chicken. Their mission? To find the best fried chicken the Greater St. Louis area has to offer (or die trying – presumably – of cardiac arrest).

These gentlemen (who work as a lawyer and bartender on the side) are true aficionados of the fried fowl, dedicating their lunch on two Fridays of every month to their endeavor. Their trek started roughly four months ago and since then, they have visited Porter’s, Hodak’s, Friendly’s, Diner’s Delight and Tip Top, to name a few.

After graciously being invited to tag along with the Gentlemen of Chicken (GoC) several weeks ago, we met them at one of their favorite eateries, Frank and Helen’s Pizzeria. (Don’t let the word pizzeria fool you into thinking the chicken here was anything but divine.) The duo had already visited Frank and Helen’s on their tour (and many times in the past), but they made an exception for us, wanting to show off the place where their plan was first hatched.

Frank and Helen’s, at the time of our visit, was also the highest scoring chicken contender, receiving a total score of 36.5 out of 40 according to Seltzer and a 38 out of 40 from Coleman. Fried chicken rankings are based on four categories: chicken meat; breading/skin; sides; and atmosphere. Each category is rated on a scale from zero through 10.

The GoC’s scoring also includes intangibles which is where the real hilarity comes in. Intangibles can result in small deductions to the overall score and range from anything to a long wait, a cash only option, too much grease and a wobbly table. Other intangibles, which result in bonus points, range from whether there is a Big Buck Hunter on the premises (HD widescreen, of course), an all-dark meat option, a storied restaurant history and cheap prices. In the GoC’s reviews, they also include non-chicken highlights – my favorite being the time they overheard a waitress bringing a customer a salad which she introduced to the customer as, “I don’t know what the f*** this is.”

Unfortunately, the GoC only share their reviews via email to their friends and family, but we will be sure to check back with them when their mission is complete. Until then, good luck Gentlemen of Chicken, and may your arteries live to tell the tale.

Beyond Sauce’s fried chicken short list, published in 2011, do you have any fried chicken establishments to suggest for the GoC to try?

Anyone out there on a mission to find the best _____ around town? Let us know! We’d love to join!

— photos by Michelle Volansky

By Julie Cohen

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18 Responses to “The Gentlemen of Chicken take on St. Louis”

  1. William Spradley Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    The best fried chicken in the area is at Hobo’s in St. Peters. Bar none.

  2. Will Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    This is an awesome idea. I’d love to tag along.

  3. CC Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Farmhaus! Monday for lunch their blue plate special is fried chicken and it is amazing!

  4. Delroy Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Dear GoC, please provide reviews and rankings to help the public avoid having to recreate your greasy quest for fried excellence.

  5. Emily Barklage Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Hands down, best fried chicken in St. Louis is at Piccadilly at Manhattan.

  6. TK Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Once a month? C’mon guys, this needs to be a once a week quest if you want to be taken seriously. ;)

  7. Ethan Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I know those guys!

  8. The Real Estate Guy Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    A chicken tour wouldn’t be complete without stopping to see Randy & Gabe at King Edwards Chicken & Fish – 8958 Watson Rd. The creamy coleslaw is a favorite.

  9. Tricia Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    King Edwards in Crest wood! Great fried chicken!!

  10. Bob Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Try Castelli’s Moonlight, 3400 Fosterburg Road, Alton, IL. The BEST fried chicken around. Also try the chicken livers!

  11. Kimberly Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    The fried chicken at Young’s in Valley Park … so, so, so good and my favorite in St. Louis! I truly hope they make it a stop on their chicken quest!

  12. Bakerina Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Mel’s in Hardin, Il -fridays for lunch -dinner go early as it is a buffet
    Moonlight Castellis “Talk N Chic”
    The Pine Room in St. Charles
    King Edwards in St. Charles
    Gallagher’s in Waterloo Il.
    Farmhaus-lunch on Mondays
    I like Picadilly too-the wings are the best in town
    Duck fat fried chicken at Salt
    I would be adding the Libertine when they are up and running-you know that will be good.

  13. Fred Says:
    January 28th, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Pat’s Bar and Grill is a fine local example. When they are running their $5.95 half chicken and 2 sides special, it is hard to beat the value.

  14. toad Says:
    January 28th, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Pats on Oakland and Tamm and Rigazzi’s are not to be missed

  15. Tom J Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Fergie’s wings are my absolute favorite fried chicken. It’s a tavern on Lemay Ferry in South County.

    I won’t say it’s best because I haven’t had every fried chicken dish in town.

  16. Kevin Seltzer Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks for all the feedback, this is truly a labor of love. A lot of your suggestions have been added to our itinerary.

    Our current power rankings are:

    1. Frank & Helens, 2. Picadilly at Manhattan, 3. Friendly’s 4. Tip Top 5. Pats 6. London’s Wing House 7. Mama Josephine’s 8. Diner’s Delight 9. Hodak’s 10. Porter’s

  17. Kevin Seltzer Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    We have started a facebook forum where you can read our reviews and discuss chicken and chicken related topics: https://www.facebook.com/GentlemenOfChicken

  18. Bob Benne Says:
    March 7th, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Malone’s in Earth city (next to the Holiday Inn) serves Romine’s fried chicken the best I have ever had.

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