J.T. Youngblood’s Texas Chicken
In the fifties, the hugely successful fried-chicken chain Youngblood’s waltzed across Texas, resulting in lines out the door. It closed after an unsuccessful attempt to expand nationwide, but now three business partners—chef Todd Duplechan of Lenoir, restaurateur Jeffrey Weinberger of Jeffrey’s fame, and former Trio at the Four Seasons manager Jeffrey Haber—have opened a new version in the Mueller neighborhood. Their hope is to create a cash cow, which could be tricky given the competition in the fried-fowl biz these days. But the product has promise. Placing itself in the medium-crust camp, it comes off juicy without being greasy, well seasoned but not too spicy. There’s rotisserie chicken too, if you’re so inclined, as well as dinner rolls and sides like mashed potatoes, waffle fries, braised greens (the Southern overcooked style), and hoppin’ john (bland). Gourmet it’s not, but the line moves quickly, and the setting is cheerful and family-oriented. Most importantly, the prices are right: $8 for two pieces of chicken with a side and a roll, $18 for a whole bird. Mom and Dad can even get one of five cocktails on tap.