Local Food Review | Gallagher’s Fried Chicken

by Natalie Schweiger

Being able to say you’ve enjoyed a Southern Style Dinner should be a requirement for anyone claiming to be American. This is the kind of meal that fills the belly and warms the heart with delicious food, as well as care and welcoming from all those involved.

Some say such a feeling can only be achieved in the comfort of your own home or around the table at Grandma’s. Well, I’m here to prove that’s no longer the case. Gallagher’s Restaurant offers one of the best Southern Style Chicken Dinners in the St. Louis area.

Just walk in, wait to be seated and the exceptional staff (including many members of the Gallagher family) will take it from there.

Gallagher’s Southern Style Chicken Dinner

After starting off with a plate of warm, fluffy buttermilk biscuits, a plate of fried chicken is brought to the table, still sizzling hot and fresh from the fryer. It is served family-style along with generous helpings of green beans, corn custard, mashed potatoes and, of course, peppered white gravy.

Every side is made from scratch by hardworking hands. Each serving of potatoes comes from Yukon Golds that are boiled, smashed, seasoned and mixed with real butter and dairy cream. The corn custard (my personal favorite) consists of egg, sweet corn, nutmeg, salt and a sprinkle of red pepper, all loosely mixed and baked to a texture so rich and fluffy you’ll think you’ve been given a Quiche Loraine. Even the green beans catch attention with their bright color, indicating proper preparation with a crisp bite.

Although these sides are palate pleasing, the fried chicken is what steals the show. Heavily seasoned with a rub of dried thyme, garlic powder, onion, salt, pepper and a few other secret ingredients, the chicken is dredged in all-purpose and rice flour. This unique addition of rice flour, as most recipes rely solely all-purpose flour, gives the skin a crisper crunch. After a splash and fry in soy oil, each piece is plated and on the fork of a hungry customer within minutes.

Having been such a customer I can attest to the mouthwatering flavor. Deep, golden brown and speckled with hints of spices, the coating crunches beautifully to reveal tender meat, still hot and juicy, that practically falls off the bone. One may think it’s impossible to finish such a feast, but with a meal this enjoyable, unlike your appetite, this food will be gone before you realize.

Hundreds of restaurants and diners throughout the Midwest claim to have the best Southern dinner, but Gallagher’s puts them all to shame, serving up more than 1,000 pounds of fried chicken every Sunday. So ttell Grandma to hang up her apron and bring the family to a place that puts the “soul” in soul food.

Gallagher’s is located at 114 W. Mill Street in downtown Waterloo. For more information, call them at 618-939-9933 or visit www.GallaghersWaterloo.com.

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