Curly’s Fried Chicken

The gleaming Westside stand, with its tiny patio and three parking spots, originally was designed for the short-lived LeRoy’s Fried Chicken. It may now be less of a gourmet idyll than was initially intended, but the new tenants offer more consistent cooking, and the business suddenly feels like an instant classic.

Chicken, lightly coated in a mixture of flour and hot spices and fried in canola oil, is of course the marquee dish, but the fried fish (whiting fillets) is even better. The dense, moist mac and cheese is one step ahead of the other sides (fries, fried okra, coleslaw, and occasionally collard greens), and cheerful service wins over many a customer.