Cousin’s Tasty Chicken
Oh, how I love good fried chicken. Not sure how I found about this place, but when I got off work tonight, I decided to take a little detour before heading back to Kalamazoo. The reviews I found have called it the best chicken in Grand Rapids and I’m always up for the “best of” anything.
Cousin’s Tasty Chicken is in a strip mall on the corner of Leonard Street and Fuller Avenue. While the address of Leonard Street is technically correct, chances are, you’re not going to see the building from that road. I didn’t. I thought my GPS was wrong or that I had the address direction mixed up. When I turned off a Fuller on to Leonard, the GPS said it should be right at the corner. I didn’t see it. I drove up about half a mile then turned around and tried going into the strip mall on the corner. I was just about to give up and go find someplace else when I saw a sign on the corner of the building that looked like it may be my place.
Cousin’s isn’t all that big. There’s a small parking lot out front which is a little weird to get in to. You almost feel like you’re driving out of the shopping center to get into the little corner that holds this magnificent chicken.
The order area is pretty tight. When you come through the door, there’s a dining room to your right with some old, plastic booths that are probably original to the building. To the left is a small order counter that was packed with people. The menu board is behind the counter and above the deep fryers that are situated directly behind the cash registers.
There were two people taking orders as the waiting area filled up quickly. I squeezed between people who were waiting for their food to get up to the front and put my order in. I really hadn’t decided if I was going to eat there or take it home. I knew taking it home would mean an hour delay, but it’s chicken. It’ll still be good.
I put in the order for the 2 Breast Chicken & Fries meal. When the question popped up about dine in or take out, I went with take out. I was tired and really wanted to get on my way. I figured I could eat the fries in the car which would hold me over until I get home and dive into the chicken.
The cost was a little over five bucks because I chose two breasts. You can get cheaper meals and even more pieces of chicken if you go with something other than the breasts.
I took my spot along the wall and watched the cook drop a basket of fries. The chicken was already in and he pulled a couple breasts out of the oil and checked the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. He seemed to be happy with the results and put the two breasts in a Styrofoam to go box on top of the fries that just came out of the oil.
It was actually torture to smell that chicken in my truck on the way home, but I didn’t want to get crumbs all over the place. My truck already looks like I’ve eaten fast food one too many times. I moved the still hot chicken in to the top of the box and started on the fries once I got back on US-131. The fries were pretty typical restaurant fries. They were cooked well, but still a little soggy and heavily salted. I was so hungry I inhaled them before I even got out of the Grand Rapids city limits.
When I did finally make it home, J saw the box and asked if I had any extra. She didn’t realize I hadn’t even eaten yet. Still, I offered up one of the pieces of chicken thinking I could eat some left over tacos from last night if one wasn’t enough for me. She settled instead for just taking a bite leaving me with both pieces.
Tasty is exactly the word I would use to describe Cousin’s Tasty Chicken. The chicken was still pretty warm even after the hour drive home. It was really tender and juicy. The breading was delicious. It was very crispy and didn’t slide of the chicken when I bit into it. There was no slimy layer between the breading and the chicken which I very much appreciate.
Cousin’s is a little far from work so I don’t know if I could make it there and back on my lunch break, but I may try. The chicken is delicious. Since I’ve not had chicken any place else in Grand Rapids, I can safely declare it the best chicken I’ve had in the city. I have a feeling there’s not many places, if any, that could beat them though.