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Dining review: Lisa's Chicken in Arlington

Lisa’s Chicken 1808 W Pioneer Pkwy Arlington 817-462-1624 Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, Saturday

Posted 3:41pm on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012

With the holidays behind us, you’d think I’d be suggesting something light, maybe even vegetarian.

I don’t think so.

There are no salads at Lisa’s Chicken in Arlington. It’s a small Fort Worth-based chain that is slowly making its way to Dallas. (The Arlington spot is inside what seems to be an old Taco Bell.) And it doesn’t take much to understand the beauty of their concept: simple and cheap fried goodness.

Battered corn nuggets ($1.29) are a good place to start: bite-sized crunchy fritters with a creamy corn center and a hint of sweetness.

Other bite-sized options include crispy onion rings ($1.59-$2.59), cheese sticks ($1.69-$3.09) and mini corn dog nuggets ($1.39).

Of course, there are chicken nuggets ($1.99-$7.99), but you might skip those, they’re dry.

For the good stuff, go for the thick and juicy crispy tenders ($3.79-$18.99). Even pocket change ($3.79) gets you a hefty basket of five.

Side items include corn on the cob, french fries, green beans, mashed potatoes, and slaw (99 cents-$2.49). They’re all relatively standard and what you’d expect from a place serving chicken by the basket, but we’re not here for slaw.

We’re here for fried chicken ($1.79-$7.59), which is what’s keeping this place clucking along. From breasts to thighs, they’re all moist and desirable, with a crispy skin and just the right amount of grease. Dark- and white-meat pieces are available.

If you want to take it a step further, try some fried livers or gizzards ($3.69), with a more pronounced fatty flavor. According to one online user, they’re both hard to find. Aren’t you glad I found you a spot?

Fried-food mania continues with the fried catfish ($3.59), another favorite at Lisa’s Chicken. At the Arlington location, it’s actually the most popular dish. Crispy lemon-pepper batter leaves crumbles on your fingers and on your lips, revealing a surprisingly moist fillet.

And let’s not leave out the chicken fried steak ($3.99), also crispy and tender, doused with gravy — the same gravy served with the tenders and the potatoes.

Actually, make sure to double up on that milky cream gravy — it goes with everything on the menu. Dip the chicken, fish, nuggets — dip everything. Go crazy. It’s a fried feast.

In all, there are around seven locations of Lisa’s Chicken, mostly in Fort Worth. It’s a growing chicken empire, but oddly enough, no one I know has heard of the place. Even after grilling the staff about the real Lisa, wherever she may be, they couldn’t tell me anything about her.

I don’t care, though. The one thing I can surmise is that she doesn’t do salads. She likes chicken.

Sounds like my kind of gal.

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