The first time I drove past The Dixie Chicken, I didn’t even realize I had done it—driven past it, I mean. I was making my way down Westover Hills Boulevard for the specific purpose of going to The Dixie Chicken, but the storefront’s completely fuss-free appearance made me zip right by. I didn’t notice it until I spotted the front window’s telltale yellow chicken in my rear view mirror and had to make a U-turn.
The no-frills approach carries over to pretty much everything about the place. The space is mostly kitchen with just a few chairs lined up near the door for those who’d like to sit while they wait for their order. And don’t expect your typical, Richmond small business chitchat when you go in. I’ve had three interactions with The Dixie Chicken staff—twice over the phone and once in person—and each time they were pleasant enough, but its obvious that their number one priority is moving those birds. This could be because the restaurant is relatively new (it just opened this Spring) and they’re still trying to find their groove, but for me, the staff’s more reserved, all business approach perfectly matches the feel of the place. It’s as if The Dixie Chicken has this quiet confidence; they know their food is good, so there’s no need to gussy things up.
Take one bite of that chicken and you’ll agree with them.
As a Southerner, I am no stranger to quality fried chicken. But I have to say that The Dixie Chicken’s might be the best I’ve ever had.
I’m sure that statement just prompted scores of my relatives (living and not) to disown me, but there it is. I can’t help how I feel.
The meat is juicy and tender while the breading is impossibly crispy and just spicy enough to give each bite a spectacular kick. I’m not really one to “dig” into my food, but I couldn’t keep myself from picking every last bit of that breading off the bone to get one more taste. I was also thrilled to discover that the chicken’s breading held up well overnight in the fridge; it was just as crispy when we attacked the leftovers for lunch the next day.
The menu offers a variety of options when it comes to how you’d like your chicken—light or dark meat, individual portions ($6-$7) or larger family packs ($18-$24). For those looking for an alternative to The Dixie Chicken’s flagship dish, they also offer BBQ pork and chicken, as well as pork belly sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, and chicken and dumplings. Sides ($2.50-$5) include all the typical (and beloved) fried chicken dinner trimmings–macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, baked beans, and deviled eggs, just to name a few. And the biscuits. Please, oh please, don’t forget your biscuits.
The Dixie Chicken is open Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Breakfast is served throughout the day. Carry-out only and be sure to call ahead!
The Dixie Chicken
1203 Westover Hill Boulevard
(All major credit cards accepted)
Valerie Catrow is the former editor of RVANews and a current contributor to their parenting column, Raising Richmond. A Richmonder through-and-through, she grew up in Midlothian, graduated from the University of Richmond, and currently lives on the city’s Northside with her husband, Ross, and their son, JR. You can see what she’s up to on a day-to-day basis on her personal blog: Made in Richmond.