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Fried Chicken, Fuel, And A View – Auntie M’s

I’m on a South Carolina food journey to chow down at the best restaurant in each of the 46 S.C. counties, while seeking the Top 100 Food Dishes To Eat In South Carolina While Alive, Or, Before Dead, Whichever Comes First. Follow me on my “Tasty Tuesday” post as I wander around South Carolina tasting the best foods that this beautiful state has to offer.

This stop was the latter, wandering around and seeking at least 100 dishes that are the best of the best in South Carolina.

Tasty Tuesday – I checked out Aunt M’s Chicken at the Kangaroo Express in Inman South Carolina.

WHY?

This stop was inspired by an article in Garden & Gun Magazine entitled “Garden & Gun’s Fried Chicken Bucket List.”  This list included minds from chefs, food, and travel writers, a total of 70 experts. From the South Carolina list, Aunt M’s at The Kangaroo Express in Inman was the best bird winner.

“Everyone knows small-town gas stations are the best places to find kickass fried chicken, made by the same ladies who were there when you were in high school. Here, the skin is so crispy and well seasoned that I could just rip it off the chicken and eat it alone. Make sure to get some jo-jos (fried potato wedges), too.” —Amanda Heckert (Garden & Gun) [2]

The Place-The Misconception

Reading this review, I literally thought it would be someone’s Aunt waking up early to clean the chicken, prepare the breading, and drop it in the deep fryer just for me. In this same daydream, she would be dressed all in white from her hairnet down to her apron and shoes. She would smile at me and tell me about her chicken-breading recipe without giving away too many secrets.

Probably this is because once upon a time, I knew a woman named Millie who dressed this way.   I worked at a family-style restaurant in Wisconsin for many years. Millie in her 80’s, would walk to work in Wisconsin, through snow, ice, and sleet,  and prep that chicken, every.single.day.  Milly’s job was to tolerate then annoying teenagers as she breaded that chicken.

That was Milly

The Place

So, imagine my surprise to find a dude in an express gas station, running the cash register and cooking up the chicken.  This gas station is no different than your average gas station in the U.S.A.  Grab some fuel, a big cup, and bonus hot food.

auntmcounter

The goods of Aunt M’s Inman, S.C. at The Kangaroo Express

The menu is what you would expect from a small service counter, chicken, fish, fried potatoes macaroni and cheese… The exceptions to this expectation would be that one might not find fried okra, fried gizzards, and fried livers in say Iowa.  My friend and I chose the chicken with macaroni and cheese and the fried chicken liver.

There are approximately four tables for eat-in customers but it was one of those warm late winter S.C. days, my smart friend knew a better spot for tasting chicken.

bridgeckn

Campbell’s Covered Bridge in Greenville County S.C.

And, he would be right.  What wouldn’t taste great in this setting with warm sunshine at the end of February?

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Fried Chicken from Aunt M’s and Campbell’s Covered Bridge

The Word

While the bridge was beyond perfect, 5 MEGastars*****

the chicken was average 3 MEGastars ***.

The macaroni and cheese side dish was creamy but I would call it average so 3 MEGastars ***

and the fried chicken livers, well they were o.k.   I forgot to ask my friend what he thought but, I mean what isn’t good deep fried?

MEGathoughts

While I was unable to find much information on Aunt M’s, I did read the reviews after my visit.  One reviewer felt that it was past time to change the oil, I would also agree with that.  Others wrote that it would be best to get there right after opening to get the chicken right out of the fryer.  Right after I ordered, the cook put out fresh chicken, and I would bet that this batch was better.  Others wrote a tip to not visit right before closing time.

MEGatips

  1. Do grab some chicken from Aunt M’s and head out for a picnic.
  2. Get the fried potatoes.
  3. I did not find a website.  Aunt M’s at the Kangaroo Express
    Inman S. C.  800-627-3999
  4. Other Aunt M locations are in Spartanburg, Gaffney, and possibly Jonesville S.C.
  5. DO visit Campbell’s Covered Bridge in Greenville County, S.C. I was able to find a website for this fantastic 1909 built bridge now cared for by Grenville County Recreation and Parks.  Campbell’s Covered Bridge Greenville County, S.C. 
  6.    By the way, that family restaurant where Milly once worked, it was the best-broasted chicken in Wisconsin and perhaps the best-fried chicken anywhere, hands down. I mean it.  Broasted chicken is deep fried chicken using a perfected method.  That is a whole other story

___________________________________________________________________________________________ABOUT:  This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post and may be helpful if you are new to my food escapades.

*100 Dishes To Eat In South Carolina While Alive or Before You Die, Whichever Comes First.” is my compilation of food to chow down on “Carolina style.” It is my S.C. Food Bucket List and you may follow along as I chow down like Ms. Pacman in another gorgeous state that I call home.   I am loosely following Snacks of Jax 2016 46 County Best Restaurant List as a guide [1]. From the Mom and Pop diner to the James Beard Chef, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food.  From my bucket list, I select stops based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I already have a few favorites.)  [1] http://www.snacksofjax.com

I use a 5 MEGastar rating system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and generally, the experience gets one shot at how I view the food.   I factor this in using my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes and people behind them. I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the foodservice industry.

  • *Meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? Or, the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in South Carolina.   This has happened to me a few times and is always a difficult write.
  • ** Passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** Good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty food with an above average experience.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.

[1] Snacks of Jax Snacksofjax.com 2016 46 Best County Restaurant List

 

 

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