BEST FRIED CHICKEN (1999)
The best way to explain Sallie's expertise at preparing this most homely and humble of foods is to describe what their fried chicken isn't. The coating is crisp without being greasy; they don't take a dousing of salt or an indiscriminate cayenne blast as a substitute for a complex layering of spices; and the meat, dark or white, is never dry. For less than seven bucks, you can sample a wing and a breast with two side orders (the candied yams are particularly recommended) and your choice of biscuit or corn bread. Like the food, the atmosphere at Sallie's is both stately and modest: Positioned one floor above the bustle of Lake Street, the restaurant presents an image of country comfort without cloying down-home affectations or pretensions to gentility.