Our Thanksgiving travels began on 11/19/18. We had a busy second day in St. Louis (11/20) before we planned on driving on up to Omaha Nebraska for Thanksgiving with our son and his family…
Unfortunately, our trip was destined to start out on a sad note.
On Wednesday 11/14/18, we had received the sad news that Laurie’s Aunt Lois, her 'second mom', had passed away peacefully in the early afternoon. Lois Templeton (McCormick) was 104 years old. She would have been 105 in January…
It had been our routine and pleasure to visit Aunt Lois every time that we came to St. Louis. We still paid a visit to the retirement home where Aunt Lois had been living. Laurie and her sisters Karole and Bonnie delivered cookies to the staff in appreciation of the fine care and attention they’d provided over the past few years. The staff expressed much appreciation and told the sisters that they really missed Aunt Lois too…
Any of us would be fortunate to live as long as Aunt Lois, who retained her sense of humor and memory until the end. (We should be so lucky!) She was also the all-time SkipBo Queen champion! Karole already misses their regular SkipBo games.
Aunt Lois told us all that when her time came, she was ready to go. In the week or so before she passed, she made sure that she got around to all the key folks at the retirement home to thank them for all the quality care that she’d been given during her years in residence. She wouldn't have wanted anyone to be sad that she moved on to a higher calling... A Class Act to the end!
Following our visit to Aunt Lois’s former residence, we all drove over to Friendship Village where Laurie’s oldest sister Glenda and her husband Ken are living. It was Ken's 83rd birthday and we surprised Karole with a dual action birthday cake. Her birthday was just a week later and since we were in town, it was a perfect opportunity to sing to both of them and celebrate their birthdays!
FYI...Ken is the local pool shark!
That evening, Laurie, Bonnie and her husband Bill had been planning to go to St. Louis’s Hill for dinner at one of the classic Italian restaurants that has been operating for many years. But, we just didn’t feel like it. No reservations are ever accepted, we all felt like blue jeans, it was the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving and the ladies and I were still recovering from lunch and birthday cake at Ken and Glenda's.
So…off we went to Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Chicken in Maplewood Missouri. There are 26 Gus’s locations in 12 states including Arkansas, California, Illinois, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.
Gus’s is a straightforward operation. It’s all about the spicy fried chicken! As you can see, the dining area is very basic, very casual and family friendly.
The recipe for Gus’s chicken dates back to 1953 in Mason Tennessee. The matriarch in the family started selling chicken sandwiches out the back door of a bar where she was cooking. Locals kicked in for building materials and the patriarch of the family cobbled together the first restaurant…Maggie’s Short Orders which opened in 1973.
The Bonner family continued the business, perfected the recipe and, in 1984, they changed the name to Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken. Now this growing franchised restaurant chain has spread from coast to coast with lots of room to fill in across the country.
The menu is pretty simple…and it’s mostly chicken! If you check out the first page above, there are fried pickles, green tomatoes and okra. Then there are a bunch of chicken options…period!
Kids can get a grilled cheese sandwich and I guess that you could make a meal from the sides. There are pies and floats but by the time we finished the chicken, we were too full to even try out a dessert treat!
It looks like Bonnie, Laurie and Bill were very happy having gone casual and local at Gus’s Famous Chicken for dinner!
Sorry about this photo. We’d eaten all but 2 of the Fried Pickle Spears before I remembered to take a picture! ($6.50) I thought that they were OK but Laurie, Bonnie and Bill really enjoyed them.
These 2 photos pretty much provide the visual for all of our meals. The first one is of the Three Piece Dark (2 thighs and a leg) accompanied by fried okra and baked beans. ($9.25) The second photo was my dinner…the Three Piece White (2 breasts and a wing) accompanied by French fries and coleslaw. ($11.50)
We all agreed that the chicken was pretty darn good! For those who aren’t really into ‘hot’ chicken, Gus’s isn’t really in that category. While there is a little ‘bit’ of a hot spicy afterglow, it’s not like “Nashville Hot Chicken” which can be intimidating to the average diner. All chicken is fried in peanut oil.
The Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Chicken located at 7434 Manchester Road in Maplewood Missouri is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Phone: 312-899-9899. What hadn’t registered in my aged mind until now is that there is a Gus’s Chicken in Knoxville Tennessee. How did we miss that dining opportunity?! The company’s website is at .
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave