New reader here, and a chicken-eatin' fanatic.
Stroud's South was okay, but I frankly never thought the food was worth the wait. I got in quick once at Saturday lunch after turning away half a dozen times after standing too long in line nut-to-butt with heavy drinkers. There were dead flies on the table and in the window, and once the hung-over waitress saw we weren't buying drinks at 11:30 a.m., she abandoned us for customers that would run up a bigger bill to base a tip on.
Recently closed, the Machine Shed restaurant had what I thought was the best fried chicken in KC area. 4 pieces, out of this world mashed potatoes and gravy, a couple different types of bread, and all the cottage cheese and slaw you could eat. We used to substitute cooked apples for the slaw, and it was like pie filling -- who needs dessert? Sadly, they told me once their marketing scheme was to only locate along I-35. I couldn't figure out why -- having been a truck driver, I know their delivery vehicles could have made a couple turns to get them over into a more country-meal focused area than S. Johnson County, KS. I'll have to try them further up north to see if it's a chain sensation, or if they only got it right in the Olathe location.
Po' Folks was great no matter where you enjoyed it -- my last meal from them was in Nashville, but I think they're all gone now. I met my wife at the one on Noland Road when she waited on me, and we're still happily looking for places to enjoy chicken together.
The Peach Tree buffet just off I-435 on Eastwood Trafficway has delicious chicken with a funny paprika-color to it, but no such taste. That place is a bargain for all you can eat and drink for under $10, and you better come hungry, cause everything they make is great.
Countyside Restaurant in Odessa, MO (out east of KC about 35 miles alongside I-70, across from the outlet mall) has reasonably-good chicken and no waits on Friday nights if you get there before 7 p.m. Served with a carrot-celery-pickle and cucmber relish tray, soup, all-you-can-eat tossed salad, 1/2 deep-fried chicken, mashed potatoes and cream gravy, fresh rolls made in their bakey, and green beans, all for about $9. The sides are family-style, and eat as much as you want.
The Hardware Cafe on the square in Liberty, MO had a good 3-piece chicken special on Saturday's, but they've recently closed as well.
Niece's restaurant in Brywood Center on 63rd ST just off I-435 by Raytown has good-looking chicken wings and Waffles on the breakfast menu -- they're HUGE, but I haven't tried them. Last time I saw the place they had a sign saying they were doing fried chicken every day instead of just Sunday.
Both Big Biscuit restaurants (7 Hiway south of I-70 in Blue Springs, and Noland Rd and US 40 Hiway in Independence) serve fried chicken dinners on Sunday afternoons, but they're only open until 3 p.m. and I can't get my people together to eat that early, so I can't vouch for the food. If it's half as good as the breakfasts they kick out, it's worth eating. The Blue Springs location is newer and larger than the 40 Hiway spot, which unfortunately is a bit cramped. Worse, they bought the 40 Hiway location after the famous Stevenson family closed down the Red Mule Inn that was their "coffee house cafe" across the street from the main restaurant, and the Red Mule was one of our favorites, for fried chicken and Swiss Steak.
Sadly, despite their Southern heritage, Crackerbarrel doesn't carry real fried chicken on their menu. I haven't been to R.C.s for quite awhile, but it wasn't breath-taking by any means when I ate their chicken.
With the new Bass Pro's coming into KC area on both sides, I'm hoping we'll see a return of some good fried chicken places to serve the country appetites that will be visiting the metro. I love Popeye's, but I need a place where I can get an awesome fried chicken meal served to me on a dinner plate instead of in a box.
Darn -- now I'm really hungry!