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Colonel's Mini Mart

2036 Madison St., Henderson, KY - (270) 826-6643
Posted By Wade Davis on 1/2/2008 10:28:00 PM
If you are remotely close to Henderson KY, you must stop by Bon Ton Mini Mart for what a sign inside the restaurant proclaims is "the best fried chicken in the solar system." After a recent visit, my wife and I agree 100% with their assessment!

After the standard 20-minute wait, our fried chicken dinners arrived piping hot. I was so eager to try it, I burnt my tongue a little, so be patient. The chicken is indescribably crispy, like a hard shell which perfectly entombs the extra-juicy chicken. This chicken doesn't get its crunch from excessive amounts of flour coatings; quite the opposite. It appears the skin is transformed into a crispy exterior with help from the slightest dusting of flour. The white meat pieces are just as juicy as the dark meat. The flavor has a hint of spice, but it is not overwhelming (and I can't handle much spiciness). But the flavor is not just in the skin; it permeates the meat all the way to the bone.

With our meal we ordered biscuits, which were not as good as we had hoped for. Ours may have been left over from breakfast (we arrived about 11:15 AM). Other side dishes include black-eyed peas, potato salad (quite good), and buttery stewed potatoes (excellent).

Curiously, we noticed that none of the dozen locals had ordered fried chicken for lunch, so maybe next time we should sample something other than chicken to see what the locals know that we don’t.

Although we were stuffed, we decided to sample the desserts. Unfortunately, the banana pudding was not on the menu the day we visited, so we settled for coconut cream pie, Kool-Aid pie, and chess pie. The texture of the Kool-Aid pie is silky smooth with a tangy-yet-sweet flavor that complements the graham cracker crust. The chess pie is disappointing, but the coconut cream pie more than makes up for it. The crust is light and flaky, the meringue is slightly firm, and the filling is bursting with coconut flavor yet is not excessively sweet or rich. My wife and I both think it is the best coconut cream pie we've ever tasted.

As we ate, the owner stopped by our table to chat. He is a very friendly guy, and we asked him about the “for sale” sign out in front of the building. He said he leases the building, and but the landlord was looking to sell the land. But he let us know he would find a new location if necessary. I sure hope so. It would be a shame for a place like this to cease operation.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Rate this place
The crust is unbelievably crunchy and flavorful enough to make you dizzy. Here's a close shot.
"The crust is unbelievably crunchy and flavorful enough to make you dizzy. Here's a close shot."
Michael Stern





Chess pie is a simple formula, scarcely more than butter, sugar, and eggs; but in the hands of an expert baker, it can be an irresistible dessert. We think this version just may be the best we ever tasted. This photo shows only the outside half of a piece because someone at the table had already forked off the point!
"Chess pie is a simple formula, scarcely more than butter, sugar, and eggs; but in the hands of an expert baker, it can be an irresistible dessert. We think this version just may be the best we ever tasted. This photo shows only the outside half of a piece because someone at the table had already forked off the point!"
Michael Stern


A marvelous swirl of custard, softened cookies, bananas and meringue makes this pudding a quintessential comfort food dessert.
"A marvelous swirl of custard, softened cookies, bananas and meringue makes this pudding a quintessential comfort food dessert."
Michael Stern


Baskets of substantial biscuits accompany every fried chicken dinner.
"Baskets of substantial biscuits accompany every fried chicken dinner."
Michael Stern


Here's a two-piece plate ... about to be devoured.
"Here's a two-piece plate ... about to be devoured."
Michael Stern


An occasional dessert special, Kool-Aid pie (in this case orange) is smooth, light, and refreshing.
"An occasional dessert special, Kool-Aid pie (in this case orange) is smooth, light, and refreshing."
Cliff Strutz


In celebration of the dish that made the Mini Mart a destination for Roadfooders, decor includes countless chicken figurines.
"In celebration of the dish that made the Mini Mart a destination for Roadfooders, decor includes countless chicken figurines."
Michael Stern


The Bon Ton has since become Colonel's Mini Mart, but the extraordinary fried chicken hasn't changed a bit since Louis Hatchett tipped us off to it back in 2000.
"The Bon Ton has since become Colonel's Mini Mart, but the extraordinary fried chicken hasn't changed a bit since Louis Hatchett tipped us off to it back in 2000."
Michael Stern



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