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Colonel's Mini Mart

2036 Madison St., Henderson, KY - (270) 826-6643
Posted By Regan Conley on 9/29/2011 8:07:00 PM
Bon Ton Mini Mart is something of a legend around Roadfood, so my review isn't exactly earth-shattering news: the fried chicken is delectable! Based on other reviews describing the chicken as "spicy" with the emphasis on the cayenne pepper, I thought it might be hot, but it wasn't, so don't shy away if your palate doesn't appreciate hot food. It's the combination of spices that give this chicken it's verve.

I ordered chocolate pie for dessert and was surprised to get chocolate meringue, not chocolate cream. The chocolate is milder than the chocolate pudding-style you get in cream, but has a slight caramel-y flavor and altogether with the meringue makes a very nice pie. I was less impressed with the fries (crinkle cut, probably frozen) and the cole slaw (too sweet) that came with the chicken. Still, as we all know by now, the chicken is worth the trip.

Still in its same bland building with a barely readable sign, it can be a challenge to find, but it's right at an intersection of two state highways (41 and 136), so if you're at the crossroads, you're in the right place.

The Washington Post had a long-running restaurant feature called "Crummy, but Good" and this fits the bill: mismatched old vinyl kitchen chairs, zero decor, a TV, and a view of the back storage make this place pretty divey on the style side. Bon Ton is open for dinner only during the week -- the sign when I was there said 7pm M-Th. Other days they close earlier, so plan lunch or an earlyish dinner. Everything can be had to-go, and fried chicken still takes 20 minutes.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
fried chicken
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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