I love fried chicken. Two weeks before Guys’ Night we chose RC’s Restaurant & Lounge as our destination, and immediately an internal countdown started in my head. Unfortunately, what the evening had in store for me was the worst fried chicken I’ve ever had ever.
Shaw, Dorsett, Adam and I all showed up at RC’s at about 7 p.m., and unanimously agreed we were ready to crush some fried chicken. As we entered the massive red and white building, we noticed a sign outside advertising the Chicken for Four special ($31.95). Ten pieces of chicken and sides -- perfect.
RC’s was bustling and looked to be doing some good business when we were seated in the wood-paneled dining room, the background music soundtracking us with '80s pop like Howard Jones and Billy Joel. (Man, I can't stand Billy Joel.)
Our server came by to take our order. Asking us what kind of salad we’d like with our chicken dinners, she told us our options were Italian and something else that I couldn’t understand either of the times I asked her to repeat herself. Ultimately, I just went with Italian, although later I wondered if I should’ve rolled the dice and said, “I’ll take the second one.”
The appetizers arrived, and they were thoroughly underwhelming. The sauce on the wings had combined with the breading to create a spongy coating. As for the livers and gizzards, they were oddly flavorless. Coming with a standard cocktail sauce plus some gravy that didn’t have much of a taste beyond floury, the livers and gizzards didn’t even have that much use for dipping.
Shortly thereafter we got our salads, closely followed by the rest of our food. With the Chicken for Four, you get four breasts, two legs, two thighs and two wings, as well as mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and biscuits.
Each of us started with a breast, which was instantly forgettable. They looked delicious, but like the livers and gizzards, didn’t taste like anything. Our sides weren’t any better -- both the mashed potatoes and green beans were bland, and the biscuit was a rock. Even though the salad wasn’t particularly special, bafflingly it turned out to be the high point of my meal.
Up until now, RC’s had just been one big disappointment -- win some, lose some, no big deal. However, we still had six pieces of chicken left. And while everybody else decided to pass, I figured I might as well give RC’s one more shot, and picked up a drumstick.
That’s where the experience irreparably fell apart.
Biting into the drumstick was what I imagine sinking my teeth into wet paper mache might be like -- sticky and chewy and wrong. I’m not sure what it tasted like, only that it didn’t taste like food.
During the hour or so it took us to eat, the dining room had emptied out. We paid our bill, and unable to muster the enthusiasm to think of different places to go, headed upstairs to RC’s Back Door Bar & Grill, so named because the bar’s main entrance is on the rear of the building.
“Land of Confusion” by Genesis was playing when we walked in the Back Door Bar, making it seem kind of like the ‘80s music was following us throughout the building, except this version was a remake by Disturbed. I choose to believe that no matter what song is playing in the main restaurant, a nu-metal cover of it is blasting upstairs.
Tonight’s special was $1 PBRs, so at least we could have some cheap beers. After spotting a "Test Your Strength" punching machine, having learned a valuable lesson at our last Guys’ Night, we took the table farthest away from it despite the fact there weren't that many people at the Back Door Bar.
Shaw pointed out a nearby patron eating a club sandwich, and we all concurred we would’ve rather had that than the fried chicken. Eventually we realized we were talking exclusively about how much we didn’t like this place, so we decided to cut our losses and call it a night.
Look, here at Lunch Blog, we take no satisfaction out of giving a place the thumbs down. RC’s has been around since the early ‘70s and it looked like there were a lot of regulars in there, so it’s got to have something going for it. Hopefully our experience was just a fluke -- if you’ve been to RC’s, we’d love to hear what you thought of the place.
330 East 135th Street | Martin City, MO 64145