By Chris Abbott
When discussing where Arkansans stop to eat during their time in Memphis, you’ll get the typical bag of responses; Rendezvous, Central BBQ, Huey’s and maybe Blues City Café if talking to a late-night diner. Because of this, I would be doing you all a major disservice if I didn’t discuss one of the most underrated spots that the city has to offer: The Dirty Crow Inn. Located on Kentucky Street (only a 5-minute drive from Beale Street), this self-described “5-star dive bar” has all the elements to solidify its position as one of the better spots you’ll find in the city.
The place has only been open since 2016, so there is a reason that its existence isn’t discussed as frequently amongst Memphians and visitors alike. My first encounter with The Dirty Crow Inn came in the form of a Sunday afternoon to-go order, thanks to the convincing of a buddy of mine. With a group of us suffering from the weekly Sunday disappointment of Chick-Fil-A being closed, he insisted that we all come over and have what he described as “the best fried chicken sandwich you guys will ever have.” Given that none of us had heard of the place prior to his call, I was hesitant to believe that I would enjoy the food as much as he claimed.
As I type this review, I am still shocked with how wrong my buddy proved me to be. When the guys and I opened our to-go boxes, inside was one of the bigger-sized chicken sandwiches that I had seen, a hefty serving of French fries, all while shoved next to a cup of Poncho’s homemade cheese sauce. Intrigued by what we saw, we all quickly dove into our food and didn’t look back.
Within the first bite, this sandwich had such a unique flavor of sweetness and subtle heat that none of us knew we craved so much. When we instantly asked our buddy what the sandwich was called, he responded “The Sweet Heat Chic. Told you guys it would be the best damn sandwich you guys would ever have.” After a couple of bites of just the sandwich, I decided to dip it into the Poncho’s Homemade Cheese Sauce, which I strongly recommend doing for anyone that orders this sandwich. The sauce is a small additional charge, but it is worth every drop. Not only do I suggest combining the sandwich with the sauce, but the fries work with it just as well.
A few days went by after that lunch, but the guys and I knew that we had to go to the bar’s actual location to get the full effect. We agreed to do dinner there on Friday night, and it didn’t disappoint. One of the guys switched it up and ordered the smoked wings, which looked and sounded phenomenal. But in the end, most of couldn’t resist the best damn fried chicken sandwich we’ve ever had; The Sweet Heat Chic.
The Dirty Crow Inn
855 Kentucky St (Memphis, TN)
Open Daily 11am-3am