Chicken Lickin’

I’ve been hearing a lot of clucking about the city’s fried-chicken restaurants.

A friend of mine applied for a job as a waitress at the long-awaited new Stroud’s Fried Chicken in Fairway (4200 Shawnee Mission Parkway) and was told it won’t be open until January or February.

The same day, I received an e-mail from a reader named Dan, bemoaning the fact that another iconic chicken joint, K.T. Fryers (12800 West 87th Street in Lenexa), never reopened after a fire wiped out the venue a year ago.

“For months,” Dan wrote, “I have made periodic trips to the Lenexa strip mall that housed my favorite fried-chicken place to gauge the construction on K.T. Fryers … I see that the property owner has placed a ‘Space Available’ sign in the window.”

Dan was hoping that the popular K.T. Fryers might move to a new location. I wasn’t able to contact the owner, Kurtis Lam, after many phone calls. My guess is that this particular bird has flown.

Not to worry, though. There’s a brand-new place to get some fine skillet-fried chicken: Granny’s Chicken Ranch (1340 Village West Parkway) in The Legends entertainment complex. This Granny’s has no connection to the Granny’s fried chicken restaurants of the 1980s (there was one downtown and one in Prairie Village) that were owned by the same Kurtis Lam of K.T. Fryers.

Granny’s Chicken Ranch is owned and operated by Guy and Mary Tamburello, Paul and Carol Anselmo and Shane Danner; the Tamburello and Anselmo families also own Café Italia in North Kansas City. This quintet took over the building vacated by the W.J. McBride’s Irish Pub and hasn’t done much to change the décor. The main dining-room walls are still kelly-green and adorned with Irish prints. But the fried chicken is excellent, cooked to order in big, black iron skillets and served with salads, mashed potatoes, chicken gravy, green beans, cinnamon rolls and drop biscuits.

So my advice to Dan, along with everyone who’s getting impatient waiting for Stroud’s, is to keep heading west. There’s a new Granny in town, and the old broad’s giving everyone the bird.

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