Champy’s – Chicken Champions

Thursday, May 2, 2013 - by Willie Mae

A lot of folks at church had talked about a place called “Champy’s” on MLK Blvd. and I wanted to stop in for a visit. I wasn’t sure what it was - I thought maybe a hamburger or sandwich joint. I entered a covered porch area outside where they had plenty of tables with picnic-style table cloths. I wanted to see if they had an inside, so I went through another door and saw the inside which was a little dark and I could smell hot grease cooking up something. It was a pretty day so I went back outside and found a seat.

I saw these little young waitresses (even younger than my granddaughter) sporting tank tops and shorts. I wondered if I were in a Hooter’s type of place. I didn’t know girls that young could swing their hips like that when they walked. I remember swinging my hips like that many moons ago, but I was much older. The ball team from McCallie didn’t seem to mind. I try not to be too old-fashioned so I just minded my own business.

I was given a menu and saw that they had fried chicken. I looked at all the dinners on the menu and they were …fried chicken. I decided on the fried chicken. But the smallest platter I saw was for a two-piece chicken dinner for $7.35 with baked beans, slaw and white bread. I knew I didn’t want two pieces, but the second piece was a wing so I didn’t mind if I left that on the plate. They had a few appetizers, sides and a catfish dinner listed but it was clear that this place was all about chicken – it took up the whole menu and I wanted to know why.

I got a little excited thinking maybe they had some secret about chicken when they claimed to be the best chicken in Chattanooga and even say they are “famous”. Aside from the traffic going by, this was a pretty nifty place! They played some funky blues music and it made me feel a little funky too.

My meal was brought to me on a paper plate with plastic utensils. I wondered if it was because I was eating outside in the picnic area or if that is how they serve their food all the time. I first dug into the slaw. I will tell you with all honesty - it was the absolute best slaw I have ever tasted (even over my own mother’s)! The cut was just right, the vinegar and the crunch … it was just so flavorful! I wanted the recipe. I had taken three bites before even trying anything else!

The baked beans were interesting, nothing spectacular but with added kidney beans, onion and they weren’t too sweet. I was ready to try the golden brown fried chicken that looked crispy but tender. I wasn’t sure how to eat it. I used my fork but the flimsy plastic fork was not strong enough to pull the chicken apart so I cut into it with the plastic knife. I would have been there all day if I ate it that way, so I did what most Southerners do – I picked it up and ate it with my hands. It was steaming hot and juicy. The breading was perfectly seasoned and I was overjoyed when I tasted a little kick! They must have put a lot of pepper in the breading or some sort of spice that gave it a little more flavor. It wasn’t overpowering but just right. They were clearly the champions of chicken!

Now, for the “white bread” they placed on the plate – they could have kept that. A plain piece of white bread was a little too boring to be sitting next to that marvelous chicken.

I didn’t eat the second piece of chicken but I sure ate the whole breast (I didn’t suck the bones though, like my son Jack would have). I saw they had Mississippi Mud Pie for $3.25. I wanted to try that.

The appearance didn’t look like anything I had ever seen before when ordering Mississippi Mud Pie, but I thought maybe they had a secret to their pie too. The texture was that of pecan pie filling.  The flavor was not agreeable to me. It tasted like the chocolate was overcooked and it was a little too sweet.

Oh alright, so they don’t win the Mississippi Mud Pie contest but they have the best slaw around and they are the Chattanooga Chicken Champions! They even have catering. I loved this place and Willie Mae will be back!


Wizard Needs Food Badly: A Lazy Sunday At Bea's

After a late Saturday night out at the drive-in, Lionel and I decided to enjoy the beautiful weather on Sunday and take it easy. The idea of a late home-cooked brunch was enticing, but neither of us was up to the task of actually getting off the couch and into the kitchen. “We could always try Bea's,” he suggested, looking up from his homemade VHS cleaning contraption. ... (click for more)

Rossville Gets New Hardees

The Walker County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the pre-grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Hardee’s Restaurant at 300 McFarland Ave., Rossville. Hardee’s is owned by J & S Restaurants and has been in Rossville since 1989 when Hardee’s of Rossville was born. Hardee’s is a fast-food chain ser ving fried chicken, big burgers and made-from-scratch breakfast ... (click for more)

Grocery, Retail, Parking Lots, Multi-Family Proposed To Build Out Lifestyle Way Near Hamilton Place

A grocery store, restaurants, much additional retail, large parking areas, and apartments are planned for 62 acres of the Lifestyle Way development near Hamilton Place Mall. The project by developers Ken and Byron Defoor has long been in the works, and previously has featured an Embassy Suites Hotel and a Mellow Mushroom and office near Shallowford Road long with some retail ... (click for more)

Expansion By Developers Of McCallie Commons Would Raze 3 Old Houses On Oak Street

Developers of the McCallie Commons student housing at McCallie and Central are wanting to expand the project, but it would involve tearing down three old homes on Oak Street. The proposal from developer David Hudson would be an expansion of the four-story apartment building and separate parking garage with 300 parking spaces proposed that was approved earlier. The original ... (click for more)

Marvelous News From Central High School

To Roy Exum:     With all the recent news of major dysfunctions within our educational system, I thought I might alert you to something better. About a year ago you ventured up Highway 58 to Central High School to represent your late grandfather, Roy McDonald, as he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus during the annual Senior Day festivities. I sort of expected ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow

Years ago at a ritzy dinner party in Westchester County, New York, an editor from Reader’s Digest was seated next to the prettiest woman in the room and noticed her overall glow and countenance was such that he had never noticed a tell-tale scar under her nose. After the dishes were cleared away, admit the mindless chatter, he asked if she would mind telling him about it. The ... (click for more)