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: Horror Night At The Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater

When summer hits, there’s one place for certain that Lionel and I can be found: the drive-in! After moving to Chattanooga, we were immediately on the lookout for a new spot to park the car, set up the lawn chairs, and watch some films. Lucky for us, the Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater was just around the corner! Located in Trenton, Ga, about a 20-minute drive from downtown ... (click for more)

The Chef And His Wife Celebrate New Location With Ribbon Cutting

The Chef and his Wife will celebrate its new location with a ribbon cutting on Friday June 17, at 10:30 a.m. at 6849 Prestige Lane in Hixson.  The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce will coordinate this event.  The Chef and his Wife is a food service model built on three concepts: fully prepared home made meals, a daily “HOTT” (“healthy one time through”) ... (click for more)

Preserving 90-Year-Old Grammar School Just One Of Challenges Facing Town, Signal Council Told

Rather than spend millions upgrading Signal Mountain ’s historic grammar school so it can continue to house the Mountain Arts Community Center (MACC), it would make more sense to incorporate that project into a larger multi-pronged one that would solve several issues facing the community, according to town manager Boyd Veal.   For example, Mr. Veal said, the current ... (click for more)

2nd Independent Candidate May Be On Walker County Ballot

A second Independent candidate may be on the ballot for sole commissioner of Walker County in the election on Nov. 8. Perry D. Lamb, Jr. has been working toward collecting the necessary 1,640 signatures of registered voters on a petition. His campaign said he is close to the goal. Incumbent Bebe Heiskell is running an an Independent. Election officials said since she was ... (click for more)

Improvements Needed At Entrance To Wilcox Tunnel

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention to a city traffic issue that needs to be addressed immediately, the sooner the better. I can see no large cost factor.   Recently, while as a concerned citizen, removing trash and litter from the entry/exit area of the Wilcox Tunnel on the side that runs into Chamberlain Avenue, I fully realized that this area could ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)