You don’t have to be a cowpuncher to enjoy these delectable favorites 

click to enlarge Cowboys-chicken-strips_4123mh.jpg

Keep walking, health nuts.

Britton Road is an interesting stretch of asphalt. Past the fast food chains and the drive-thru cigarette shops, where sometimes the cars back up into the street, there are a few honest-to-goodness restaurants.

West of May Avenue is The Ranch. East is ND Foods. Down on Pennsylvania Avenue, there’s Inaka Sushi & Bar.

And close to the model train store and Los Amigos Tire Shop, you will find a shack where they fry things — all the things.

Cowboy’s Fry Shack, 1414 W. Britton Road, is, as the name implies, not much of a building. At one time, it might have been a Fotomat or, more likely, a shave ice stand.

Now, it is filled with hot, bubbling oil and baskets of food being lowered into said oil. And it’s flavorsome.

I don’t think anyone is expecting gourmet cuisine, and that’s good, because this is not that. It’s big foam containers of fried food that you can do anything with.

You can: • Eat it. • Look at it. • Smell it. • Save it for later. • All of the above.

click to enlarge Latosha Grant, owner, batters up som chicken wings for frying at Cowboy's Fry Shack.  mh
  • Latosha Grant, owner, batters up som chicken wings for frying at Cowboy's Fry Shack. mh

My suggestion is to eat it. Look at it as you lift it to your mouth for eating. Possibly smell it as it gets closer to your face. If there’s too much — these are hefty portions — you can save some for later.

The best of the bunch is the fried pork chop ($6 with a side of either fries or okra), which is a big, bone-in piece of pig that’s dipped in batter and fried up crisp.

I love pork chops, but they are rarely done well, especially when well- done. Pork is a lean meat, and when it’s overcooked, it’s really hard to (chew and) swallow. But Cowboy’s version stays juicy and flavorful even cooked all the way through. It’s a knife-and-fork meal — use real silverware if you have it — or you can eat it like an animal with your hands. Who’s going to judge?

Switching from batter to cornmeal, the fried catfish ($7 with a side) is a thin cut that gets a little crispy and chewy at the edges. And that’s not a complaint. Cowboy’s uses nice, white filets and a spice mix that is peppery and wonderful. I prefer mine sprayed down with a healthy dose of hot sauce, but your mileage might vary.

The chicken wings ($6) come with a seasoning or sauce, and I am a firm believer that if you don’t get Buffalo sauce on them, you’re probably secretly trying to undermine America for invasion from some undersea kingdom, like Atlantis or Scubaville or The Merpeople’s Republic of Merchina.

These aren’t drumettes; they’re wings. Like, the whole shebang. Pull them apart with your fins and stuff the meat behind your gills ... aha! I knew you were a spy! Guards! Season this guy with cornmeal!

The chicken strips ($6) are hit-or-miss. The first batch I had were a little dry and the breading didn’t get very crisp. The second time I tried them, the chicken was moist, though the breading still didn’t have much crunch. If you love chicken strips, these will do you just fine. Or feed them to the kids while you enjoy a pork chop.

Pretty much everything is fried at Cowboy’s Fry Shack, which is why they chose the name, probably. And if you enjoy it when batter, seasoning and animals meet with hot oil, then you might think about choosing Cowboy’s for your next meal.

Print headline: Ropin’ meals, You don’t have to be a cowpuncher to enjoy the delectable favorites at Cowboy’s Fry Shack. In fact, it wouldn’t help at all because everything’s great already.

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