Martha Lou’s is by all means a hole in the wall. It’s slightly off the beaten path, north of downtown Charleston. And your dishes and sides are served on Styrofoam plates with plastic cutlery. Drink options include Bud Lite, Miller Lite, sweet tea or fluorescent yellow lemonade. But this little soul food shack sets the stage for the most delicious fried chicken, an art form Martha Lou Gadsden has perfected over nearly 30 years. Martha Lou is in her eighties, and she makes the meanest fried chicken I’ve ever tasted. When I asked for dark meat, I got a piece almost larger than my head consisting of thigh and drumstick. The chicken is deep-fried for 15 minutes so the flour-and-batter skin is perfectly crisp, and the meat inside so tender I almost cried. By the end of the meal, I was licking my plate for scraps of that crispy batter. There was no way I was going to let any of it go to waste. If you are in Charleston, Martha Lou’s Kitchen is not to be missed!
Check out how Martha Lou makes fried chicken in this video: