Cuisine: Soul Food / Fast Food
Neighborhood: West Midtown
Address: 1021 Howell Mill Rd. NW Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: (404) 872-7888
Menu: Pic below
This review pains me because I had the opportunity to meet Chef Julia LeRoy and her staff personally during the filming of our ATL Bite Life Show. She was sooooooo sweet, her story was so compelling, and her staff was extremely cooperative. I REALLY wanted to like the food. I REALLY wanted to brag to all my folks that I'd found this incredible new chicken spot downtown that everyone else wasn't up on yet. I REALLY REALLY did. But, unfortunately, I really really can't.
Let me set the scene. By sheer chance, we ended up selecting my main man, comedian Henry Welch, to come eat with us here at LeRoy's for this particular episode. So, you can just imagine the pre-dining jokes. First, Chef Julia is a cute, early to mid 30's white woman so skepticism was HIGH that this chicken wasn't gonna be seasoned right. Second, one glance at the menu and you will see that the prices are slightly high for some chicken (as opposed to its KFC and Popeyes counterparts). A 2-piece chicken is $5.95 (chicken only) then the sides are $2.95 a piece. So, a combo with 2 sides could easily run you $12 WITHOUT a drink. Smh. Third, the ONLY thing on the menu is CHICKEN and chicken-based dishes like chicken salad, chicken livers, etc. So, other than the side items, there are no burgers, sandwiches, etc to fall back on just in case you don't like or just get tired of the chicken (keep in mind that the menu isn't very extensive to begin with). That brings us to the sides. If the skepticism about the chicken was high, the doubt about the collard greens, mac & cheese, etc were not too far behind. We wondered - Would the greens be dry?? Would the mac & cheese be cheesy?? AND, to top it all off, the chicken is fried in LARD!!! While most of us from the hood are familiar with lard, not too many of us are currently using/eating it in 2011. We were jokingly overwhelmed. All the ingredients of disappointment were laid out on the counter like salt and pepper. But, would we be let down??
YES. Me and Henry both ordered the 3 piece chicken w/ a side of collard greens and mac & cheese and a biscuit. While the biscuit was probably one of the best biscuits I've ever eaten, everything else was blah. The chicken was in serious need of some Lawry's Seasoning Salt. Even the Texas Pete hot sauce we lathered our chicken in didn't help it much. The collards weren't seasoned well (but they were juicy) and the mac and cheese was mediocre too. The food had a very cafeteria-ish quality to it. I was sooooooo blowed!!! The worst part was that I had to sit there with Henry and my camera crew giving me the "I told you so" face. They were relentless!!!
There were a few pluses. The service was fast and courteous. And, the walk up counter service kinda gives you a Happy Days feel. Although, I wonder how this will play once the weather cools down in Atlanta. Not too many people will want to sit OUTSIDE and eat bad chicken. The location isn't bad either. It's directly across the street from Chow Baby on Howell Mill Rd. It's right down the street from Compound nigh club and Yeah! Burger. And, it's right next door to the Mexican spot La Fonda that seems to be fairly busy any time I pass by.
Other than that, I don't know what to tell you. Try the biscuits. They were great!!!
What's Great: Atmosphere, Service
What Ain't: Food, Prices
Ideal For: Spring/Summer Patio Dining
UPDATE: By sheer coincidence, about 2 hours after this entry was posted, LeRoy's Fried Chicken took to their Facebook page and announced that they would be closing their doors.