Mc Hardy's Chicken N Fixens
1458 N Broad St
New Orleans, LA 70119
Napoleon's Rating - **/*****
McHardy's is a model of simplicity. It does chicken, does it great and does very little else. This focus must help explain why the chicken is so delicious, and how it comes at such a bargain. For the parade route, the house party, game night or an inexpensive meal, this place fits the bill.
The restaurant is take-out only and creature comforts are nil. Everyone stands around or sits at a few slim benches waiting for their orders to be called. A few murals of New Orleans street scenes brightens the utilitarian space a bit.
There is not much place for chitchat in this fast-moving, volume-based fried chicken operation, but the folks behind the counter are pleasant enough and, most importantly, they keep things moving. Even big orders are usually filled quickly on demand, though it's a good idea to call ahead if you have a monumentally large request.
It's all about the chicken here. French fries are okay, though strictly an add-on to the main event.
Don't look for chicken sandwiches, biscuits, coleslaw or even hot sauce. It's fried chicken only, and the seasoning blend on these mixed batches of wings, drumsticks and thighs is perfect as is. It is highly seasoned without being spicy, always fresh and surprisingly lean. It also keeps well, which is important for people stocking up to supply a party or make a parade picnic. Some chicken gets pasty as it cools and the grease forms up, but McHardy's chicken retains its goodness hours after it left the restaurant or even the next day after a spell in the fridge. Leftovers can be stripped, chopped and turned into a mean chicken salad at home if you're so inclined. The menu has seen a few recent additions, like catfish on Fridays and whole deep fried turkeys anytime (if ordered at least two days in advance). But chicken is king at McHardy's.
Soft drinks only.
The fried chicken is priced to sell, with different size orders listed in the fashion of a multiplication table. The base-level five-piece order costs just $3.14, making a very economical lunch. Bump it up to a 100-piece order and you can feed an entire football team for under $65.
New Orleans is a town that knows its fried chicken, and one that has plenty of well-known options to sate the craving. Few places focus to singly on chicken as McHardy's, however, and the attention shows both in the consistent quality of the product and the remarkable bargain this restaurant offers. To supply a party buffet or get a quick box lunch to go, this is my favorite chicken joint in town.