A quest to find the Bay Area's best fried chicken

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- It's America's comfort food. And on National Fried Chicken Day, we asked for your suggestions about who has the best fried chicken in the Bay Area. Then we sent fried chicken fanatic David Louie to check some of them out!

VIDEO: Who fries it better? Eating fried chicken in San Jose and San Francisco
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Cooks and customers weigh in on the fried chicken at Southern Fried in San Jose, Calif., and Frisco Fried in San Francisco on July 6, 2018.

Fried chicken is that food your doctors keep warning you to avoid. But it's also comfort food that you remember your mother or grandmother making for Sunday dinner. Clarence Blanchard says it's how your brain and taste buds determine what is great fried chicken.

"That's the way I remember the fried chicken," he said. "And of course, the taste is what I was raised with, so to me it was the best."

So, armed with suggestions from ABC7 viewers, we set out to find great fried chicken. Our first stop was Southern Kitchen in San Jose where Areli Montez from San Antonio, Texas ordered up four pieces with eggs and a half-waffle for breakfast.

"It's the breading I look for in the chicken, the extra flavor," she said. "This one has more of a juicy taste to it, and I like it. It's not dried out, especially the white meat."

In San Francisco's Bayview district, Frisco Fried has a reputation for great fried chicken. Owner Marcel Banks had the deep fryer going.

Louie: "Secret sauce?"
Banks: "Of course, comes from the heavens."
Louie: "How do you find the recipe?"
Banks: "My grandfather."

Melvin Holman picked up an order to go.

"This is my first time, so I'm waiting to see what it do," he said. "You know, just trying to see what it do."

Maybe the most unusual place to buy fried chicken is at Krispy Krunchy Chicken, inside a Valero gas station in Hayward.

"Some of them, they just purposely come here for gas, but when they see and smell chicken, they will buy the chicken, too," said Christine Qiambao.

Elite restaurants know customers crave fried chicken, too. Wayfare Tavern is famous for it.

"Best fried chicken is probably the batter and having the right temperature to cook it at. If you are going to cook it too low it's going to get soggy," said Executive Chef Scott Quinn. "Has to be the right temperature and the right mixture, seasonings and great chicken as well."

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