In our Lunching in Little Rock blog series, Michael Kirkpatrick will explore and review the city’s best restaurants – all in time to get back to the office. This week, Michael ate lunch at The Southern Gourmasian and Tacos 4 Life. Click here to read more in this series. Photo courtesy of Tacos 4 Life.

There is a new fast food fried chicken place going in on Broadway Street right now. To say that I wasn’t happy about this would be a lie. I love their style of spicy fried chicken and buttery biscuits, but much like other fast food places I end up devouring it as quickly as it is served and feeling overly stuffed and unsatisfied afterward. I wanted to explore some local eateries that were doing fried chicken in unconventional ways. Come with me on this discovery; you won’t be disappointed.

The first place I was steered toward was Southern Gourmasian. This place has its roots as a famous yellow food truck emblazoned with a red dragon. It has been doing southern Asian fusion since 2012. The restaurant opened in 2015. The Korean Fried Chicken is a staple, but is anything but everyday. The thick all-white breasts are deep fried to unbelievably juicy and tender perfection. The batter is light, not too thick, and crispy, making the chicken the star of the show. It’s lightly drizzled with a hot and sweet Sriracha sauce, which adds just the right amount of spice to the dish. I chose to pair my just-fine-on-its-own chicken with the House Made Chips, but the Spicy Sautéed Green Beans were also fantastic.

My next fried chicken alternative took me to investigate a new menu item at an old favorite, Tacos 4 Life. Their new menu item is, of course, the fried chicken taco. Inside the taco were crispy fried tenders, with a sweet, sticky, smoky and spicy honey chipotle sauce generously trickled on top. Finger licking good. The insides are all wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla and topped with a fresh crunchy slaw. This taco will change your life. It will save a life too, as all proceeds from Tacos 4 Life go to feed the hungry all around the world.

Break your conventional thoughts of fried chicken, skip the drive thru, and go on a journey of delicious discovery for yourself. Try the southern Asian fusion chicken at Southern Gourmasian, the crunchy chicken concoction at Tacos 4 Life, or strike out on your own somewhere currently undiscovered. If you do find something new, please tell me!