It’s no secret that I avoid fried chicken like a bad disease. Something about fried chicken makes me want to look, sniff, and throw it back inside the KFC container it came in. Yet Sissy’s fried chicken is something else entirely. Paired with a fresh housemade Sriracha sauce, this Lisa Garza special has that hard-to-find balance you seek in any good ‘ole piece of Southern fried chicken: crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside.
At the media lunch I attended last week, I split a family-style meal with three other persons, and it took no small amount of self control to remember my table manners and share the amazing plates provided by Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar.
Jump for some more Sissy’s love.
Owner Lisa Garza explains, “Growing up, Sunday afternoon was the day we’d have fried chicken. And being from the south, this was one of those things I grew up loving. My favorite birthday dinner – when I first started dating my husband – I told him, ‘I want to stay home with you, and I want a bucket of chicken and a bottle of champagne.’ There’s just something about it that takes me back to being a kid and my grandma and Sunday supper after and the whole comfort of fried chicken.”
The lovely lady behind this homey Southern kitchen and bar decided on the name “Sissy’s” because that was the term of endearment her younger brother used to call her. Back when she still owned Suze and her little brother (“Bubba”) attended school in Mississippi, there was this one day when he and his roommate had no food left in their room. Bubba told his roommate not to worry. “My Sissy will feed us,” he said. He drove all the way from Mississippi to Lisa’s restaurant with only a gas card, and left Texas that day with a whole car packed to the brim with food. Sissy made sure her Bubba wouldn’t go hungry for awhile.
Customers can rest assured that Garza and her dear friend, Chef Jeffery Hobbs, will also take care of them. The bar features plenty of old-school Southern libations like the Moonshine Punch (Original Moonshine whiskey, lemon, orange, grenadine, blackberries) and Sissy’s Tequila Sipper (El Jimador, kaffir lime, lemongrass, ginger), while the food consists of staples you can’t afford to miss. Sweet jalapeno jelly accompanies golden-brown squash puppies, the spread trio with pimento cheese and pickle chow chow goes nicely down with angel biscuits, and Grandma’s layered salad is a holy trinity of egg, cheddar, and sweet peas.
Smart folks will bring their whole family to share the ten-piece fried chicken bucket for $20 instead of paying $11 for two pieces. Get ’em house spiced, buttermilk soaked, pressure fried with the choice of sloppy slaw or whipped potatoes; dark, white, or mixed. It’s best to eat them out in the climate-controlled screen porch on a warm spring day, picking them up with two hands instead of using the mismatched silverware that reminds you fondly of your Grandma’s own collection.
“It’s an homage to my family and to my southern roots,” says Garza, “I was like the second mama. By third grade, I was making Sunday supper for my whole family after church. I want people to feel the same love that I shared with my siblings.”
Sissy’s officially opened on Monday, February 27. Brunch service, offered six days a week, starts in about a month.