From Our Editors
A lot has changed since 1949, the year John and Belva Brown opened their first Brown's Chicken shop in Bridgeview, a tiny suburb next to Chicago. For one, their single shop expanded into more than 30 locations throughout Chicagoland. For another, the menu has grown quite a bit—today, eats such as Italian beef sandwiches, Polish sausages, and pasta complement the signature chicken and fried whole mushrooms.
One thing that hasn't changed, though, is the chicken itself. No one has meddled with John and Belva's original recipe over the last 60 years. At every Brown's Chicken, the cooks still dip Grade A chicken in buttermilk batter and fry then it in cottonseed oil. The result? Those perfect fried-chicken textures—golden and crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside.