beats a gizzard. That’s right, a good
ole chicken gizzard, fried up and thrown down at the gizzard capital
of the world, Joe’s Gizzard City.
15 miles South of Lansing, in Potterville, Michigan we discovered
the undisputed king of the cooked chicken ventriculus. The
what? That’s just a fancy way of saying gizzard. It’s part
of a bird’s digestive system
that grinds up food and is where the word giblets originated. Gizzards
are a popular food throughout the world, served grilled in Asia,
stewed in Portugal, curried or barbecued in Pakistan, with
potatoes or a Perigordian Salad in France, in gumbo or even pickled
here in the States.
But for real greasy gizzard flavor, they’ve got to be battered up
and deep fried.
fried is what Joe’s Gizzard City does best! Not just gizzards, the
fine chefs at Joe’s will fry up anything and everything. All of
the usual suspects are there on the menu — fish, onions, shrimp,
potatoes and even cheese.
the true CPR inducting, defibrillating, rib spreading bang
for your buck has got to be the Triple D Burger. A whopping
third pound of ground cow topped with onions, pickles, tomatoes
and American cheese, dipped in batter and doused in hot grease. Bun and
all. Consult your physician before attempting to eat this puppy,
as most insurance carriers count the Triple D as a preexisting condition.
that’s still not enough, perhaps some deep fried meatballs,
pickles or olives on the side will round out the meal. Too
heavy? Well then try the Battered Dog Melt. Nothing like two
hotdogs battered, deep fried and covered in chili and cheese
for a light snack. Joe has even figured out a way to fry up
spinach dip in stick form. That’s just messed up. Seriously.
sure to save room for dessert. Really, how can cheesecake,
Oreos or ice cream get any better? Well by coating them in
batter and deep frying them of course. The granddaddy of them
all has to be the “Frinkie”. A deep fried spongy
snack cake smothered in caramel and chocolate sauces, slathered with
whipped cream topped off with a cherry. The candy cherry allows
one gets some fruit with one’s meal! Everybody wins.
our visit, we decided to stick to the namesake and order the
famous original gizzards. The menu called it a half pound,
but it was more than enough for a big snack for both of us…
with a lot left over. Joe, Jr.
must have some kind of wacky scale back there in the kitchen. Maybe
he inherited it from his dad Joe, Sr., as Joe’s has been passed
down from generation to generation of
the Bristol family since 1960.
guarantees that their gizzards are so tender you can cut
them with a spoon and they were. Asking around, we discovered
the secret is that they are pounded and boiled before being dipped
and fried. Served “bite-sized” in a basket with cocktail
sauce, we popped the little nuggets down our gullets until our
grease quotient had been met and surpassed. Tasty enough, but
for us, a little went a long way.
they’ve been known to batter and fry almost anything at Joe’s,
it’s the gizzards that make them world renowned. They go through
400 pounds of the battered bird bites every week. And speaking
of batter, Joe knows how to use that too,
to the tune of about 25 pounds a day. Now that may sound like a
lot of breading and chicken parts, CUZ IT IS, but that won’t
a couple hours during the true gizzard chowing madness of Gizzard
The undisputed highlight of the weekend is the big gizzard
closely followed by the less public
gizzard puking ceremony.
upon Joe’s Gizzard City completely by accident. Lured in by the
big fiberglass chicken on the side of the interstate, we just
followed the droplets of grease leading to the front door.
So now the
next time you’re thinking, gee, I sure could go for some
gizzards, you’ll know right where to get them.
Just don’t get them stuck in your craw.
David & Veronica,