After tallying more than 2,600 votes, we’re ready to reveal the results of Round 1 of our March Madness-inspired fried chicken tournament.
The interactive bracket featured 16 restaurants in four categories: Homestyle, Artisan, Southern Style and Quick Service.
Stroud’s and Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken ruled the Homestyle category and will face off in Round 2. Gus’s, a newcomer to KC’s fried chicken scene, won Round 1 with 60 percent of the popular vote, while Stroud’s fried its competition with 71 percent.
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Rye promises to be stiff competition in Round 2 of the Artisan category. The Leawood restaurant coasted through Round 1 with 74 percent of votes and will face Pig & Finch in Round 2. Pig & Finch scored 55 percent of votes in its match-up.
The race for top Southern Style fried chicken restaurant could be close. Niecie’s Restaurant won Round 1 with 56 percent of the vote, and Magnolia’s Modern Southern Cuisine edged out its competition with 53 percent. Niecie’s and Magnolia’s will go head to head in Round 2.
The Quick Service category was dominated by Go Chicken Go, which raced its way to 79 percent of the popular vote, and Corner Cafe, which cornered 73 percent of voters with its fried chicken.
Which restaurants will you pick in Round 2? Cast your vote by 9 a.m. Monday, March 7. We’ll follow up with the results every Wednesday through March 23, when we’ll announce the ultimate winner.
Don’t see your favorite fried chicken spot in the bracket? We’re also accepting write-in votes via email at email@example.com.
During Round 1, readers recommended 23 restaurants we weren’t able to include in the bracket. The North End, an Italian restaurant at 910 E. Fifth St. that serves fried chicken from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturdays, racked up 30 write-in votes — the most by far.
Owner Pete Mesh says his fried chicken is a cut above the competition because it’s made with fresh ingredients, clean grease and a secret seasoning blend. The golden, crispy batter is thick, “but not so thick that it’s like you’re chewing on rocks,” Mesh adds.
The North End’s fried chicken costs $11.99 for a three-piece meal and comes with bacon-flecked green beans, mashed potatoes and a biscuit. It’s deep-fried to order, which takes at least 20 minutes. According to regulars, the fried chicken’s well worth the wait.
Other restaurants with three or more write-in votes include Frontier Steakhouse, 9338 State Ave. in KCK; Anna’s Oven, 1809 W. 39th St.; and Cascone’s Italian Restaurants, with locations at 3733 N. Oak Trafficway and 6863 W. 91st St. in Overland Park.
Fried chicken face-off: The Elite 8
▪ Stroud’s, with locations at 19700 E. Valley View Parkway in Independence, 8301 W. 135th St. in Overland Park, 4200 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Fairway and 5410 N.E. Oak Ridge Drive in Kansas City
▪ Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, 2816 W. 47th Ave. in Kansas City, Kan.
▪ Rye, 10551 Mission Road in Leawood
▪ Pig & Finch, 11570 Ash St. in Leawood
▪ Niecie’s Restaurant, 6441 Troost Ave. in Kansas City
▪ Magnolia’s Modern Southern Cuisine, 9916 Holmes Road, Suite A, in Kansas City
▪ Go Chicken Go, with locations at 59 N. Seventh St. in Kansas City, Kan., 5101 Troost in Kansas City, 1000 S. Harrison in Olathe, 8017 State Ave. in Kansas City, Kan., and 4111 Shawnee Drive in Kansas City, Kan.
▪ Corner Cafe, with locations at 4541 N.W. Gateway Ave. in Riverside, 8301 N. Flintlock Road near Liberty and 4215 S. Little Blue Parkway in Independence