About two years ago my husband and I took a trip to a great little place that I just want to share with the world! This tasty deep fried treat is called Joe's Gizzard City in Potterville, Michigan. First off, I love chicken gizzards and getting to go a place that specializes in them is a rare treat around here. Another added bonus is that half the things on the menu are deep fried. This isnt a place if you have a history of heart problems! The town is tiny, and the place has the look of a classic old dark 'townie' hang-out where they serve their beers in mason jars (seriously!). It is actually a somewhat well known place for bikers spot! Our server, Matt (with two T's), was a great and extremely friendly.
And now on to the important part... the FOOD!!
Here is everything that we ordered.
Appetizer: Sweet Corn Nuggets
Meals: Gizzard Dinner (me) and Bacon Cheese Burger (my husband)
Dessert: Deep Fried Dessert Platter (I dont remember the actual name, but that will give you a good idea of what to expect!)
Appetizer: We decided to try the deep fried sweet corn nuggets because years ago at some random Big Boy my husband and I stopped for breakfast. I am not a big corn fan, but they had some deep fried creamed corn that was absolutely wonderful. I had never seen them since or anything similar until I went to Joe's. The nuggets are served with ranch, which goes well with the crunchy shell. These nuggets seemed to be a mix of creamed corn and chunky corn, but they still tasted good. They didnt seem to burst all over, which some times is an issue with deep fried creamy stuff like jalapeno poppers (I always seem to have those explode all over me, covering me with hot cheese!). I thought it was the perfect food to start off a deep fried meal... it is a veggie so it has to be healthy right?
Meals - My Husband: My husband 'chickened' out and got one of the more normal items on the menu... a Bacon Cheese Burger. I do have to say, the last time we went, he got the deep fried burger, so I suppose he paid his dues :) The burger came with fries and my husband got the 'Everything Deluxe' version. We have a saying in my house, the more messy a burger it is, the better it tastes. Well, this burger wasnt as messy as my husband would have liked, but the taste was good. It was a solid burger, nothing to be ashamed of, but nothing to write home about either. My husband especially liked the bun. The ketchup they had was Red Gold brand, which definitely tastes different than the standard brands. I like it, but I dont think my husband did as much. That was okay, he ended up dipping his fries in my ranch!
Meals - Mine: I got the gizzard dinner, with a dozen gizzards, half Traditional Beer Battered Deep Fried and half 'Naked'. It came with coleslaw, bread and a potato. I got mashed potatoes with chicken gravy.
The coleslaw came out first with a side of bread. The slaw was good, but had a bit of a bite to it... and by a bit, I mean you could definitely taste a lot of what my husband identified as horseradish. If you dont like horseradish, dont get the coleslaw. The bread was like a mix between toast and croutons. Very tasty!
The mashed potatoes were good, but the real interesting point about them were the gravy. I have never seen such yellow gravy in my life! It was literally the color of mustard! It didnt taste like mustard though... it tasted like a gravy version of Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup. Interesting combo. Oh, and it looked as if the skins on the potatoes were left on for the mashing, wish means they were made at the establishment!
Now, on to the good part, the gizzards! Just so you know, not only do the gizzards come with marinara sauce, but ranch (not pictured) as well. Both are good. There are pros and cons to both kinds, Traditional and Naked.
The first kind, traditional is beer battered and deep fried. The breading keeps the gizzards EXTREMELY moist and tender. They just melt in your mouth and some of the best meat I have ever had. The slight issue of the breaded traditional is the breading adds a lot of bulk and you cant eat a lot of them without getting full to quickly... and tearing all the breading off to get to the wonderful morsels seems a bit wasteful.
The naked gizzards have no batter and because of that, when they are fried, they get a little tough on the outside. They are still tasty, but they are not really as moist and tender as their battered counterpart... but you can eat a lot more of these. I like these better for cold leftovers.
Dessert: Deep Fried Platter: Deep Fried Strips of Elephant Ears, Deep Fried Oreos, Two Deep Fried Nutter Butters, Joe's Nuts, Deep Fried Cheesecake, and Deep Fried Cookie Dough. Oh, and there are three dipping sauces: Chocolate, Caramel and Strawberry.
Let me tell you, this is one HUGE dessert platter. You can, of course, order these items individually, but variety is the spice of life right!? (and the destruction of your waistline) Our platter actually came in three 'courses' because first, the cheesecake didnt turn out, then they forgot the Joe's Nuts... so we got a free third doughnut once those came out of the deep fryer!
First we ate the deep fried elephant ears (the two thin strips of dough on the left hand side of the image). Yep, they taste like elephant ears! Given that elephant ears are normally deep fried, they had to be the least exciting item on the plate.
Next we moved onto the deep fried Oreos (in the top of the picture, behind the caramel sauce!) OMG those were heavenly! It was like the cookie liquefied and was just a wonderful gushy mess. This was my second favorite dessert on the plate! See the insides in the image? That is pure yummy!
Third we turned into next item on the first plate and dug into the Deep Fried Nutter-Butters. The peanut butter cookies also seemed to liquefy, but not the extent as the Oreos. They were really good with the chocolate sauce.
The last item on the only came with a single 'dose', and that was the Deep Fried Cookie Dough. I am going to admit, I am biased. I LOVE anything cookie dough, just about as much as I love bacon. Basically it is a huge lump (probably 2-3 cookies worth) deep fried. The second time we went to Joe's we got a whole plate of these suckers, 3 huge balls! Anyway, this puppy is warm, chocolaty and gooey! It is like a mix between raw cookie dough and a cooked one... I dont know exactly how to describe it. I think this something you either will love or hate, and I love it! Here is a candid shot of the nom-a-riffic insides!
Our Deep Fried Cheesecakes (second image, the wedges) I think had gram crackers mixed into the deep fried shell. These actually had a tendency to burst when you bit into them, and they were hot... so if you decide to go this route, just be careful. The strawberry sauce went perfectly with these little wedges. They were also high on my list of things that taste wonderful deep fried.
Lastly, we got Joe's Nuts. These are deep fried mini doughnuts. They were pretty good, but to really enjoy them, I found that you need to eat them cold! We couldnt quite finish our third doughnut so we brought it home with the leftovers. I love cold leftovers, and the cold nut has like caramelized sugar layer under the deep fried batter. Nom nom!
Overall Impression: I am moving, so I am going to miss this little gem of a grease spot. I would never eat here everyday, but for a special heart clogging treat, it cant be beat. If you are planning a trip of back roads and little town hot spots in Mid-Michigan, give Joe's Gizzards City a try!