Sometimes you’ll run across great food in unlikely places. Sting Ray’s on the Eastern Shore comes to mind: A great seafood restaurant within the confines of a gas station and gift shop.
A number of years ago I ran across another hidden pearl of an Eatin’ Out place. My friend Donald Ramirez and I used often hunted the James River Wildlife Management Area near Wingina. To get there, we had to pass through Lovingston.
One afternoon on our way home, we were ravenous and also needed gas, so we stopped at an Exxon Station that also had a take out window called the Chicken Coop. I could smell some freshly fried chicken within, so I ordered a piece, then a second, then a third. It was unbelievably good.
The Chicken Coop uses pressure fryers and they know what they’re doing. The pressure fryers keep the chicken moist and juicy on the inside and extra crispy on the outside. The girl in charge of the fryers pretty much cooks to order. Sometimes you’ll have to wait 10 or 15 minutes until a fresh batch comes out, but it’s worth it.
These days, as we travel to and from Greensboro via Rt. 29 South to see our grandkids, if either Nancy or I are hungry when we go through Lovingston, we’ll stop at the Chicken Coop and get our fried chicken fix for the month. They also have delicious fried potato wedges if you need a side.
The Chicken Coop is located across from McDonalds on Rt. 29, but sits back off the road at the bottom of the hill. The GPS address is 40 Front St. in Lovingston. You can call ahead for an order at 434-263-7818. Check them out next time you pass that way.