Not long ago, on a Sunday night following a week of eating healthy, I said, “What the hell. Let’s get some fried chicken from Wayside. Nancy quickly seconded the motion and I was off, clear across town, to get their chicken. Trouble was, they were closed on Sundays, and I had to settle for KFC, which ranks a distant second to Wayside in the fried chicken department.
Wayside Takeout & Catering is a hole in the wall. You can drive by it and not know it’s there. When you go inside, there is no place to sit to speak of and you wonder if you’ll ever get to order, much less eat. But when it comes to fried chicken, cooked to a crispy golden brown on the outside and erupting with juices from within, this is the place you want to be – Wayside Takeout & Catering, the home of Ole VA Fried Chicken.
Wayside has been a fixture in Charlottesville for over 50 years. It’s tucked away off Jefferson Park Avenue and has maybe 10 parking places, but somehow, some way, you work your way to the front of the line, place your order and in about 10 minutes you’re sinking those molars into some really good stuff.
Wayside also has one of the best catering gigs going in Charlottesville. They catered a meal for my family when my brother Charlie was getting married and it was top-notch, both in food and service. They make decent barbeque, but nothing to write home about. The fried chicken is where it’s at. Wayside also has excellent Southern-style sides, such as collards, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, ham-seasoned green beans, potato salad and coleslaw.
Wayside is open from 9 am to 9 pm on Monday through Thursday and until 9:30 on Fridays and Saturdays.
The GPS address is 2203 Jefferson Park Ave, but don’t blink or you’ll miss it. To see their menu, go to waysidechicken.com. For catering or takeout call (434) 977-5000.