I pulled up to the pumps at Discount Zone on Chef Menteur Highway, and ran inside to pay the man when I noticed a phalanx of Mexican cocineras tending to a long line of men in Dickies work pants wearing hardhats, and peering longingly at big mounds of fried chicken baking under infrared heat lamps.Discount Zone is that sort of hardscrabble corner store where you know you can get a pack of cheap blunts, lottery tickets, 1/2 pints of gin, and good fried chicken-all the essentials of New Orleans living.
After I’m done gassing up the old Econoline I meander back inside and the line has vanished. These hardworking Mexicanas have fed the workmen, and are busying themselves filling up the hot line with more stir-fried rice, mac and cheese, green beans, and wire baskets filled with fried chicken.
At Discount Zone you pay the cashier in one part of the store and take your ticket to the counter lady who fills your order. A two piece is priced reasonably at .99c. I love every single part of the chicken but on this day I ask after a wing and thigh and make my way back home before noticing the thigh has somehow become a breast.No matter.
Discount Zone is not shy when it comes to seasoning. The chicken has been dredged in salty flour before being given a denouement in hot fat. Cayenne pepper, just a whiff, is also an agent at play here.
New Orleans East is rough. I spent a half hour on the back streets before I finally found Dixie, and there were enough garbage dumps, burned out hulks of cars, and piles of discarded rubber tires to give the seediest part of Detroit a run for its money.
Discount Zone did not knock my socks off but I did enjoy their dead simple take on the fried chicken form. And at .50c per piece if you’re out around that way by all means pop in as their cooks are good citizens of the fried chicken community.
6711 Chef Menteur Hwy
New Orleans, Louisiana
Hours of operation
always call ahead