The Indiana Fried Chicken Tour: Marble’s Southern Cookery
The sixth stop on our chicken quest again kept Sherrel and I close to my northwest Indianapolis home as we visited Marble’s Southern Cookery at 2310 Lafayette Road. Marble’s is open only Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so plan your visit accordingly. We arrived at around 1 pm on a Sunday and found the place moderately busy, but by the time we left the line was almost out the door. The place is popular!
Marble’s is a cafeteria, which isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. But the line was efficient and fast, and every last person working the line at Marble’s had a giant smile on their face. The woman at the cash register danced gently to a song playing in her head. Marble’s must be a good place to work! And in no time flat, we had our food and were on our way. As we sat down with our trays, I noticed that while Marble’s interior is spare, it was clean and pleasantly decorated in earth tones with coordinating wall art.
The fried chicken looked beautiful. The pieces were gigantic and golden. The coating was crunchy but, unfortunately, sometimes tough. I detected salt and pepper in the mildly seasoned coating; I would have liked to taste more of both. The meat within was juicy but plain, so it seems that Marble’s doesn’t marinate or brine their chicken before frying. Based on mouth feel, I’d say the chicken was fried in vegetable oil. We prefer lard. Well, let me be clear – the pleasure centers in my brain prefer lard, but my body would be happier if I had a salad instead. But the Tour is all about the total chicken experience, and Sherrel and I think lard provides it best. But Marble’s fried this chicken just right, leaving just the right amount of fat in the coating to create that “ohhhhhh….” moment when you bite in.
Sherrel ordered greens and macaroni and cheese as his sides, and he had lots good to say about both. The macaroni and cheese got his highest praise – he called it buttery, creamy, and very cheesy. He wished he had ordered more. He liked the greens almost as much, calling them tender and nicely seasoned. As always, I ordered mashed potatoes with gravy and green beans. The mildly seasoned green beans had bits of carrot, onion, potato, and red pepper in it – novel and interesting. I was unenthusiastic about the mashed potatoes. They were smooth and had little flavor, but did have decent body. A crust had formed around the edges, which suggests they may have sat under warming lights a little too long. The neon-yellow gravy was thin and added very little flavor.
Because I ordered both dark and white meat chicken, I walked out of Marble’s very, very full. The bill came to just under $16 including a soda (served in a can), which was in line with the sheer amount of food I consumed.