J.T. Youngblood’s, the long-awaited returning fried chicken spot, finally came back to Texas this weekend. The Sunday opening in Mueller was so popular that the restaurant actually ran out of food before dinner time. To make up for that glitch, JT Youngblood's, which is closed today, will only serve lunch until the end of April.
That said, Eater got to preview J.T. Youngblood’s ahead of that opening. The counter-service restaurant features a lot of primary colors and wood paneling, from the artwork with subtle Ys, light fixtures, banquettes/booths/tables, and more. There’s a glass window offering those waiting to place their orders a glimpse into the bakery operations, found under a sign beckoning guests to “save room for pie.” The kitchen include an outside take-out window.
Lenoir chef-owner Todd Duplechan worked on the menu, and it is all about chicken, from fried to rotisserie roasted (with a spicy option), fried livers, sandwiches, salad, and chicken dumplings soup. Sides span the expected: mac and cheese, waffle fries, mashed potatoes and gravy, hoppin' john, and more. For a bit of everything, the restaurant offers up its gigantic Tower of Power, which comes with 21 chicken pieces, rolls, and pickles.
On the sweeter side, there are many pies, from Texas pecan, Kay's coconut, and a rotating seasonal fruit pie (currently, it's strawberry). Pies can be made into pieshakes, and there are standalone milkshakes and soft serve ice cream cones and cups. Along with soda, lemonade, coffee, beer, and wine, there are draft cocktails like Marie's Margarita, an Old Fashioned, and more.
Rounding out the J.T. Younglood's team are Jeffrey Weinberger (the original founder of Clarksville restaurant Jeffrey's), and Jeff Haber (former general manager of Four Seasons). Lunch hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day.