My husband loves Fried Chicken. So, when I heard about Ma Lou’s Fried Chicken in Ypsilanti, I knew we had to check it out. We have visited numerous times in the last few months and even more in the years since our review was originally written..
Ma Lou’s opened early in 2017. The restaurant is the work of chef Frank Fejeran who also opened Ricewood Barbecue (another restaurant we need to check out). Prior to Ricewood, Chef Fejeran was formerly at the Ravens Club.
Address: 15 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti Parking: Nearby free city lots and metered street parking Restaurant Type: Counter Ordering Indoor Seating: Yes Outdoor Seating: Yes (picnic tables – or take it to Riverside Park) Takeout: Yes Online Ordering: Yes. Plus GrubHub and DoorDash delivery Kids Menu: No Kids Eat Free: No
Ma Lou’s Fried Chicken: The Main Course
Ma Lou’s specialty is Fried Chicken. They use Amish chicken and prepare it 3 ways – Southern, Medium, and Spicy AF.
Note: Chicken was originally ordered as a meal with a certain number of pieces and a side. It was served over white bread and pickles as shown in the photos. They no longer serve it that way. They have switched to ordering chicken by the piece and sides a la carte.
My husband prefers white meat meat. So, he ordered the Breast which included 2 pieces and one small side.
Update: Ma Lou’s no longer has a kids menu, but individual chicken pieces, chicken tenders, and chicken bites are available.
My daughter does not like her chicken on the bone, so she ordered the Kids Meal which is 3 tenders and one small side. The chicken tenders only come in one spice which is similar to the southern. The portion was large enough for my 11 year old who frequently orders adult meals. She liked the tenders, although she would have liked barbecue sauce to go with them.
We all loved our chicken. Our only complaint was that it was almost too hot to eat the on bone pieces. Because the chicken is served so hot, we mostly get takeout and it is just the right temperature to eat when we get home.
Ma Lou’s Fried Chicken: The Sandwiches & Other Options
In updating this review, I realized we left out a huge part – the sandwiches. They are so creative. Each of us rotates through different favorites – The Bahn Mi, Chicken Parm, The OG, The Hot Chick, and other seasonal specialties. The sandwiches are huge – we typically get two meals from our sandwiches. With each sandwich you get your choice of spice level and breast or thigh. Sandwiches are also available with fried tofu which my daughter has ordered.
My daughter is also partial to the chicken and waffles platter. She actually gets 3 meals out of it.
They often run limited time specials. For Thanksgiving 2021 they had a great seasonal platter with squash fritters, chicken tenders and maple aioli and cranberry jam. We have also gotten Lobster Rolls as a limited time special – watch their social media, they sell out quickly.
Ma Lou’s Fried Chicken: The Sides & Shareables
Ma Lou’s offers a few sides that do periodically shift: Cole Slaw, Baked Beans, French Fries, Bean Salad and Sweet Potato Fries.
I’ve ordered the Cole Slaw on both visits. In part because I’m the only one in my family who likes cole slaw and because I really liked it the first time.
The fries were also great. My husband ordered them on our first visit and my daughter ordered them on our second visit. The portion was huge and we took home a significant portion on both visits.
My husband ordered the baked beans on our second visit. He tried to order them on our first visit, but they were sold out. We were there near closing time, so it wasn’t surprising. He felt the baked beans were fair. He will probably go back to the fries on our next visit.
On more recent visits we discovered the friend brussel sprouts shareable which is excellent.
Ma Lou’s Fried Chicken: The Extras
One of the specialties at Ma Lou’s is their biscuit donuts. I was quite excited to see them on the menu. Unfortunately they were sold out on our first visit. On our second visit, we made sure to visit earlier in the evening.
The Biscuit Donuts are amazing. We loved them. They were heavier than a typical Donut, but delicious. Unfortunately, they left us too full for our planned stop at the nearby Go! Ice Cream. We still stopped at Go!, we just took the name literally and took our ice cream to go – a pint of Sweet Browned Butter for another day.
One area where families may find Ma Lou’s lacking is in the beverage choices. They offer bottled sodas (Coke, Diet Coke, Faygo). We brought a beverage from home for my daughter who does not like soda. There was another family there with a younger child. They had brought their own milk for her.
Ma Lou’s Fried Chicken: The Logistics
Ma Lou’s Fried Chicken is in Downtown Ypsilanti (15 W. Michigan Avenue). Free parking is available in several nearby city lots and on the street.
Ma Lou’s is a counter service restaurant that does a significant take out business. They have a few tables in the restaurant and they have renovated the interior in the last couple of years.
Their current hours (January 2023) are:
Tuesday-Saturday – 11a-9p
Sunday – Closed
Monday – Closed
Ma Lou’s Fried Chicken: Our Tips
Ma Lou’s prepares their food fresh. It can take 25 minutes for your order to be ready. You can place your order online or by phone (734-905-7994) in advance to shorten your wait time. If you are waiting, you can explore Riverside Park, shop The Rocket or Unicorn Feed & Supply, or pickup ice cream pints at Go!. Or plan your pickup for after joining the Aurora Society at Decode.
Some items may be unavailable close to closing. It is best to dine early.
The chicken pieces are extremely hot when served. If you live in Ypsilanti or the east side of Ann Arbor, you could easily get takeout without worrying about your chicken getting cold.
Bring an alternate beverage for your children if they don’t drink soda.