2430 SE Division St., 231-3880. Lunch and dinner daily.
When James Beard Award-winning Southern chef Sean Brock admitted borrowing tricks of the trade from a Southeast Portland tavern as inspiration for his own fried chicken, he wasn't lying, exactly. But the secrets behind Reel M Inn's success are as open as its "kitchen"—i.e., that eternally percolating deep fryer just behind the bar. For generations, this unreconstructed dive has churned out the city's finest dirty birds at relative pennies a serving (breast, thigh, leg, wing and four mallet-sized jojos for $9.50) by relying on the freshness of poultry delivered thrice weekly and hand-breaded daily, the crackerjack timing required to pull each order from the oil at the moment of peak succulence, and a loyal clientele willing to wait an hour or two amid thickened clouds of second-hand cholesterol. Far more than the workmanlike seasoning or accompanying six-pack of sauces, Reel M Inn's not-so-original recipe is patience.