Support restaurants on Alabama’s 100 Dishes list, like Martin’s fried chicken

Support restaurants on Alabama’s 100 Dishes list, like Martin’s fried chicken
Martin's Restaurant's Famous Fried Chicken is on the 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama list. (Chad Allen / Alabama NewsCenter)

We have been bringing you the restaurants with dishes on the 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama list for a few years now with the hope that you will go out and try them yourself.

While COVID-19 and social distancing have shut down restaurant dining rooms throughout the state, you can still try some of the best meals Alabama chefs and cooks have to offer. In fact, it is perhaps the best time ever to support these businesses.

Businesses like Martin’s Restaurant in Montgomery.

Martin’s famous fried chicken is on Alabama’s 100 Dishes list from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

They’ve been frying some of the best chicken for decades. There is no doubt the food is superb, which is why the Alabama Tourism Department put it on its 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama list.

But what also makes Martin’s great is its commitment to trying to take care of employees during this blow to its business.

“My employees are like family to me,” said Maryanne Merritt, owner of Martin’s Restaurant. “It’s a struggle because it happened so fast – going from in-house dining to strictly to-go orders.”

She initially thought she would have to cut some employees, but when she approached them to ask if they would work together with fewer hours for each so that everyone could continue working, they agreed.

Martin’s Restaurant has been serving up its Famous Fried Chicken for decades. (Chad Allen / Alabama NewsCenter)


To offset the loss of hours, Martin’s began selling gift certificates, with half of the proceeds going to the servers.

But the key ingredient to making any of it work is a steady stream of customers.

“In order for us to continue offering the curbside and the to-go service, we need the community to come around and to place orders with us and support not only Martin’s Restaurant, but other restaurants as well,” Merritt said. “We have to make a living, so the only way is to offer this service and to do the best that you can to make the money that you can to still put money in your employees’ pockets.”

Like the comfort of Southern fried chicken, Merritt said it warms her heart to see how people are responding.

“It’s really amazing to see the positive spirit in people even in these bad times,” she said.

To find and support other restaurants we have profiled in the 100 Dishes series, click here.

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