How's this for a Southern-fried smackdown: "If the Colonel had our recipe he'd be a general!"
In da face, Harlan Sanders.
Billy Dee's Premium Chicken makes the claim, lobbing a little braggadocio from Johns Island. (Incidentally, Lando Calrissian, as played by Billy Dee Williams, was a general in the Rebel Alliance. Not that it matters …)
The restaurant shares space (and bathrooms) with a Subway on the island's Main Road; chicken and ribs on one side, BMTs and Cold Cut Combos on the other.
It's solid, if not spectacular food, the whole way around. Billy Dee's cooks a reliable bird, either fried (spicy or mild) or roasted. The spicy version draws from its heat, rather than its seasonings. Likewise, the mild choice is good, crispy and fairly moist. A four-piece goes for $5.09, an 8-piece $10.19, 12-piece $14.29, 20-piece $22.49.
We preferred the roasted chicken, laden with barbecue sauce, messy and smoky. They're, ahem, finger lickin' good. A four-piece runs $6.49, an 8-piece $12.09, 12-piece $16.79, 20-piece $24.49.
As for the sides, Billy Dee's offers coleslaw, black-eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, fries, seasoned rice, green beans, fried okra, chicken gumbo and mashed potatoes. We can vouch for the coleslaw, mac and cheese, beans and gumbo, all fine accompaniments. Cost ranges from $1.39 to $3.99 for regular and large sizes.
Sandwiches include chicken breast filet ($3.99), barbecue pork ($3.79), roast turkey ($3.59) and hot ham and cheese ($3.59). A half-rack of ribs is $7.99, a full rack $14.49. If they're like the roasted chicken, it's a surefire bet.
Address: 1766 Main Road, Johns Island.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun.; 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Mon.-Thurs.; 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat.