Saturday, March 30, 2013

Rib Tip Fried Rice - KC's Southern Style Rice

I've been wanting to try KC's Southern Style Rice ever since I read about it in the Commercial Appeal a couple years ago. KC's offers Southern variations of fried rice like rib tip fired rice, hamburger fried rice and bologna fried rice alongside standard Southern fare like burgers, catfish, rib tips and chicken tenders. Unfortunately,  due to the way my work route is laid out I'm normally only on the section of S. Third Street where the take-out restaurant in a trailer is located on Mondays, when it is closed. 

The trailer is in the Triple S Flea Market on Third in between Raines and Shelby Drive. It is open 1-9 on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 1-10 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Apparently the full name of the business is KC's Southern Style Rice, Auto Detailing and Parking Lot Cleaning. Entrepreneurs in the Whitehaven/South Memphis area frequently combine comically unrelated businesses.

On the Way to KC's I also passed a place where it appeared you could pick up some soul food and get your bluejeans starched,  but they were closed so I didn't get to check it out. It may seem funny to most suburbanites, but those suburbanites don't think twice about getting photographs printed at a drug store or visiting a Super Wal-Mart where tires, tube socks, shotguns and groceries are all offered for sale. Shrewd business owners look for extra revenue wherever they see potential for it.

On Thursday I finally ended up driving past the KC's trailer on a day it was open. I was torn between ordering the rib tip fried rice and the bologna fried rice. I ultimately went with the rib tips since it let me sample the barbecue and the fried rice at the same time. The guy who took my order told me there would be a 15 minute wait for my food and that wait actually ended up being over 20 minutes. But it was a beautiful spring day, I had a copy of the day's Commercial Appeal with me and a booth next to the KC's trailer had reggae music playing; so waiting in my work vehicle with the window down while reading the paper and listening to the background music was a pleasant experience. If you don't want to wait on your food you can text your order to 901-859-3400 and have it ready when you show up. Be sure to wait for a confirmation that your order was received.

When my order finally came out it was gigantic.  The rice and vegetables were infused with a delicious smoke flavor. It came with a container of barbecue sauce and packets of soy sauce and duck sauce, but it was already good enough that I just ate it as-served other than dipping some of my rib tip bites in the flavorful barbecue sauce.

I know this blog spends a lot of time discussing how harmful high blood sugar levels caused by consuming excess sugar and starches are to the body. But a big pile of greasy carbs was exactly what I was craving during my stop at KC's. The guys behind the highly-recommended Manic American blog had been in Memphis enjoying our food and culture for a week and I had been out late the night before guiding them around our late-night dive bar scene. They seemed to be having a blast during their stay here. I had the pleasure of hanging out with them a couple different nights in grimy local treasures like the Wild Bill Blues Club, the P&H Cafe and the Lamplighter bar. I can't wait to see the full coverage of their visit posted on their website.

Back on the subject of the amazing fried rice, the rib tips were large portions with a nice bark on their outer edges. I enjoyed eating them but I frequently had to pick them up and eat them separate from the rice, especially the sections that had cartilage in them that needed to be separated from the meat. The next time I stop by KC's I may try the bologna fried rice instead.

I think the bologna version sounds promising but later that day my wife disagreed. My wife had seen the picture of the fried rice I'd posted on Instagram and sent me a text telling me to save some for her. She didn't need to ask. My serving of fried rice was so big I only managed to eat half of it despite being extremely hungry. And the leftover half-serving I brought home still looked like a full order of food.

My wife came home from work immediately asking, "Where is that leftover rice?" Once she pounced on it she quickly declared, "This is one of the best things I've ever eaten." She ate half the leftovers, then put the other half in the fridge, declaring it hers and threatening me with bodily harm if I tried to touch it.

KC's is located just south of the Crystal Palace skating rink on Third. If you are a Memphian you should recognize it from the movie Hustle & Flow since if you are a Memphian you should have seen that movie at least 50 times.

Here is the menu for anyone who wants to text in an order. The whole and half-slab ribs are no longer available.

KC's Southern Style Rice on Urbanspoon


  1. Oh My God I Am A Person Who Is Really Picky Over My Food In I REally HATE Rice But LAst Satarday I Was Out With My Cousin In Her Soon To Be Husband He Was Like BAby Girl Taste This Soo I TAsted It In FRom Their I Was Like Go Back In Order Me A Plate I Serious Fell In LOve With KC Rice In Been Gegging My Auntie All Week Too Take Me Back !!!!! I Even Got My Daddy In Little Brother Hung

  2. OMG!! The rice is soooo delicious the house rice is my favorite..the chicken is so tender and flavorful!! The best I've ever had hands down

  3. My coworker told me that I would probably love this rice because I love fried rice. I had the opportunity to stop by KC's.There were people in line but it was okay. When I odered my combination rice, it was so delicious. I had to order another one because there was no way that I was going to share that rice. I have absolutely never tasted rice that was more delicious than that. It was quite hefty serving for the price. I will go back at least once a week.

  4. welp my son introduced me to it .and I love it whole heartly !!best ive ever eaten.shared with my other son and he loved it,also shared with my coworker!gotta try the hamburger kind!and other items !very good smoke taste !!THUMBS YP KC