On Mississippi Meals: Tom Sawyer's Old Fashioned Krispy Chicken, Tiendesitas
Updated: Oct 8
Lots of things from the 1980s – especially cartoons from that time – have recently made a comeback. She-Ra: Princess of Power saw a remake in 2018 courtesy of DreamWorks as She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. The original 1980s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe just got a sequel with Masters of the Universe: Revelation, with Kevin Smith of Jay and Silent Bob fame at the helm. 2020's Transformers: War for Cybertron breathed new life into the original 1980s franchise.
Just like the three cartoons I mentioned, another classic from the 1980s that made a comeback. Tom Sawyer's Old Fashioned Krispy Chicken opened its flagship branch in Tiendesitas back in late 2014. The reopening came 12 years after its original location at the Greenhills Arcade, which opened back in 1981, permanently shut its doors. Many were hyped up with the restaurant's return, which was originally an American franchise, after thinking it had apparently closed for good in 2002.
The location of Tom Sawyer's Old Fashioned Krispy Chicken at Tiendesitas Building A was far from the size of its old spot at Greenhills. However, its red and white color scheme paired with the industrial fixtures evoked a steamboat cruising down the Mississippi River. Longtime customers swore by their fried chicken paired with cornbread and gravy, which made the joint popular among the 80s and 90s kids…and their kids.
I first visited Tom Sawyer's in 2015 with a former partner after seeing news of its opening on social media. Anyone visiting the restaurant ought to try the 1-Piece Chicken Platter with Rice and Corn Bread. The chicken's coating had a definite crunch to it, while the frying process locked in the chicken meat's juices. This unquestionably went well with rice – and I ordered two.
Meanwhile, the consistency of the Corn Bread reminded me of the Corn Muffins at Kenny Rogers Roasters – albeit less sweet than the latter. This served a particular purpose as it allowed the cornbread to absorb the flavors of the equally delicious gravy. Tom Sawyer's offered unlimited gravy for dine-in customers, but the store charged a fee for extra gravy orders.
I was unable to take much pictures during the initial 2015 visit. However, I managed to visit the establishment twice in 2017 – first when I renewed my driver's license at a government office there, and second was when my former partner and I checked out the place again. It was among the last dates we had before breaking up a year later.
Tom Sawyer's managed to expand since my first visit. It opened another branch at Congressional Town Center in Quezon City, which happened to be nearer to me than the Tiendesitas location. It also survived the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the food and beverage industry.
A trip to Tom Sawyer's would definitely be on the list once the pandemic is over.
Until the next review, bon appetit.