The Wayside is sort of icon in Charlottesville, and they claim to have been listed in one of Southern Living's "Best of the South" articles for fried chicken. I don't doubt it. The fried chicken is incredibly inexpensive and awesome - crunchy, crispy, and because it's always cooked to order, hot! I went this past week with my daughter, and we had a great time. The place was filled with students (it's very close to U.Va. and painted Cavalier blue and orange) and townspeople. Most were getting takeout, but some like us were staying for the experience. It's fun.
My daughter had, in addition to fried chicken, a mac'n'cheese side and a chocolate milkshake (I wear I don't feed her calorie-laden meals like this all the time). She thought it was all good. My sides were potato salad (skip it - it was mushy) and baked beans (excellent - smoky and sweet with chunks of bbq pork), and I had a sweet tea to complete the southern experience.
There are a couple of must-do fun things in any college town. The Wayside Ole Virginia Fried Chicken Palace clearly qualifies as one of those things here in Charlottesville. Others include: potato-flour donuts at Spudnuts, a Gusburger at the White Spot (after you've been out drinking of course), a nice, fluffy kettled bagel at Bodo's (for the morning after when you're regretting the Gusburger), and a slice at Christian's Pizza on the downtown mall. There are others, of course, but places like these give a town character and create memories. Good stuff.