Helpful ReplyHot!Chicken of the Month

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lleechef
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/09/03 11:43:49 (permalink)
Nice!!  The chicken looks great but those corn cakes look wonderful!!  We have lots of corn now........I'll have to look up a recipe.
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/10/19 17:57:38 (permalink)
September, 2016
 
Last month I went over to Delavan to check out Elizabeth's Cafe, a storefront restaurant on the town's historic cobblestone main street.

 

 
I started with broccoli soup, although I can't remember if it was "& cheese" or "cream of".  It was very thick but I felt it needed more seasoning as to me the flavor was kind of flat.

 
Unfortunately the chicken followed that same trend.  While the crust was wonderfully crisp and the meat was juicy, both components were somewhat lacking.

 

 
The mashed potatoes and gravy made it a trifecta.  Like the soup the gravy was quite thick but the flavor just felt left behind.

 
The atmosphere and service were fine, so a little tweaking in the kitchen could IMHO make this a much better meal.
 
 
The next day I was out for a drive.  After getting TTM'd at a local supper club I decided to cruise the back roads up toward Jefferson County and when I reached Fort Atkinson I stopped at Sammy's Place, a restaurant I last visited about 5 years ago.  After being seated in the restaurant I ordered an Old Fashioned, reasoning that even though it was only about 2:45 here it was 5:00 somewhere.  My server (Jen) also turned out to be working the bar and she did a good job.

 
Just like 5 years ago I started with a cup of tasty avga lemena.

 
The chicken did take some time to cook (a good sign) and when it was delivered I wasn't disappointed.  Crispy, properly cooked and well-seasoned, this is what I'd been hoping for the previous day.

 
The potatoes and gravy delivered as well.

 
I guess the weekend was a draw with one minus and one plus, but it definitely finished on an up note!  Some Friday I'm going to have to give Sammy's fish fry a try...
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/11/02 19:48:04 (permalink)
October, 2016
 
The first weekend in October found us in Appleton, WI for a friend's wedding so I used the opportunity to visit the north location of Mary's Family Restaurant.

 

 
Since there were 2 of us we shared cups of broccoli and chicken dumpling soups, both of which were quite good.

 

 
The chicken was solid with a good crust although the seasoning was a little spotty on the drumstick, and I really liked the mashed potatoes and gravy.

 

 
Mrs. C opted for a wrap of some sort; I forget the details but do remember that she would've liked it better if it'd had less lettuce.  Personally, I feel the best amount of lettuce is none at all.

 
Our meal turned out to be a decent, affordable lunch at a longtime Appleton spot and that was fine with me.  Actually, our best meal of the weekend was the barbecue buffet at the wedding reception!
Wintahaba
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/11/05 17:42:28 (permalink)
I went through this whole thread again today Brad, what would you say the top 5 are? Too tough? Thanks!
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/11/05 20:16:30 (permalink)
That's a tough question, all right...
 
I think I'd have to say that my 2 favorites were from Dell Rhea Chicken Basket and Mama Rita's, and there have been definitely more than 3 above-average qualifiers with Wendigo's Nashville Hot Chicken being the most unique.  Complicating things is that sometimes I find good chicken but it's not part of this thread (Stroud's in KC, the closed-and-missed Melly Mell's in Madison, etc.).
 
So as an Appletonian do you ever eat at Mary's?
Wintahaba
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/11/06 10:11:11 (permalink)
Have been to Mary's once, not overly impressed...it's solid. I am more impressed w/ the history as she started as a tiny A &W on Wisconsin Ave in the late 50's...moved to Richmond & expanded into Mary's w/ 2 locations. As I said before, tons of Broasted Chicken places (supper clubs/family Restaurants/convenience stores) around here...to me it's fairly hard to differentiate between them. I did like Cozzy Corner's Fried Chicken....large well cooked pieces. I also loved Dell Rhea's (of course esp. the History ) when we lived in Naperville.
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 12:17:14 (permalink)
November, 2016
 
Three years ago a few Contingent members got together in Lake Mills at Carp's Landing the night before the Jefferson County Tour.  Carp's Landing is no more, having been replaced by The Grist Bar & Table and I went there the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to check out the iron skillet-fried chicken.

 
I sat in the dining room at a table close to the kitchen, where I could observe some of what was going on.  I must say that I was absolutely shocked at the amount of profanity I overheard...because I didn't overhear any!

 
While my BOF wasn't particularly boozy (not a bad idea since I was over 30 miles from home) it definitely had more of a spiciness than most others I've tried.

 
Broccoli beer soup.  Or maybe it was beer broccoli soup.  Either way, it should be sold by the bucket because it was really good.

 
Chicken time!  I was expecting a thin, crisp crust but this version was thicker and more firm than crisp, which was actually fine because the flavor was outstanding.  The chicken itself was tasty and also had a bit of chew, which I don't know if it came from the breed, the seasoning beforehand (a dry brine will definitely firm up chicken), or a combination of the two.

 
My only complaint about the mashed potatoes and biscuit was that I would've liked about 50% more gravy...because I like gravy and this gravy was very likable, as were its starchy companions.

 
I would absolutely return to The Grist; in fact, I reluctantly passed on the short rib dumplings appetizer and would really like to give them a shot sometime.
lleechef
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 12:24:06 (permalink)
Looks like a good meal!  You should've asked for a side of gravy......explaining to your server that it was sooooooo good you just had to have more! 
leethebard
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 13:08:23 (permalink)
Amazing looking chicken!!
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 13:21:54 (permalink)
lleechef
You should've asked for a side of gravy......explaining to your server that it was sooooooo good you just had to have more! 

<facepalm>And since it was pretty slow at the time the kitchen probably had plenty to spare, unless they make the gravy fresh from the fried chicken drippings.</facepalm>
 
Although now that you mention it, I've never felt comfortable asking for more at a restaurant unless it's a condiment or an AYCE entree.  It's just never seemed proper.
Wintahaba
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 13:25:29 (permalink)
Brad...Who's the customer? As long as you don't ask for a side of Tenderloin or a pint glass of Chivas. 
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 13:31:54 (permalink)
I'm sure any restaurant or bar would be happy to sell me a pint of Chivas, and maybe even spring for the cab that'd haul me away.
 
I think it goes back to how I grew up, as I can't recall my parents ever asking for more when dining out.   It was probably a "you were given what you paid for" kind of thing when it came to anything on the entree plate.
 
Although my mom probably would've been thrilled if I'd ever asked for more vegetables.
Wintahaba
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 13:42:32 (permalink)
Understandable...but w/ sauces-gravies-condiments, it is not unreasonable. When we go to the "BEST" Restaurant in Appleton, The Apollon (which has been a while for us :() I will have flaming Rack of Lamb and ask for a side of the champagne saffron and shiitake cream sauce, which is normally served with the Lamb Tenderloin. Granted, we are paying a little more than some spots, but that sauce is like CRACK...if I knew what that was like. http://apollonrestaurant.com/menu/
lleechef
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 14:31:23 (permalink)
I could understand if it had been an expensive sauce, like morel mushroom sauce or like the champagne saffron sauce mentioned above but I don't think they would've had a problem giving you more chicken gravy.  If they did you would've heard what you were missing.  Profanity!!! 
Wintahaba
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 14:47:25 (permalink)
BTW, Great pics and write-up about the Grist...keep 'em coming.
wanderingjew
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 15:03:23 (permalink)
SC
 
That Broccoli and beer soup looks like it's right up my alley
Which reminds me it's time to do my end of the year report which of course starts with soup
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 16:18:33 (permalink)
No tears shed for the loss of Carp's Landing.  Their so-called "BBQ" was a bit of a sham, IMO.  I might have a different attitude if we'd ordered the fish or almost anything else on the menu.  OTOH, I don't like to see vacant spaces in small town business districts, so I'm glad to see The Grist is turning out a quality product.  Perhaps a return to Jefferson County is in order at some future date.  Maybe after the North Avenue Freeze Out Tour...
 
Buddy
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 17:23:24 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse
Perhaps a return to Jefferson County is in order at some future date.

Short rib dumpling throwdown at The Grist anytime you think you can put on your big boy pants; as long as we're eating the kitchen's cooking.  2nd place pays the bill.
 
(That I passed on the dumplings is starting to bug me.)
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 18:31:35 (permalink)
So you're having regrets about skipping the Dumplings and you want me to either pay for the correction or stuff myself silly in order to win the bet.
 
Seems reasonable.  Pick a date tough guy.
 
Buddy
wanderingjew
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/12/04 21:33:31 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
BuddyRoadhouse
Perhaps a return to Jefferson County is in order at some future date.

you think you can put on your big boy pants; 
 





 
He already has
 
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2017/01/07 09:55:26 (permalink)
December, 2016
 
I had to drive over to Delavan to buy charcoal and on my way home I made the impromptu decision to stop at Countryside Restaurant, located at the intersection of US-14 and county road M east of Janesville.

 
The view from the back.  To my right at the front of the restaurant is the counter.

 
I started with a cup of beef barley soup.  It had a good beefy flavor and underlying notes of what I think was either cinnamon or allspice.

 
One thing I've started to get a little better at is distinguishing hand-coated chicken from the food service variety, and this plate nagged at me all the way home so later that day I called to find out...sure enough, all the kitchen did was put it in the fryer.  I did like the potatoes, though.

 

 
The restaurant does offer homemade pecan pie so I brought a piece home for Mrs. C, which she liked.

 
 
Just before Christmas we had to do a little shopping in Janesville.  Park City Family Restaurant was on my list of possible places to eat (recommended by a coworker) and I'd already called them to find out that the fried chicken was prepared in house, so we stopped for lunch.

 
Of all the days to leave the chainsaw at home...

 
A cup of tasty chicken dumpling soup started things off.

 
The cracker basket was a nice touch.

 
Yes, Park City breads its own chicken.  In fact, the breast was so heavily breaded that it looks a lot larger than it actually was!  The mildly seasoned chicken was nice and juicy with a good chicken flavor and the breading was good on its own, too.

 
The green beans were ordinary but I liked the potatoes and gravy.

 
So while December started off with a slight disappointment it ended on a high note, and I'm looking forward to 2017.
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2017/01/07 09:58:43
ann peeples
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2017/01/07 17:06:19 (permalink)
Park City looks wonderful! That chicken dumpling soup certainly grabbed my attention, as did everything else....
Michael Hoffman
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2017/01/07 21:07:40 (permalink)
Yeah, the soup looked really good.
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2017/01/31 18:30:51 (permalink)
January, 2017
 
A couple of weeks ago I had to make another run to Delavan for charcoal (I really should just buy it by the pallet) and decided that this time I was going to head south to my dad's home town of Walworth to check out Sammy's on the Square, which is in what used to be the coffee shop and restaurant of the long-gone Wayside Hotel (I wonder if Duncan Hines ever ate and/or stayed there).

 
Because I was seated at a centrally-located table I couldn't get a good shot of the interior so we'll go straight to the food.  I started with a cup of creamy chicken soup, which was very good.  I added a little pepper but it didn't need any salt.  And my apologies for carelessly discarding the wrapper from my drink straw.

 
The chicken was pretty good although it seemed like most of the seasoning was in the skin and crust; fortunately, the meat beneath had either been lightly seasoned as well or had picked up a little via osmosis.

 
Hot, crisp, and juicy.

 
The potatoes came with brown gravy instead of chicken gravy but that was OK, as it had plenty of flavor.  Maybe it didn't go quite as well with fried chicken as a poultry-based gravy would have but I have no complaints.

 
While I was there it seemed like I was the only person who wasn't recognized by name, so clearly Sammy's is popular with the locals.  And I'd certainly stop there again.
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