Monday, May 18, 2009

Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket

On April 25 of this year, we finally visited a place we've wanted to go for years: Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket in Willowbrook, IL.
So many times we've driven past the billboards and signs on our way to and from places, but were never hungry when we were in the neighborhood.
Well known for fried chicken for more than 60 years, Dell Rhea's has had its ups and downs due to Route 66 bypassing the restaurant in the 60s, but has stood the test of time.
The Chicken Basket was inducted in the Route 66 Hall of Fame in June of 1992 and The National Register of Historic Places in May of 2006.
We stopped by the bar side first because we weren't starving yet. Our Dining Companion and I tried a local beer, the Route 66 Roadhouse Red Ale. It was not my thing and I ended up replacing it with a Pabst, but she ended up finishing it. My husband had a Pabst and our brother-in-law enjoyed a soda.
We soon cut through the back of the bar, checking out some framed newspaper articles along the way, to the dining room and took a table.
The large, angled windows across the front of the restaurant reminded me of some of the neat old buildings at Indiana Beach or York Beach in Maine, with a vacationy/nautical feel.
A large stone wall with a fireplace graced the end of the dining room, and old wooden chairs graced the tables. Some of them had a schoolhouse look to them, which added to the charm.
I had to try the corn fritters, so we placed our appetizer order for those. When they arrived, they were warm, sweet and good, but I can't say they were the best I've ever had.
For our dinners, we all chose baskets of chicken, which came with fries, slaw and biscuits.
The stars here were the chicken (juicy and good, with a cornmeal-like coating) and the biscuits (tiny and delicious). Dining Companion and I decided that since they were so small, you didn't need to feel bad about eating tons of them.
Our waitress was very cheerful and joked about giving us piggy back rides back to our car, since our bellies were so full.
The dining room kept up a steady business the whole time we were there, and closer to 6:00 people were standing along the back of the room waiting for tables.
Several large groups were having what appeared to be traditional family dinner meetups in the dining room, and Dell Rhea's is certainly a great place for that.

Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket
645 Joliet Road
I-55 & Route 83
Willowbrook, Illinois 60527

1 comment:

RoadDog said...

Outstanding blog. keep up the good work.