Southern California is such a wonderful Mecca of food choices, including some amazing fried chicken.
I recently returned to a childhood favorite, Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. Knott’s Berry Farm started as a berry farm and roadside chicken dinner restaurant in the 1934 by Walter and Cordelia Knott. It grew into a large amusement park, but has kept its historic roots, including the restaurant. Walter was a horticulturalist as well and developed the boysenberry, a mix between a European blackberry and raspberry.
Growing up, I remember many birthdays spent in the restaurant…it was worth worth the 45-minute drive from LA and became a cherished tradition. When my wife Heidi immigrated to California five years ago, I remember clearly the day I took her Buena Park to try out the restaurant for the first time. Being health conscious, she did not share my enthusiasm and ordered a salad. Oh well…
Crowds used to be a huge problem here. The restaurant underwent a remodel a couple years ago and is now much larger before (a bar was also added) and looks much more modern. I’d say it has lost some of its charm, but the food remains unchanged.
How the dining room used to look:
The restroom area hasn’t changed…it was the same when I was a kid.
The menu is small, which is often the mark of a great restaurant. The “Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner” includes fresh baked buttermilk biscuits with boysenberry jam, chicken noodle soup or cherry rhubarb, salad, and a half chicken with corn or cabbage and mashed potatoes. So American. So tasty.
Dessert is included as well, including boysenberry pie or boysenberry sherbet (or apple pie or vanilla ice cream if you are not as adventurous).
On my last visit a couple weeks ago, I took one of my employees and he raved about it. There are so many food choices in the greater LA area, but if you’re in the mood for good fried chicken, the historic Knott’s Berry Farm is worth a visit.