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Ladd, IL & LaSalle County Fried Chicken nor far off I-80

Ladd, IL & LaSalle County Fried Chicken nor far off I-80
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  • Post #61 - April 8th, 2013, 7:39 am
    Post #61 - April 8th, 2013, 7:39 am Post #61 - April 8th, 2013, 7:39 am
    Da Beef wrote: Beforehand me and my friend stopped for lunch in Putnam County which isn't LaSalle but it's of my belief that anything on the border or around the Illinois river and extended into the valley is fair game. Everyone does fried chicken down there. Rip's is without a doubt some of the best you can get...anywhere. But it doesn't end there. Here's another spot that I think is worth checking out. We stopped in for an early lunch at Ray's Place in Hennepin, IL right along the river. It's cool old time exterior looked like it was worth a stop for a quick bite and to relax a bit. Even though I knew nothing of Ray's, I knew fried chicken was on the menu.

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    Hennepin, IL along the Illinois River

    Ray's was a really cool spot especially for some drinks. I've been to alot of old taverns and supper clubs where not much has changed and I love Lanuti's but the bar at Ray's Place was straight out of the movies. I felt like I was on set filming. There's also a dining area in a large room to the left. Like most towns around here it's one of the few spots to eat out at and I imagine it gets packed on weekend nights. The menu has quite a few options similar to the rest of the bars and supper clubs including what they call the "best fried chicken in Central IL"

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    My view at the end of the bar


    I had very high hopes for the chicken after the fantastic basket of rings and as is the case with most of these great fried chicken joints, they fry it fresh to order so it was about a 20 minute wait. It came out piping hot and I finally remembered this time around to let it sit for five minutes so the roof of my mouth wasn't singed. The chicken was very good, perfectly cooked making it moist and juicy with no resistance when eating it off the bone. Although this would be an excellent rendition of fried chicken in Chicago, it was just 'good' for the Valley. I guess I just prefer the beer battered to the other ways when it comes to frying but that's not to say I wont be back at Ray's. Ordering the same thing too I would assume.

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    Ray's Place on the River: Fried Chicken Basket

    One of the older ladies who was an owner came over to make sure everything was ok as we were wrapping it up. She was also the bartenders grandma so it's all in the family over there and they do care. If your ever boating the Illinois River they have a dock for you to stop at with your boat and pop in for some chicken. Along with some amazing onions rings, very friendly service and a really cool bar. Check it out.

    Ray's Place on the River
    108 N Front St
    Hennepin, IL 61327
    (815) 925-7111



    I had rolled past Rays a few times at off hours so had never made the trip in. Knew it was a spot I had to get to eventually. After doing some errands and bar/restaurant hopping down by Bloomington, we shot up the River Road north to Hennepin. Rays was where we were dead heading.

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    Strong warm breeze out of the west blowing over the river felt good before we headed in a few minutes after they opened. Found a 4 top table in the bar with a good view of the 5:00 NCAA tourney game and had a little Jim Beam and some $2 ice cold mugs of beer. Fried chicken was a solid version, Id eat it again for sure. Deep fried pork chops were really good.

    Surprise of the night was the crock of what I first thought was deep fried chicken fingers at the end of the salad bar to top your salad with(salad bar was pretty good, good homemade salads(potato had some nice zip), and a basic green salad mix.) - Ended up this is a Saturday Night special - they were deep fried chicken gizzards, other Saturdays they also offer fried hearts. Too dark in this spot for me to get a good photo, but they were good, especially with some cold beer Vangie said.

    I liked Rays, and can see hitting it again when I am west in Princeton, or on the way back from Iowa. Fun spot, great staff, good food.
  • Post #62 - April 8th, 2013, 9:15 am
    Post #62 - April 8th, 2013, 9:15 am Post #62 - April 8th, 2013, 9:15 am
    Jim, across the street from Ray's is a park bench that overlooks the River. I can't tell you how many times we have sat there just to watch the River traffic go by and take a break from our Peoria to home runs. Never went inside. Back in the day when we drove all these places you cover, we were too intimidated to go inside. I hope to get out more!
  • Post #63 - April 8th, 2013, 9:20 am
    Post #63 - April 8th, 2013, 9:20 am Post #63 - April 8th, 2013, 9:20 am
    LikestoEatout wrote:Jim, across the street from Ray's is a park bench that overlooks the River. I can't tell you how many times we have sat there just to watch the River traffic go by and take a break from our Peoria to home runs. Never went inside. Back in the day when we drove all these places you cover, we were too intimidated to go inside. I hope to get out more!


    lol,

    Noticed those benches, prime river viewing spot there..

    Even though the past few winters have been mild, my initial rection was to brace myself for a chilly breeze off the river, was happy to feel the warm breeze upon my face.
  • Post #64 - May 23rd, 2013, 11:03 am
    Post #64 - May 23rd, 2013, 11:03 am Post #64 - May 23rd, 2013, 11:03 am
    jimswside wrote:Last Chance Saloon in Millington, just a few minutes north of Route 71 & Newark, IL. My embarassment of riches regarding fried chicken continues.

    Word is/was Last Chace does some big fried chicken numbers on Tuesday nights, 250, 300, 360 dinners served. Quantity means nothing if it isnt good so I made a point to stop in last night to check it out on a less busy night. Glad I did.

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    Located in a former bank building(damn cool) right on the main drag in town. Found myself enjoying a drink and daydreaming out the window thinking and knowing the view had changed little since some bank employee had done the same back in the day.

    Bar with some high tops seperated from a small dining room. Nice spot. Cheap, cold drafts of regular guy beers as well as cheap shots of brown liquor. Menu special for the night was frog legs w/ salad bar and soup for like $12. Menu has a little of everything for eveyone, typical roadhouse fare. I snapped up an order of 1/4 light with some mashed to go. Chicken was solid(nice crust, juicy flesh), even after a 20 minute ride home. Definitely going to go back to try some fresh from the fryer.

    Last Chance Saloon
    102 S. Church Street
    Millington, IL.

    815-695-5660


    just spied that Last Chance Saloon is having their 8th annual Testicle Festival - Sunday, June 9th

    Not sure if thats quite my thing, but figured Id toss it out there for others.

    Also Lanutis out in Ladd is becoming sort of a regular stop for a brandy Old Fashioned(been getting in there a couple times a week for the past month or so. Bartenders can make em' good, and they are $4.50... give the bartender a $5 and get a $.50 piece as change(dig that touch)... Lanutis makes for a great drink before heading to Rip's or elsewhere.
  • Post #65 - August 5th, 2013, 8:08 am
    Post #65 - August 5th, 2013, 8:08 am Post #65 - August 5th, 2013, 8:08 am
    Had some, I guess not too surprising considering where I live, really good fried chicken on Friday night over in Seneca, IL. Just barely in LaSalle County, and the furthest place east of me I have found worthwhile.

    Nice old bar - Fergy's Bar and Grill, right on the main drag.

    Seneca is a river town where one of the prairie shipyards were, During WW II they built LST ships here and used the Illinois river to get the new boats to the theatre in which they were needed. Back in the 1940's this town had 2 shifts running building the boats working 24 hours a day. Nowdays its a sleepy town of a few thousand people, who were smart enough that when Exelon proposed a nuclear plant to them and Marseilles, Seneca took it - Marseilles didnt. Got Seneca some fantastic school facilities and I hear other perks.

    I digress, Fergy's was pretty crowded and lively - looked dead from the outside.

    1/4 light was $9, a little expensive for the area, but I saw plates of it coming out and it looked ligit - lacquered crispy batter. Chicken did not disappoint, crispy as heck, perfectly cooked(plus I got to get curly fries as my potato choice). Shay has soccer practice over in Seneca a few nights a week, I can see heading back in. Chicken is only done Friday & Saturdays I believe, they also had frog legs and other fish fry items on the menu this Friday night.

    Fergy's Bar & Grill
    272 N. Main
    Seneca, IL.
  • Post #66 - August 12th, 2013, 10:46 am
    Post #66 - August 12th, 2013, 10:46 am Post #66 - August 12th, 2013, 10:46 am
    jimswside wrote:- Also that spot in Earlville The GP mentioned is now on my list.

    Jim-

    As noted in my post, Poka's was for sale last year. It has now morphed into The Earlville Tap. Our group descended upon it this past weekend. The menu is revamped. No fried chicken on the regular (outside of wings), but they have "cheap chicken nights" on Mondays and Wednesdays. It didn't matter what else was on the menu -- I couldn't get past the "Stuffed Juicy Lucy ~ Deep Fried or Grilled Burger" section of the menu. Mr. X had the deep fried version with cheddar and bacon. I had the grilled version with blue cheese and mushrooms. I would order it again. The deep fried version was good as well, or at least the bite I had was.

    Earlville Tap
    37 West Railroad St.
    Earlville, IL
    www.EarlvilleTap.com
    Ph: 815-884-1098
    -Mary
  • Post #67 - September 23rd, 2014, 1:45 pm
    Post #67 - September 23rd, 2014, 1:45 pm Post #67 - September 23rd, 2014, 1:45 pm
    Rene G wrote:
    JoelF wrote:
    Da Beef wrote:The Candlelight Inn was open and we took a ride by but the famous "chicken George" they speak of is just "Chicken Breast Strips served with our famous Jan's special sauce." Eh, I'll pass.

    You missed out on a minor epiphany.
    We stopped by there a couple years ago and the Jan's Special Sauce is quite nice, a light sweet and sour that reminded SueF of Lao Sze Chuan's Mayonaisse Shrimp (aka Honey Shrimp or Walnut Shrimp at other places).

    I wasn't a fan of Jan's sauce, which I thought tasted like it's made from mayonnaise and apricot jam. I don't remember any sour notes. Chicken George was probably the best serving of chicken breast strips I ever had (perhaps not the highest compliment I have paid to a dish).


    It's been a couple years since I had a chance to give Candlelight Inn a try after both of yours glowing reviews made me somewhat regret not stopping in. With the eating power, albeit reluctant of the product, of the fried chicken chief by my side I had to plan a stop at the original in Sterling.

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    Bob and Jan's Candlelight Inn - "Home of the Original Chicken George"

    We stopped in and placed an order to-go at the bar where the Sunday's NFL games were on. It seemed to be pretty dead but it was that time right before people started appearing as cars started pouring into the lot where I took out the appetizer order ($8.95) to try them al trunko. They weren't quite fried fresh because she told us they'd be out in a minute when I asked for them to-go. They make them in large batches as I saw in a video looking up the address, this caused a few to stick but nonetheless they were pretty dang enjoyable for chicken strips. We both agreed they were like a dish you may find at an American-Chinese restaurant which sometimes you just need. The sauce reminded me of the house sauce at southern chicken finger chains like Zaxby's and also the somewhat new to Chicago Farmhouse Chicken Strips. The latter of which still slangs the best tenders I've ever had.

    Image
    Chicken George with Jan's Special Sauce

    Next stop up! Believe me I wanted to try that spaghetti pie but I'm kind of going backwards here and at this point Candlelight was at least the 10th place ate in a 24 hour span. So while I had no fight left in me, when the Fried Chicken Chief says we need to stop at Sip-n-Snack I have to listen. I abide because I too have done so many of the countries acclaimed fried chicken stops and I still consider Rip's #1. Jim has Sip-n-Snack as his best thus a 1/4 plate of dark ($4.75) was a must.

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    Mendota, IL

    It turned out to be as busy as it can get and our order ended up taking alot longer than expected. So much so we had to get back in the car and roll as I was trying to get home by a certain time. As mentioned I was overstuffed and couldn't even find it in me to have a bite when the chicken came fresh out the fryer but I'll tell you what, just like Rip's this stuff was as crisp as room temperature chicken can get. We spied slurry and pickles going out and if you put Sip-n-Snack and Rip's side by side in a taste test I wouldn't be confident I could identify which is which. Near identical and thus both some of the best fried chicken this country consumes. I guess what it could come down to is atmosphere and I actually like Rip's a little more as SnS is a picnic table family style spot with a few spaces at the bar while Rip's has more of that old school tavern feel going on. There's not many great unknowns when it comes to regional eats around the country but the fried chicken around this way remains overlooked outside of here, wonder what else is out there.

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    Fried Chicken for the Corn Gods

    Candlelight Inn
    2907 N Locust St
    Sterling, IL 61081
    (815) 625-2600

    Sip-N-Snack
    10 N 4250th Rd
    Mendota, IL 61342
    (815) 539-7525
  • Post #68 - October 3rd, 2014, 10:49 am
    Post #68 - October 3rd, 2014, 10:49 am Post #68 - October 3rd, 2014, 10:49 am
    I've got to get out, do a road trip, and try some of that chicken from Sip-N-Snack, Rip's, etc. That sauce from Candelite looks like a basic honey mustard though. I love that dipping sauce everyone has now (Raising Cane's, Zaxby's, Chicken Now, etc). If it's similar to what you said, I'm down with that.
  • Post #69 - May 20th, 2015, 2:21 pm
    Post #69 - May 20th, 2015, 2:21 pm Post #69 - May 20th, 2015, 2:21 pm
    An important closing to mention - Lanuti's in Ladd closed back in April - I first tweeted about it on Saturday when I saw the For Sale Sign on the building when I was leaving Rip's Tavern across the street after lunch.

    To me its a big deal when a spot thats been a restaurant for 107 years closes -

    Gonna miss sitting at the bar enjoying a cocktail or a draft and getting half dollar coins as change. - hoping if a buyer comes along they keep it like it was.

    a couple articles:

    http://www.pjstar.com/article/20150502/NEWS/150509910

    http://newstrib.com/main.asp?SectionID= ... leID=43470
  • Post #70 - May 20th, 2015, 2:40 pm
    Post #70 - May 20th, 2015, 2:40 pm Post #70 - May 20th, 2015, 2:40 pm
    I was deeply saddened to hear this, I first went there at your recommendation. Unlike many shot & beer joints they could make a really good martini and manhattan, plus a true grasshopper and brandy alexander. The bartenders would engage you as much or as little as you wanted and were a wealth of information about the IRV. I hope someone finds a way to reopen this place.
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #71 - May 20th, 2015, 3:56 pm
    Post #71 - May 20th, 2015, 3:56 pm Post #71 - May 20th, 2015, 3:56 pm
    Hi,

    Their closing is a bigger deal to the residents who either went to Lanuti's or to Ripp's, but not necessarily to both.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #72 - May 21st, 2015, 8:00 am
    Post #72 - May 21st, 2015, 8:00 am Post #72 - May 21st, 2015, 8:00 am
    mbh wrote:I was deeply saddened to hear this, I first went there at your recommendation. Unlike many shot & beer joints they could make a really good martini and manhattan, plus a true grasshopper and brandy alexander. The bartenders would engage you as much or as little as you wanted and were a wealth of information about the IRV. I hope someone finds a way to reopen this place.


    I hear ya MB, Your experience mirrors my visits and anyone I think that of anyone have gone there with.

    The one-two(and sometimes three) punch of Lanutis then Rip's(and perhaps back to Lanutis) was always a good time.
  • Post #73 - February 28th, 2016, 9:51 am
    Post #73 - February 28th, 2016, 9:51 am Post #73 - February 28th, 2016, 9:51 am
    A visit last fall to Woodford County (just south of LaSalle) was unquestionably the low point of my year.

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    Midway Duck Inn, while officially in Lowpoint—about 20 miles northeast of Peoria, is not very close to town and not easy to find without good directions. Thinking, "How hard can it be to find something in Lowpoint?" is unwise, especially without a phone signal. It's on Route 26, a scenic road that runs a mile or so east of the Illinois River. The Inn, across the River from Chillicothe (but no bridge!), is a handsome old structure.

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    The dining room (not to mention the bar) is pleasantly rustic, with many windows and hidden-waterfowl carpeting. Servers wear camo T-shirts, allowing them to move around the dining room almost unnoticed.

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    Not much duck on the menu, but note the ribeye can be ordered in hen- or drake-sized portions.

    They're best known for their pan-fried chicken. I wouldn't say the bird marked the high point of my chicken-year, but it's quite a respectable effort. Simply prepared, maybe only dredged in lightly seasoned flour, and fried with some care.

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    The potatoes au gratin weren't very good, certainly not worth the $2 surcharge. I'll never understand coating a perfectly good corn fritter in an eighth-inch of powdered sugar. Can't people wait for dessert?

    The kitchen's frying skills might be even better displayed with the country fried steak.

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    Maybe the meat was a bit over-tenderized, but that coating was topnotch. Nothing wrong with that gravy either. I see the menu lists a pork tenderloin sandwich. That alone might merit another trip to Lowpoint.

    Midway Duck Inn
    2112 State Route 26
    Lowpoint IL
    309-246-8441
    https://www.facebook.com/Midway-Duck-In ... 468454221/
  • Post #74 - February 28th, 2016, 12:21 pm
    Post #74 - February 28th, 2016, 12:21 pm Post #74 - February 28th, 2016, 12:21 pm
    The potatoes au gratin weren't very good, certainly not worth the $2 surcharge. I'll never understand coating a perfectly good corn fritter in an eighth-inch of powdered sugar. Can't people wait for dessert?


    forget about waiting for dessert: i see no reason to coat anything in powdered sugar.
  • Post #75 - February 28th, 2016, 5:29 pm
    Post #75 - February 28th, 2016, 5:29 pm Post #75 - February 28th, 2016, 5:29 pm
    I have been here a couple of times. The chicken is OK, none of the pre or sides were very good. Neat place to stop and have a couple, but if I were cooking I would kick it up a bit. Kinda lazy food.
  • Post #76 - March 10th, 2016, 8:49 pm
    Post #76 - March 10th, 2016, 8:49 pm Post #76 - March 10th, 2016, 8:49 pm
    It looks like that Country Fried Steak came with a non-sausage cream pepper gravy (Texas/Oklahoma style) which to me is the only way to have it (though I suppose it's ok at breakfast with sausage gravy).
  • Post #77 - August 2nd, 2021, 8:20 am
    Post #77 - August 2nd, 2021, 8:20 am Post #77 - August 2nd, 2021, 8:20 am
    We ended up in North Utica on a perfect summer Sunday afternoon. The place was hopping, and the entire block of Mill Street from Canal to Church was closed to traffic in favor of outdoor dining.

    We were jonesing for fried chicken or a pork tenderloin. But first -- champagne at the August Hill Tasting Room. Right now, they are only doing packaged snacks in the lounge, and we opted for some Chuck's Gourmet Cheese spread (made in Ottawa) served with Crunchmasters crackers (from Loves Park). Both were darned tasty, and the ISC Brut we had was light and dry.

    Then we dropped into Skoog's Pub and Grill, which started serving fried chicken at 4:00. The chicken was expertly fried, light, tender, not too greasy. Came with real home-made mashed potatoes and cole slaw. The burgers and pork tenderloins we saw go by looked really good, too.

    Great afternoon in LaSalle County.
  • Post #78 - August 2nd, 2021, 8:22 am
    Post #78 - August 2nd, 2021, 8:22 am Post #78 - August 2nd, 2021, 8:22 am
    tcdup wrote:Great afternoon in LaSalle County.

    Champagne and fried chicken. I'd say that qualifies for Great Afternoon!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow

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