There are hills of snow in the parking lot, but plenty of space for customers inside. So on a cold day in January, I swung off South Washington Street for lunch at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
There was no question about what I should order. The attraction seemed to be the item billed as Famous Bowl Fill Up for $5.
With its southern inspiration on cold days, the bowl with spicy chicken, corn and mashed potatoes is a way to warm up. For me, the $5 fill was just right. The gravy was good. The corn was right. The potatoes, though good, seemed a tad too salty.
Most lunch time customers seem familiar with the fare at Kentucky Fried Chicken. They choose booths along the windows. Or they sit at the big red topped round table near the front. When they finish, they return their trays and move on out to the rest of their days.
Kentucky Fried Chicken is busiest with lunch customers from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Customers are in and out. Later in the day, they tend to dawdle and visit. There are more carry out orders in the evening.
On weekends especially, baskets with eight pieces of chicken draw customers to the pick up windows at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Inside Kentucky Fried Chicken, there are pictures of the founder Colonel Harland Sanders dating back to 1946.
Alexis Tokar, who has been at Kentucky Fried Chicken for 11 years, serves as local manager. She likes the Famous Bowls now on special. Her first experience in the food business was working for the Kegs Drive In on North Fifth Street when she was 14.
She went from there to Kentucky Fried Chicken. She says customers seem to prefer combo meals. She notes that many customers are younger and commented, “They don’t seem to eat at home.”
Tokar says the baskets of chicken are best sellers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – definitely in the evening.
Signs around the restaurant proclaim the success of the founder, Colonel Sanders. They describe how the chicken is “rinsed, breaded and rocked.’’ And then it goes into the pressure cooker for what is described as golden perfection. Yes, indeed, the promotions proclaim it is the world’s greatest chicken.
The chicken is featured in tenders and nuggets, sandwiches and wings as well as in bowls. There is a 10-piece feast. And there are sides of mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, potato wedges, corn and biscuits.
While customers pick up orders at the drive through window, there also is an arrangement for delivery by Grubhub.
Kentucky Fried Chicken
706 S. Washington St.
Operators: Argonaut Food Partners
Manager: Alexis Tokar
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. winter with 10 p.m. closing summer
Report card: When temperatures sink far below zero, Kentucky Fried Chicken provides some warm Southern touches. With inside seating for 60, the restaurant with windows all around is pleasant. It also rates an A for large, clean rest room facilities.