By now, we have all witnessed the battle of the chicken sandwiches - from spiciest to Southern to every fast food chain joining in the fray. However, once in a while, I have a hankering for just a simple chicken dinner that doesn’t break the bank or have me waiting in a mega line for hours. In steps the chicken institution of Glendale (northeast Los Angeles area), Dinah’s Chicken. I have seen this restaurant on my many forays to downtown Glendale and recall a family night out there as a child. So it was way past due for me to revisit what promises to be a chicken dinner worth trying again.
Upon arrival to the strip mall where Dinah’s is located, I could already tell that there was a gathering of regulars who rely on Dinah’s for a lunch that would satisfy. Whether to-go or dine-in, they had a constant traffic of customers but not too much to scare me off (you know those hours-long lines to a certain chicken sandwich spot not far off!). I noticed there was a bowl of water left out for the canine visitors who would love to sample some juicy chicken themselves. Inside, I felt drawn back to visits to grandma’s for the holidays. Everything was decked out for Christmas and lots of wood and kitschy decorations that would make any grandma proud. Customer service was genuinely friendly and I even had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Linda, who was just as ever involved in the logistics as a first-timer. Good to know quality and service is still of prime importance after years of business as usual. Now, let’s get to the important stuff - the fried chicken. I have to say, at first bite, memories of my childhood family outings came flooding back. There was nothing fancy about the drumstick I bit into but the juicy tender chicken embedded in the crispy fried coating was cooked to perfection. I highly recommend to those who love to post about their every meal to keep their social media to a minimum here - as the chicken is best when it’s still piping hot from the kitchen. I also tried the seafood meal and I’ll be honest. The shrimp was better than the fish but if you’re at Dinah’s, their chicken still rules so don’t forgo the poultry for the seafood. But one must-try that was completely unexpected was the pineapple coleslaw. I’ve tried many coleslaws from all the chicken contenders but this was by far, the best-est! I could eat this every day! There was a fresh sweet cleanness to the coleslaw which didn’t make me think they coated the shredded cabbage with fat to make it palatable. New Year’s resolution - eat more coleslaw at Dinah’s - lol! There was also an iced tea naturally sweetened with pineapple juice which I plan to attempt at home. Why didn’t I think of this earlier? But yes, try the original at Dinah’s before even thinking of attempting a knockoff. Beautiful ombré shade for you Instagramers. Lastly, I had to try dessert. The pies were calling out my name and despite my usual preferences, I sampled the coconut cream pie, as recommended by the staff. It was delicious - even for someone who normally stays away from coconut. Perfectly sweet, but not too much so. At this point, there wasn’t much room left (in my belly that is) but I managed to squeeze in a bite of the pecan pie which was surprisingly delectable. Who knew pecans would make a great dessert? (my apologies to all you pecan pie lovers) So will I be back for my own family night out? You bet. There’s nothing more satisfying than a simple fried chicken dinner - which isn’t easy at all, if you attempt making it from scratch at home - and please don’t forget the pineapple coleslaw. Coleslaw will never be the same once you have tried theirs. The customer service will make you feel like you are at grandma’s for the holidays and no, you will not leave hungry. Or broke!