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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thanks to Brad's, our forum administrator, avatar over on MTF, I learned of a place called Rip's Chicken. Being the curious sort, and being one who believes good food should always be part of great adventure, I looked into it.

http://www.ripschicken.com/

Wow, any place that's been in business since 1934 has got to be serving up some good eats. And doing so while serving nothing but fried chicken. Now that's got to be some good fried chicken!

I figured hey, here's a chance to get out, have some great food, maybe hook up with a couple of members from the forums and have a generally good time. A few PMs later, we had things lined up to get together with Brad and his wife, Bill, (Yard Nazi on MTF), and his wife. Unfortunately, Bill and his wife were feeling under the weather, and couldn't make it. Get well guys.

My wife and I made the trek out to Ladd from the Quad Cities, about an hour or so away. Ladd is just off of Interstate 80, right about the mid point across Illinois. We made a stop along the way in Princeton, IL for some shopping at a huge antique mall. Didn't buy anything, but it's always fun just to look. I have to admit, though, it's a little unnerving to see stuff I played with as a kid being sold as antiques now.

We'd been given a heads up by Brad to come early as they line up and out the door at Rips. They start serving dinner at 4:30, so he said it would be a good idea to get there at 3:30 to get in line! Really?

So, we did and arrived outside Rips to find Brad proudly wearing his MTF cap so we'd recognize him, and after introducing ourselves and our wives, we were pleased to find that the line hadn't gotten too long yet. Brad wasn't kidding, people were headed toward the front door from everywhere I looked.

Inside Rips you'll find a really beautiful bar area up front that's separated from the dining area by an archway. You're greeted at that arch by a woman who takes your order for your food. Your choice being 1/4 light or 1/4 dark, and maybe mushrooms or fries. If you want more chicken, you order two quarters. That being done, she tells you to head on in if there's an open table. You can get a tray of "crispies" and pickles to munch on while you wait for the chicken. Oh, if you want a fork, you have to ask for one, they don't just give you one up front.

We walked in at maybe 3:45, and the dining room was already more than half full, and the rest was filling as fast as the lady at the door could write down the orders. Looking around, we saw people passing time playing cards as the food doesn't come out until 4:30.

And let me tell you, when it did, it looked delicious! And the pieces were huge. No chicken little here! I would have taken a picture of it to show you, but I was too anxious to sink my teeth into it!

With that first bite I could see how they had built a business serving only chicken, and I could easily understand why the line of waiting customers was standing clear out the door before we were served our food. The food was great, the beverages cold, and the prices low. Life is good at Rips!

Afterward, Brad and his wife, Linda, were kind enough to invite us to their home where we enjoyed sharing conversation about family, hobbies, and of course mowers.

I can't begin to tell you what a great time we had. We made some wonderful new friends, had some really fine food, and enjoyed a really fun time.

So, if you're anywhere near northern Illinois, plan on making a stop at Rips Tavern in Ladd. But get there early, or plan on waiting. The chicken is great!
 

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Administrator
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Sounds like a great time and the place to get fried chicken!

I totally agree, it's fun to be able to put a face to a name and talk about these hobbies in person. :)
 

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Sounds like a great time and the place to get fried chicken!....
Now if they would have just brought back some for the rest of us instead of eating it all .... :dunno:

Glad to hear y'all had a good time guys. :cool
 

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It was indeed a very good meal and a very pleasant evening. Had a great time visiting with Bruce and Judy. It was fun sharing stories and experiences with them and comparing notes on the forums, etc. We'll have to do it again.

And if anyone else is in the area, give it a try! And feel free to give us a call. Maybe we can do dinner and coffee!
 

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Just a follow up on Ripp's Tavern in Ladd Illinois. Yes, when Bruce and Judy made the trip up my wife and I were so sick we couldn't function for a week. We did manage to make another trip up that way to meet Brad and Linda but ended up going to another nice restaurant in Spring Valley. It was a nice trip, the food and the company were both excellent, and we were glad we could make the trip. We did not, however, get to make the trip to Ladd and Rip's until another time. We actually drove up with 4 friends of ours, got there early around 3:30, and like Brad said, the place started filling up fast. The chicken was well worth the drive and experiencing the whole Ripp's experience was an added benefit. Hopefully we'll get to make the trip up again soon. Bill
 
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