Frankenmuth fried chicken

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Sfreader
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2007/04/25 12:59:44 (permalink)

Frankenmuth fried chicken

When I was growing up in Michigan, Frankenmuth was famous for family style fired chicken dinners. The German influenced tourist community has two huge restaurants that fill former hotels across the street from each other.

Monday I was traveling through the area and stopped in Frankenmuth for the first time many years. I had the fried chicken at Zehnder's. The sides were good (particularly the giblet gravy), but the chicken was pretty average.

That was probably the last time I will be there.

BTW: The Zehnder's Birthday Club, must be very popular. The small dinning room I was in had 4 other tables. 2 of the tables each had one person getting a free dinner because their birthday was in April. The other two tables each had 2 people getting free dinners.

Keith
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19 Replies Related Threads

    Sundancer7
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2007/04/25 15:24:18 (permalink)
    I have been close but never stopped there. I was advised to get the chicken hot. I was also advised that it was expensive.

    I guess that have a huge Christmas store?

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #2
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2007/04/25 15:32:06 (permalink)
    Sfreader-
    I stopped last year at The Bavarian Inn across the street from Zehnder's. Even though they are more famous for their chicken dinners, I went for the German food since that is one of my favorites. The sides were not bad, but the sauerbraten below average. If given the opportunity, I would like to try both for their chicken dinners, but I don't ever plan on going out of my way to eat there.

    Considering how much my girlfriend loves the Bronner's Christmas store, I have no doubt I will be back in the area later this year.
    #3
    Rob Codger
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2007/04/25 15:47:16 (permalink)
    I live about an hour and a half from Frankenmuth and avoid the place. On weekends it's packed with tour busses and old people, I'm told. In Birch Run, there is a restaurant just off I-75 by the outlet mall (another excellent place to stay away from) called Tony's, that used to be famous for LARGE portions and homemade pies. I can't vouch for either any more but you might try that place if you have to be in the area.
    #4
    Greymo
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2007/04/25 16:18:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rob Codger

    I live about an hour and a half from Frankenmuth and avoid the place. On weekends it's packed with tour busses and old people, I'm told. In Birch Run, there is a restaurant just off I-75 by the outlet mall (another excellent place to stay away from) called Tony's, that used to be famous for LARGE portions and homemade pies. I can't vouch for either any more but you might try that place if you have to be in the area.


    Is there some reason that you feel that "old people" make a place unpleasant? If so, would you explain?
    #5
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2007/04/25 17:57:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rob Codger

    I live about an hour and a half from Frankenmuth and avoid the place. On weekends it's packed with tour busses and old people, I'm told. In Birch Run, there is a restaurant just off I-75 by the outlet mall (another excellent place to stay away from) called Tony's, that used to be famous for LARGE portions and homemade pies. I can't vouch for either any more but you might try that place if you have to be in the area.


    Us old folks tend to pay the way for the young folks

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #6
    BTB
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2007/04/25 21:04:07 (permalink)
    Some like it and others think the fried chicken in Frankenmuth is greatly overrated. I'm in the latter group. Check http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12092&SearchTerms=frankenmuth
    #7
    Sfreader
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2007/04/26 12:38:49 (permalink)
    When I was growing up, we would stop in about once a year while drving through the area. While I was a child, we once drove down from Mackinaw City (over 200 miles) to meet friends for a meal there.

    When I last visited, 22 years ago, I still didn't think it was over rated.


    A three piece chicken dinner with 3 breads, jam, cole-Slaw, dressing, mashed potato, and gravy is $11.99 The chicken pieces were not particularly large.

    All you can eat (including other sides) is $17.99.

    By contrast, at the Brookville Hotel of I-70 in Abeline, Kansas, for $12.95 you get half a chicken plus all you can eat: Relishes, Sweet-Sour Cole-Slaw, Cottage Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Cream Gravy, Cream-Style Corn, Baking Powder Biscuits with creamy butter and preserves. And a dish of Home Style Ice Cream.

    The gravy was the only item at Zehnders that I though was better than Brookville.

    Keith
    #8
    Buddy Dek
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2007/04/28 19:06:34 (permalink)
    Originally posted by Rob Codger

    I live about an hour and a half from Frankenmuth and avoid the place. On weekends it's packed with tour busses and old people, I'm told. In Birch Run, there is a restaurant just off I-75 by the outlet mall (another excellent place to stay away from) called Tony's, that used to be famous for LARGE portions and homemade pies. I can't vouch for either any more but you might try that place if you have to be in the area.
    [ /quote]
    Whats the matter with "OLD PEOPLE"? They eat too!
    #9
    kilerclown
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2008/01/11 19:39:52 (permalink)
    I was just talking about this place yesterday with a guy who grew up in Michigan. In college we would go there a few times a year and eat Zehnders out of house and home. The chicken was good but I wouldnt classify it as great. It was more of a good time and lets see how much we can eat kind of thing. The christmas shop/store/warehouse is Bronners (sp).
    #10
    Davydd
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2008/01/11 20:09:13 (permalink)
    When my in-laws lived in Saginaw we did the Frankenmuth thing numerous times. It was an experience. I preferred the brewery tour. But that was back in the 70s and 80s.
    #11
    thediningroom
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2008/01/11 20:21:29 (permalink)
    I heard they don't allow anyone over 60 on the streets after 8pm on the weekends, so if you come after 8pm you won't have to tolerate the "old people"
    #12
    Sonny Funzio
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2008/01/27 16:25:42 (permalink)
    I've never had a piece of chicken at Bavarian Inn or Zehnders I didn't like. I think they have a less expensive place in the area too called Freeway Fritz's ... haven't been there yet.
    #13
    Pigiron
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2008/01/27 18:26:42 (permalink)
    I once took a 3 hour detour for a famed chicken dinner in Frankenmuth. It still ranks as my most disappointing Roadfood meal ever (although certainly not the worst food I've ever had- that honor goes exclusively to Lambert's in Missouri). I found Zehnder's to be amateur hour at best. Bad food, annoying decor, just a dumb place overall. Not worth the trip in my book.
    #14
    Trishkaidekaphobia
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2008/01/27 19:53:28 (permalink)
    Highly overrated and overpriced. The only people who seem to eat there are tourists (lots of busses filled with old AND young people) who paid for a "package tour" - shopping at Birch Run, stop at Bronner's, dinner at Zender's.

    P.S. I was one of the tourists. Next time, I ask the bus driver to drop me off at the outlet mall for more shopping and I'll have a hot dog instead.
    Edited because I had misused an apostrophe.
    #15
    Sonny Funzio
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2008/01/28 14:53:37 (permalink)
    That's spot on about the Birch Run, Bronners, Zehnders loop, Trish.
    And I agree, it is too pricey. But considering that (according to their websites) Zehnders sold 840,000 pounds of chicken last year and the Bavarian Inn (their other restaurant across the street) sold 750,000 pounds ... for a total of over 1.5 million pounds of chicken per year, somebody apparently likes the chicken.

    Though I have not had a disappointing dinner there as far as the quality of the food - I have been hugely annoyed with the lines and the wait in to get seated ... and occasionally the service when it is very busy.
    I won't go to Zehnders during the weekend dinner hours again.

    Frankenmuth is definitely not for everyone ... it might be best characterized as old-fashioned, stodgy, Eastern-European ethnic, touristy and a bit kitsch.
    I know a lot of people over 50, especially older Germans that still like Frankenmuth a great deal ... and a lot of Poles and also Lithuanians, Czech/Slovaks and Ukrainians who go to Frankenmuth too. (There's a lot of people and Clubs around where I live of these nationalities.)

    Frankenmuth also does have a great series of polka, Bavarian and music festivals every year ... And I'm a big polka fan. There, I said it. ;-)




    #16
    Sfreader
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2008/01/30 12:41:42 (permalink)
    I never had anyone tell me the food at Lambert's was very good. They just talk about the throwed rolls.

    I've never stopped there - I can throw rolls myself.

    Keith
    #17
    myterry2
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2008/01/30 22:29:45 (permalink)
    The only thing good there is the sides....the rest you can keep. A tourist trap from top to bottom.
    #18
    ashd8516
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2008/02/05 03:14:58 (permalink)
    I seem to love everything that everyone else hates about Frankenmuth. I love the chicken dinners at the Bavarian Inn. I do think the sides are better than the actual chicken but I think the atmosphere of the inn more than makes up for it. The servers and staff are so friendly and the prices are really good. I also love the shops underneath the inn and will always have fond memories for those shops as they were the places where I first discovered chai tea lattes and Milka chocolate bars. I even enjoy just browsing the shops and am happy even if I don't find anything that I don't want to buy. I also think the rest of the shops in Frankenmuth are great too. One shop called Healthy Habitz is one of my favorites because of thier huge selection of Burt's Bees products (they had them way before the drugstores starting carrying them). The cheese/coffee house is a little strange though. I've never thought that there were too many old people and I'm 22. I also like the Birch Run Outlet store and make sure i visit it whenver I go to Frankenmuth.
    #19
    CoastFan
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    RE: Frankenmuth fried chicken 2008/02/24 13:09:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    I have been close but never stopped there. I was advised to get the chicken hot. I was also advised that it was expensive.

    I guess that have a huge Christmas store?

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN


    The store is mentioned in the post directly below yours. Bronners advertises itself as the world's largest Christmas store.

    [urlhttp://www.bronners.com/url]
    #20
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