Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review

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danimal15
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2004/06/25 11:09:18 (permalink)

Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review

I think someone here mentioned this place previously. Here's a review of it by Pat Bruno in the Chicago Sun-Times from last week. I definitely have to try it! It's just a matter of convincing the wife and kids to join me for several hours of driving and 15 minutes of eating!


RIP'S TAVERN

Destination: Starved Rock State Park. Food quest: Fried chicken.

Ladd, Ill. (population, 1,313), is not even on the road atlas I keep in my car. Take exit 70 (Spring Valley/Ladd) off Interstate 80, and drive a few miles north on Ill. Hwy. 89 until you come to a brick building with a line out the door and a big neon chicken in the window. The structure housing Rip's Chicken has recently been rebuilt, but Rip's goes back to 1936 (Rip's grandson runs the place).

Though some might call Rip's a chicken shack, there is a certain charm about this 100-plus-seat restaurant/tavern. Atmosphere aside, the deal here is the fried chicken, and if you can find any better fried chicken than this, let me know. I do know this: There's a good reason for that line out the door just about every weekend. This is fried chicken -- crunchy and crispy on the outside, moist and flavorful clear to the bone -- that you will drool over.

Have your mind made up when you get asked "Light or dark?" That's it, and "it" is delicious. The quarter chicken gets plopped atop and alongside a haystack of decent fries and a slice of Italian bread. Even though you get a fork, you will be licking your fingers. This is the best paper-plate eating you will find outside a church bake sale. It's three bucks for the dark chicken and $3.50 for the light. Sliced pickles, coleslaw and, when appropriate, "crumbs," which is the batter droppings from the chicken as it is being fried. Tip: If you want to avoid the weekend lines, try to get to Rip's before 7 p.m.

Rip's Tavern, 311 North Main, Ladd, Ill.; (815) 894-3051. Hours: Wednesday 4:40-10 p.m.; Thursday 5-9:30 p.m.; Friday 4:40-10 p.m. Saturday 4:40-11 p.m.; Sunday 2:40-10:30 p.m.





#1

16 Replies Related Threads

    michaelgemmell
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2004/06/25 20:22:11 (permalink)
    Thanks, Danimal, you're making me hungry! One more place I gotta try to fit into my schedule!
    #2
    davebil
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2004/06/26 23:19:50 (permalink)
    The lines just got longer...
    #3
    glennpan
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2004/06/29 15:35:53 (permalink)
    Danimal,

    Rip's is the place that I posted about last year. The review is very accurate. That is aside from the Italian bread. Rip's puts a slice of Wonder bread underneath the chicken to absorb the juices. As one poster mentioned, make sure to stop at Torrie's for ice cream on your way out of town to complete the experience.

    For some reason the light meat does come out considerably better, so keep that in mind when ordering. For those driving out after a day at Starved Rock, it is a 20-25 minute drive.

    Glenn
    #4
    danimal15
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2004/07/02 11:19:50 (permalink)
    Thanks, Glenn. I can't wait to try it. And the ice cream place.

    Dan
    #5
    shaas
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2004/08/10 13:21:24 (permalink)
    If you go to Rip's, be a local and pick up the batter crumbs with the sliced pickles, making kind of a crumb-taco. Try not to slide across the greasy floor on your way out the door.

    If you're still hungry (I don't know how), you can check out Lanuti's turtle soup across the street from Rip's chicken. But best to save for Torrie's ice cream, though, I agree.

    Ahhh, Ladd. Wonderful little pig-out town. Definitely making a trip during Mendota's Sweetcorn Festival this weekend.
    #6
    tsores
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2004/11/15 09:25:24 (permalink)
    I stopped into Rip's yesterday (Sunday) at 4:00 PM. I was disappointed to find a line of around 80 people waiting to sit down. I proceeded to the take out counter where I was informed that they could get me a carry out order in around 40 minutes. I didn't have the time so I moved on.

    While at the counter, I saw the chicken operation. They must have had 5 fryers holding 10 baskets of chicken. The chicken coming out looked scrumptous.

    A word to the wise: either get there at an off hour or be prepared to wait a long time. But it may just be worth it.
    #7
    danimal15
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2004/11/18 10:21:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tsores

    I stopped into Rip's yesterday (Sunday) at 4:00 PM. I was disappointed to find a line of around 80 people waiting to sit down. I proceeded to the take out counter where I was informed that they could get me a carry out order in around 40 minutes. I didn't have the time so I moved on.

    While at the counter, I saw the chicken operation. They must have had 5 fryers holding 10 baskets of chicken. The chicken coming out looked scrumptous.

    A word to the wise: either get there at an off hour or be prepared to wait a long time. But it may just be worth it.


    Thanks for the advice. Sorry you didn't get to partake. Probably 4 p.m. is prime dinner time out in the hinterlands, so maybe coming at 5 or 6 would be a better idea.
    #8
    Illinois
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2006/01/06 22:44:55 (permalink)
    See this thread,
    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4450
    #9
    Jim Ross
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2006/01/07 14:19:17 (permalink)
    The last time I was there, they didn't serve chicken until 4:30, Weds thru Sunday only.
    #10
    UncleVic
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2006/01/07 16:44:17 (permalink)
    Just out of curiosity, is this pan fried or deep fried chicken?
    #11
    Illinois
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2006/01/07 20:33:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    Just out of curiosity, is this pan fried or deep fried chicken?
    Deep fried chicken in fryers.
    #12
    Illinois
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2006/01/07 20:38:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by shaas

    If you go to Rip's, be a local and pick up the batter crumbs with the sliced pickles, making kind of a crumb-taco. Try not to slide across the greasy floor on your way out the door.

    If you're still hungry (I don't know how), you can check out Lanuti's turtle soup across the street from Rip's chicken. But best to save for Torrie's ice cream, though, I agree.

    Ahhh, Ladd. Wonderful little pig-out town. Definitely making a trip during Mendota's Sweetcorn Festival this weekend.
    MENDOTA'S SWEET CORN FESTIVAL TO FEATURE SWEET CORN AND MUCH MORE
    Tons of free, hot, buttered, delicious Del Monte sweet corn will be the highlight of the annual Sweet Corn Festival to be held in Mendota, Illinois on the second weekend in August.
    The Mendota Area Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the gigantic undertaking of hosting over 60,000 visitors, who consume nearly 50 tons of sweet corn during the festival weekend.

    Don't miss the excitement for the festival offers a variety of entertainment events for the entire family. The events take place primarily in the downtown area, and with the exception of the beer garden, have no admission fees or parking fees.

    Free musical entertainment is in abundance. The Crafters Market Place and flea market features over 200 dealers in hand made crafts and unique merchandise. There is a Queen Pageant, beer garden with live bands, grand parade and a carnival with rides and games for both adults and children, plus much more.

    The midways are lined with food booths, featuring a multitude of ethnic, regional and festival foods, but the "BIG EVENT" is the serving of the free Del Monte sweet corn on Sunday afternoon. For over many years, it has been cooked to its golden goodness with the help of a vintage steam engine.

    If you would like to take some of the memories of Mendota's Sweet Corn Festival home with you, the Mendota Chamber will be selling fresh Del Monte sweet corn by the bag on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the festival.

    The good times are waiting, the welcome mat is out, come to Mendota for one of the Midwest's oldest and largest harvest festivals, the annual Sweet Corn Festival.
    http://www.sweetcornfestival.com/
    #13
    Illinois
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    RE: Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2006/01/07 21:38:59 (permalink)
    La Salle County, Illinois. Where to Eat... Dining/Restuarants! All @ http://www.heritagecorridorcvb.com/lasalle/lwhattoeat.htm
    #14
    Twoody
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    Re:Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2011/05/25 11:33:07 (permalink)
    My husband grew up in the area and introduced me to Rip's about 22 years ago. It is the best Fried Chicken that I have had yet. And yes, it is definitely worth the wait!!
    #15
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2011/05/25 13:44:25 (permalink)
    Just because I'm curious, does it take long to get from Starved Rock S. P. to Rip's?  I'm planning on a Sunday night stay in August and wouldn't mind hitting Ron's Cajun Connection in Utica for lunch and Rip's for dinner...
     
    Brad
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    ezrydr
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    Re:Rip's Tavern in Illinois for fried chicken-review 2012/09/18 12:28:02 (permalink)
    A local treasure!
    #17
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