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 Lanuti's - Ladd, IL

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ScreamingChicken

  • Total Posts: 4729
  • Joined: 11/5/2004
  • Location: Stoughton, WI
Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Sat, 09/3/11 7:26 PM (permalink)
Last Sunday I was planning on visiting Rip's Tavern in Ladd, Illinois for some chicken but by the time I arrived a line had formed and I didn't feel like waiting. Fortunately Rip's isn't the only game in town, as I would soon learn.
 
Welcome to Lanuti's!

 
It might be difficult to see but directly below the rectangular Schlitz sign is an honest-to-goodness mechanical cash register...that's actually in use!  The restaurant was last remodeled in 1941 and it's practically the same today, right down to some 70-year-old whiskey bottles that sit on the bar.  The term "time capsule" comes to mind.

 
I ordered the 2-piece dark meat dinner, which comes with bread, coleslaw or salad (I declined both), and french fries.  It took awhile for the chicken to arrive but when it did it was piping hot.  On the left is an 8-oz. Schlitz (there's no mistaking that Lanuti's is a Schlitz joint) tap that cost me a whole dollar; the chicken was $6.

 
This was some of the best chicken I'd had in a long time.  Not only was it freshly prepared and hot, but the meat was juicy without being too greasy and the skin was deliciously crisp; it reminded me a little bit of Nick's in Madison.

 
The owner (Marty) was working the bar while I was there and since it was only about 4pm and not yet very busy he was able to tell me a little bit about Lanuti's.  He used to bartend there and eventually bought it from the granddaughter of the original owner, and she had actually been in the night before for dinner.  And even though Lanuti's doesn't have a significant dress code to speak of he's always dressed in a shirt, slacks, and tie, and it fits with the atmosphere (including the big band music).  Lanuti's gets my vote as a Cool Place and I'm definitely planning on stopping again when I get the chance.
 
Brad
 
#1
    ann peeples

    • Total Posts: 8317
    • Joined: 5/21/2006
    • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
    Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Sun, 09/4/11 1:47 AM (permalink)
    That sounds like my kind of place! The chicken looks excellent, and the atmosphere sounds even better. And who wouldnt love a cold Schlitz from the tap for a buck!
     
    #2
      danimal15

      • Total Posts: 1092
      • Joined: 8/7/2003
      • Location: Chicago, IL
      Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Thu, 06/14/12 4:59 PM (permalink)
      I didn't realize there was another chicken place in Ladd. Sounds like it's worth a try, but I love Rips so it'll be hard to go anywhere else.
       
      #3
        ScreamingChicken

        • Total Posts: 4729
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        • Location: Stoughton, WI
        Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Fri, 06/15/12 9:44 AM (permalink)
        If you're with your family get a carryout order from each and do a side-by-side comparison.
         
        #4
          kland01s

          • Total Posts: 2835
          • Joined: 3/14/2003
          • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
          Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Fri, 06/15/12 11:36 AM (permalink)
          Brad, Check out lthforum.com in the Beyond Chicagoland section and there is quite a bit about bar chicken all around that part of Illinois. Poster jimswside lives out that way and has checked places out around the area and has photos, menus and addresses. I'm not a chicken eater so I haven't joined in any of these treks but do enjoy Cajun Connection when I am out that way.
           
          #5
            BuddyRoadhouse

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            • Location: Des Plaines, IL
            Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Fri, 06/15/12 1:36 PM (permalink)
            I think we need to do an overnight Contingent trip exploring the Fried Chicken of LaSalle County, with a side trip to Ron's Cajun Connection.
             
            Buddy
             
            #6
              ScreamingChicken

              • Total Posts: 4729
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              • Location: Stoughton, WI
              Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Fri, 06/15/12 1:42 PM (permalink)
              BuddyRoadhouse


              I think we need to do an overnight Contingent trip exploring the Fried Chicken of LaSalle County, with a side trip to Ron's Cajun Connection.

              I suggest Aug. 26-27, since I'll already be in the area.
               
              #7
                ann peeples

                • Total Posts: 8317
                • Joined: 5/21/2006
                • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Fri, 06/15/12 2:16 PM (permalink)
                I think you guys need to come to Milwaukee this time!!!!!!!!!!!!Love you all!!!!!!!
                 
                #8
                  ken8038

                  • Total Posts: 1559
                  • Joined: 2/4/2004
                  • Location: scotch plains, NJ
                  Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Fri, 06/15/12 5:27 PM (permalink)
                  It's probably been 30 years since I've seen Schlitz on tap in the NY/NJ Metro area. There's places with like 30,40, 50 and more different taps, but just try and find Schlitz. I'm envious, I used to love that stuff, the colder the better!
                   
                  #9
                    BuddyRoadhouse

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                    • Location: Des Plaines, IL
                    Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Fri, 06/15/12 10:42 PM (permalink)
                    ann peeples

                    I think you guys need to come to Milwaukee this time!!!!!!!!!!!!Love you all!!!!!!!

                    Annie, I'm ready to make the trip north!  I'm waiting for one of you Cheeseheads to grab the reins and plan the next Milwaukee tour.  Tell me where you want to go and when and I'll be there.  Unless I'm working that day.
                     
                    Buddy
                     
                    #10
                      kland01s

                      • Total Posts: 2835
                      • Joined: 3/14/2003
                      • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
                      Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Wed, 06/20/12 10:15 AM (permalink)
                      Someone revived the chicken of LaSalle County thread that was begun in 2005 on lthforum.com. Plenty of places to explore!
                       
                      http://www.lthforum.com/b...c.php?f=15&t=21269
                       
                      #11
                        danimal15

                        • Total Posts: 1092
                        • Joined: 8/7/2003
                        • Location: Chicago, IL
                        Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Tue, 06/26/12 1:52 PM (permalink)
                        We'll have to get out there and do a roadtrip once my wife and I are off of Weight Watchers (I'm not overweight but I'm on the program to help her stay motivated). Meanwhile, I visited this fried chicken thread in an attempt to live vicariously!
                         
                        #12
                          ezrydr

                          • Total Posts: 14
                          • Joined: 9/13/2012
                          • Location: Illinois (I-80 corridor)
                          Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Tue, 09/18/12 12:22 PM (permalink)
                          Having lived just a little while east of Ladd, I have visited Rip's many times over the years, however, I have never been to Lanuti's.
                           
                          Looks like it's time to give it a try.
                           
                          #13
                            stricken_detective

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                            Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Tue, 09/25/12 4:34 AM (permalink)
                            Lanuti sounds Italian. They didn't have any ravioli?
                             
                            #14
                              stricken_detective

                              • Total Posts: 2330
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                              Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Tue, 09/25/12 4:40 AM (permalink)
                              They have ravs AND chicken parm. Shame on you.
                               
                              Also they serve turtle.     I'm guessing that little store we saw in Chinatown wasn't a pet store...since they had produce in the window opposite the turtle tank. If I win the lottery, I'm going back to that store, buying all the turtles, putting them down on the ground outside & screaming "Run for your lives!!!"

                               
                              #15
                                danimal15

                                • Total Posts: 1092
                                • Joined: 8/7/2003
                                • Location: Chicago, IL
                                Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Thu, 10/31/13 5:29 PM (permalink)
                                Happy to report we recently ate fried chicken at Lanuti's and it was wonderful - even better than across the street at Rips, in my opinion.
                                 
                                It took a long time to get to the table after we ordered, which to me was a good sign that it was being made by scratch. When it arrived, it was hot and crispy on the outside and juicy and flavorful on the inside. All four of us (wife, me, kids) ordered the half chicken dinners, and we couldn't have been happier. 
                                 
                                We also liked the old-time feel of the place and the friendly guy behind the bar. The Bears game was on - another plus. We'd come back her any time.
                                 
                                #16
                                  ScreamingChicken

                                  • Total Posts: 4729
                                  • Joined: 11/5/2004
                                  • Location: Stoughton, WI
                                  Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Fri, 11/1/13 1:46 PM (permalink)
                                  Wow, it's already been 2 years since I was there...I've been meaning to take Mrs. Chicken there as part of a visit to Starved Rock but time has a habit of slipping away!  I'm glad you and your family enjoyed the chicken, Dan.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    danimal15

                                    • Total Posts: 1092
                                    • Joined: 8/7/2003
                                    • Location: Chicago, IL
                                    Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Fri, 11/1/13 5:59 PM (permalink)
                                    I wish we could get there more often, but it's 4 hours round trip from the northern suburbs of Chicago. Any thoughts on good fried chicken out where we are?
                                     
                                    #18
                                      ScreamingChicken

                                      • Total Posts: 4729
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                                      Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Fri, 11/1/13 7:07 PM (permalink)
                                      Sorry, I have no idea.  Perhaps Buddy, Abe, or one of the other Chi-folks will have some thoughts.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        ezrydr

                                        • Total Posts: 14
                                        • Joined: 9/13/2012
                                        • Location: Illinois (I-80 corridor)
                                        Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Sat, 11/2/13 7:52 AM (permalink)
                                        Whenever I'm near the city I find me a Harold's Chicken Shack.
                                         
                                        I also like Del Rheas Chicken Basket & White Fence Farm, but I always end up back at Harold's when I'm up that way.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          BuddyRoadhouse

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                                          • Location: Des Plaines, IL
                                          Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Wed, 11/6/13 9:38 PM (permalink)
                                          ScreamingChicken
                                          Sorry, I have no idea.  Perhaps Buddy, Abe, or one of the other Chi-folks will have some thoughts.
                                          There's been a Barbecue and Fried Chicken BOOM lately, here in Chicago.  The success of Smoque has spurred the 'Que onslaught, some of them damn good, others spotty.  Honky Tonk BBQ, Barn & Co., Lillie's Q, and Rub's Backcountry Smokehouse are just a few of the newcomers since Smoque's arrival.
                                           
                                          The Contingent recently visited Milt's Barbecue For The Perplexed, a kosher greasehouse, with mixed results.  Opinions differed on many of the items we tried, but there was agreement on one thing: The Barbecue was the weakest thing we were served.  Outstanding Smoked Chicken Wings, and excellent Gribenes (not a regular menu item; we goaded them into making up a platter) were at the top of the list.  Other sides and apps, including the house-made Beef Bacon, were good, but no real standouts.  The Brisket was what we were all waiting for (what else?  Not a pig within a hundred yards of this place) and it turned out to be a disappointment.  Small portions of overdone beef with a slight burnt taste.  I'd go back for the Wings alone, and maybe to try the Milt's Burger, but until they get their act together on the brisket, I'll pass.
                                           
                                          The real issue here, though, is Fried Chicken.  Parson's Chicken & Fish, Honey Butter Fried Chicken, and Small's have gotten plenty of love lately over at LTHForum.  I can speak personally to Honey Butter and Small's, and declare them FANTASTIC!
                                           
                                          I'll start with Small's as they fulfill both the Fried Chicken and BBQ categories. The guys who own and operate Small's started out in Chicago's growing food truck industry.  They are to chicken and 'Que what Hot Doug is to hot dogs.  That is to say, they've taken two distinctly American foods and elevated them through fusion concepts executed as high culinary art.
                                           
                                          In this case, the fusion mixes down home cookin' with Asian spices and a touch of Mexican for good measure.  Sure, you can get a slab of ribs, but these will bring back memories of the Spare Rib appetizers commonly found at Chinese restaurants of the '60s.  They're beautifully smoked of course, but a hit of Chinese Five Spice gives them their edge.  Likewise the brisket, served straight as a sandwich or platter, or as one element of a Korean Bibimbap.
                                           
                                          The sides also reflect the mix of cultures.  Toasted Garlic Rice and what they call "cole slaw", that's really a Korean style Cucumber Salad, top the list.  My only quibble with the "slaw" is that they serve a miniscule portion, and it's just so darn good, ya gotta have more.  The Mexican twist comes in the form of charred Elotes, replacing margarine and crema with a dollop of Japanese spicy mayo. 
                                           
                                          I've managed to work my way around Small's entire (brief) menu.  In addition to the 'Que, they serve a mean Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken.  Brilliantly crispy, with a very light batter coating, deep flavor from both the chicken and the buttermilk.  The chicken dinner comes with the house cut fries, Texas toast, and Banana Ketchup for the fries.
                                           
                                          The only problem with Small's is that they live up to their name.  This a tiny box of a store with virtually no seating.  There's a stand up counter for dining in, but I'd say 90% of their business is takeaway.  In spite of that one limitation Small's earns a high recommendation!
                                           
                                          Honey Butter Fried Chicken is the newest kid on the block.  I've only made one visit, because this is definitely not "value" dining.  A two piece dinner, that only comes with a side of corn bread, will run you eight bucks.  Four pieces will set you back $15.  I know that's going to raise some eyebrows and some hackles, but I'll tell you what, as a once-in-a-while treat, this stuff is totally worth it.  Visit Harold's once a week; drop by Honey Butter once every couple of months.
                                           
                                          The one value I saw, and tried, was the "Fried Chicken Sammy".  This was the single biggest boneless, skinless chicken thigh I've ever seen.  It outsized the massive bun, and was so thick I could barely get my jaws around it.  It's served with a Candied Jalapeno Mayo and a side of slaw.  The chicken itself was wonderful.  The not-too-thick, audibly crunchy batter gave way to a juicy, flavorful hunk of thigh meat.  After your teeth enjoy the rough textured coating, the meat melts in your mouth with rich chicken flavor.  I'd get that sandwich again in a heartbeat and look forward to trying other menu items.
                                           
                                          BTW, the name "Honey Butter" comes from the side of honey butter served with the dinners. Apparently, you spread the butter on the still hot chicken and it adds a whole new dimension to an already fantastic piece of bird.
                                           
                                          Based on the number of BBQ Joints that have sprung up in Smoque's successful wake, I imagine we'll see more and more Fried Chicken places in the very near future.
                                           
                                          Buddy
                                          <message edited by BuddyRoadhouse on Wed, 11/6/13 9:39 PM>
                                           
                                          #21
                                            ScreamingChicken

                                            • Total Posts: 4729
                                            • Joined: 11/5/2004
                                            • Location: Stoughton, WI
                                            Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Thu, 11/7/13 9:06 AM (permalink)
                                            I checked the map and see that Smoque and Smalls aren't that far apart; even better, they're close to I-90.
                                             
                                            So Honey Butter uses thighs instead of breasts for its chicken sandwiches?  Oh, happy day...any time I come across a recipe calling for boneless, skinless breasts I substitute thighs but this might be the first time I've heard about them being used in a restaurant.
                                             
                                            Hmmm...Danimal's initial post and Buddy's response would be a great starter for a "Chicago Fried Chicken" thread.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              BuddyRoadhouse

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                                              • Location: Des Plaines, IL
                                              Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Thu, 11/7/13 12:32 PM (permalink)
                                              Not only are Smoque and Small's close together, a new competitor, with a Chicago 'Que veteran in the kitchen, is preparing to open in the neighborhood.
                                               
                                              Larry Tucker, who's N.N. Smokehouse was considered by many to be the best Barbecue Joint on the north side until he ran into "landlord" problems about 10 years ago, is now partnering up with another local restaurateur to open a new venture called "Q" at the corner of Irving Park and Ravenswood.
                                               
                                              I met Larry in the very early days of Roadhouse Bar-B-Que Sauce and we became good buddies.  I left him some samples and he liked them so much, he started serving our "Hot, Sweet & Tangy" sauce in addition to his house made product.
                                               
                                              I'm eagerly awaiting his return to the Chicago 'Que scene.
                                               
                                              Buddy
                                               
                                              P.S. I kinda lost track of the fact that this was a thread about Lanuti's and LaSalle County Fried Chicken.  Hope my ramblings about Chicago places doesn't grab focus.  Maybe the mods will create a new "Chicago Barbecue and Fried Chicken" thread as you suggest.
                                               
                                              B.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                danimal15

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                                                • Location: Chicago, IL
                                                Re:Lanuti's - Ladd, IL Wed, 11/20/13 4:15 PM (permalink)
                                                Thanks, Buddy. I have to get back to Smoque soon.
                                                 
                                                #24
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