is a short month so to make sure it didn't get away from me I took care of business this past Saturday at Prairie Diner
, in business in Sun Prairie, WI since 1967. "Southern Fried Chicken" is not only the first listed entree
but it even gets it own little box, which tells me they're pretty proud of it.
The building is tucked away by McDonald's and Fuzzy's Liquor on Windsor Street, just east of the US-151 interchange.
The interior may be a little dated but it was clean and comfortable. On the other side of the wall is the counter area.
I believe fellow in the kitchen is the current owner, who bought the restaurant about a year ago. I was sitting in the corner by the "front" door, which is really the side door that leads directly into the main area.
The soup of the day was a nice, beefy French onion with plenty of but not too many onions; I've mentioned it before but I'm not a fan of the onion stew that some places sell as soup. And as a bonus the onion pieces were fairly small and soft, which is how I like them.
Hopefully one of my visits will be to a restaurant that offers chicken gravy but this day I had to settle for brown gravy on my potatoes - a very good, hearty brown gravy at that.
And eventually I did get to the chicken.
The first thing I noticed was that the pieces were definitely smaller than usual; the breast (shown above) was the size of the thighs that many other restaurants offer. But that in no way is a negative because it allowed the chicken to be cooked faster and the meat was tender and juicy, which leads me to believe that Prairie Diner might use young birds. I much prefer dark meat and always save the breast for last because it can sometimes be dry but that definitely wasn't the case here as it was just as good as the other pieces.
The other big hit was the crust. It was crispy, crunchy, coarse and pebbly with a good flavor and the right amount of seasoning, although I did get one bite that seemed to be a bit salty...perhaps some salt had clumped a little bit during the mixing process. In any case it certainly wasn't a big deal and this is the kind of crust that kids like myself love.
Prairie Diner has a definite local feel as most of the customers and staff appeared to be on a first-name basis with each other, and if it was closer to my house I'd easily make the occasional stop. In fact, the other boxed entree on the menu is hot roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy and that's one of my favorites so I just might have to make a return visit before too long...