ice cream making and ranting

Monday, October 16, 2006

La Palma Chicken Pie Shop

Everyone knows of my disdain for travel, really, even going so far as to leave the county is a bit much. It really is a different world out there. But my recent venture out to Orange County was well rewarded by the kinds of differences worth having.

The La Palma Chicken Pie Shop is my new favorite restaurant. I don’t think any one place has ever made me so happy. I drove past it one night when the neon sign was on, and I knew I had to visit. And it so exceeded my expectations, I can barely form sentences just thinking about it.

You walk in, under their crazy neon chicken pie sign, into the bakery. There are glass cases filled with diner sorts of cakes, and pretty traditional looking cookies and cupcakes. Good, solid food, nothing too fancy, the way grandma cooks for special occasions.

And just when I’m not expecting things to get any better, they usher us into the diner. Not some lame new diner made to look retro, and not some old diner they updated 10 years ago and haven’t kept up. This place is straight out of the late 60’s/early 70’s. The place is brown. The curtains are shades of brown and gold. There are macramé plant holders. There’s a lunch counter and plenty of booths. And everything is in great shape.

We give the menu a once over, but we know we have to have chicken pies. And for about $7 you get salad or coleslaw, your choice of soup, your choice of potato, rolls, chicken pie, and your choice of dessert. Surely, this is too good to be true. But it is true!

The salad was just a small dish of iceberg. Whatever, diners aren’t supposed to have good salad. The chicken noodle soup was the start of the greatness. A strange yellowy-orange color, but delicious and creamy and just the sort of thing I like.

Then dinner came. Check out this guy’s review. My plate looked an awful lot like his, with slightly less sauce, I think. The chicken pie people are clearly after my heart, an entire plate covered in delicious yellow-orange sauce. The chicken pies are just that. Delicious fork tender crust wrapped around chicken pieces. No veggies, no filler, just flaked off chicken, not even those creepy chicken cubes that Marie Callender is so fond of. The mashed potatoes were the perfect compliment. Although, I will admit the fries tasted pretty good in the sauce too.

As I was eating, and trying not to be overcome by the sheer amazingness of my situation, some people came in. They were regulars. The waitress knew who they were, and what they eat and about their lives. And I vowed I would become a regular, someday, somehow. And that was before the dessert.

I was pretty full, but determined. There was a lot of choice of dessert. Pudding, jello (oh diners, how quaint), ice cream, pie, possibly cake? They had boysenberry pie, and that’s something I just can’t refuse. It definitely holds its own against Knott’s, it was a bit tarter (good), and a little less thick (not as good), but definitely good.

I am in love. And I’ve vowed to quit the library business and take over the chicken pie business if I ever hear of it being in trouble. Anytime you’re ever in Anaheim, the chicken pie shop is well worth the stop. Even if you’re not in Anaheim, it’s worth the trip. Anytime anyone wants to go, just call me.

Later in the day we found ourselves at the Block at Orange, only to find a bit more strangeness. At least 30 deaf people outside of Starbucks signing to themselves. And not the shut-in sort of deaf people. Stylish, I might even say thugged out, young people enjoying themselves despite the drizzle, and breaking every deaf stereotype I could think of. It was pretty cool.


  • At October 16, 2006 9:36 PM, Blogger lydia said…

    It all sounds good except the colors used in your description. 70's orange and brown is so not me. Macrame too... still, the food sounds worth a visit. How far is Anaheim from San Diego?

  • At October 17, 2006 12:58 AM, Blogger lyan! said…

    mmm.... and I live in Orange County. How has this escaped me?! Shit, and now I have to wait a year.


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