Champion Chicken feeds hungry nor'westerners
Have you seen the chicken? No, not the Rhythm Chicken. I'm talking about that huge bird roosting atop a white van decorated with the Champion Chicken logo?
Champion Chicken, 8718 W. Lisbon Ave., on the Northwest Side since 1959, is something of a throwback to the days when neighborhood places ruled the roost.
The dining room is open late (until midnight every day) and there's a counter, where even on a Saturday, just before closing time, there are regulars chatting up the young staff.
Neighborhood memorabilia adorns the walls of the dining room, with dark wood benches and an assortment of knick-knacks.
But don't come for the decor, come for the good, home-style food. Most times, the dining room is doing a brisk business in, of course, fried chicken, but also in hamburgers, sandwiches and frozen custard.
You haven't seen busy, though, until you've clocked the pickup counter next door on a Friday at dinner time. A window opens up to a large staff running hither and thither preparing hundreds of fish dinners, fried chicken meals and more for the steady stream of customers popping in to pick up a quick meal.
Amazingly enough, even when the rush is on, the counter staff is all smiles and cheer. How do they do it?
The Champion Chicken menu is wide-ranging, like any good family restaurant. There are salads, soups, chili, hot and cold sandwiches, burgers, seafood, fried chicken, ribs, meatloaf, pasta, pizza and Mexican fare.
However, it is lacking in any breakfast choices, since the place doesn't open until 11 a.m. This leaves the late-night diner with a yen for an omelet out of luck, though.
The Chicken also delivers and caters, if you can't make it over there.
But make it over there, you should, because only there can you purchase the awesome midnight blue muscle-flexing Champion Chicken t-shirt for $15! It is, at the moment, the coolest Milwaukee t-shirt around.
The Chicken sometimes hosts events, like a recent car show in the parking lot, too.
Call Champion Chicken at (414) 462-6200 or visit it on the Internet at championchicken.net.
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Dear Champion Chicken People: said: I read in a recent article that you were looking for a replacement for your metal chicken-top for your van. Fiberglass was mentioned... My Uncle Jerome "Jerry" Vettrus is a master sculptor and former owner of F.A.S.T. in Sparta, WI, the home of a whole lot of fiberglass oddities and fantastic creations. Give them a call and tell them that Christian Vettrus told you to look them up. I am sure that you would be amazed at the work that they could do, and I guarantee that they can replicate the rooftop chicken as precisely as you like. Sincerely, Christian E. Vettrus Hey, will you ever deliver to Sherman Park? (47th)
Lari Pett said: Champion Chicken to add Onion Straws to your regular appetizer menu. Having them available only on Wednesdays and with orders of special sandwiches is losing some sales. I know I certainly would order them more from you if they were available and I'm sure others would too.
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