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If you’re heading out to Knott’s Berry Farm and you like fried chicken, you really should plan on eating at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant while you’re there. During our first visit to Knott’s Berry Farm last year, we had a yummy lunch at the restaurant. When I read that you can try numerous boysenberry menu items, I knew we had to give it a shot. The boysenberry is central to the history of the park, and I’d never tasted one, so the idea was too tempting to resist. Apparently, the boysenberry is a cross between a red raspberry, a blackberry, and a loganberry.
It’s also a great way to break up the day and relax in the middle of park touring. You really can’t miss it; we walked right on by as we headed to the front gate from the parking lot. Yes, it’s outside the park, but if you get your hand stamped, you can walk right back into the park after your meal.
Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner–The Restaurant
You could make the argument that the restaurant started it all. The Knott family started out selling berries along the highway in the 1920s. In 1934, the family opened and ran a fried chicken restaurant out of a tea room. That tea room is part of the restaurant today, and you can still be seated there. As Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant gained popularity, the family began adding shops and attractions around the restaurant so that patrons would have something to do while they waited for a table. Then, Mr. Knott added his “Ghost Town” and the business became a theme park.
We’d arrived at the park before opening as we like to do for theme parks. It was a cooler day in late May, and the crowds were low in the morning. We did most of the rides that we thought would have lines first, and we started at the back of the park. We also had a late lunch, so when we did arrive, hardly anyone was eating in the restaurant. If you do have to wait for a table, they’ve recently added a new waiting area.
Over the years, Mrs. Knotts Chicken Dinner Restaurant has added dining areas to the tea room. They also have patio seating, and you can get chicken dinners to go. The hostess seated us in the barn dining room.
Overall, the theme of the restaurant is rustic with a homey feel. We felt right at home.
Mrs. Knotts’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant–The Food
If you recall, when I said they had boysenberry menu items I wanted to try, I wasn’t kidding. I wanted to maximize my boysenberry experience. So, of course, I had to try boysenberry iced tea.
It was yummy! Kristin and Jeff decided to have chicken tenders while I had chicken pieces. First, you get to select appetizers. I had homemade chicken noodle soup and a salad with boysenberry salad dressing.
Soon, the biscuits with butter and boysenberry jam arrived.
Before we knew it, the chicken was ready.
I was already getting full.
I ate what I could, but I had to save room for a taste of boysenberry pie. We could’ve taken it to go, but I didn’t want to carry it when we went back to the park. If I wasn’t already stuffed, I would’ve added a scoop of boysenberry ice cream.
If you’re like I was and had never tasted a boysenberry, they taste a lot like blackberries. Blackberries are not my favorite fruit, but it’s not because of the flavor; it’s a texture thing. I don’t like the hard seeds. This pie was a lot like blackberry pie.
For me, the flavor is good, but I don’t enjoy the crunch. Of all of the boysenberry things I tried, this was the only thing that kept the texture, so I can say I enjoyed boysenberries. I’m not sure I’d get the pie again, though. If you love blackberries, you’ll love it. I’m glad I tried it, though!
Overall, we had a nice lunch at Mrs. Knott’s. It definitely beats typical theme park food, and if you eat lunch, the price isn’t much higher. I’m glad we gave this a try, and it was a great way to relax a bit before continuing to explore the park. If you love chicken, give this restaurant a shot!
Check out these links to read about our adventures in Los Angeles: