In a world where restaurants shutter after a fortnight and "historic" is laughably used to mean "established in 1988", it's nice to see a genuine icon (yes, nosh counts!) making it to 75.
Maybe it's the formula--pure comfort food that's virtually unchanged since day one, way back in 1934, when Walter Knott convinced his wife Cordelia to add more items to her modest tea room menu.
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A legend was born: country-fried chicken, mash and gravy, salad (for health!), corn or cabbage with ham, all-you-can-eat buttermilk biscuits with Knott's preserves, plus a choice of boysenberry pie, apple pie or boysenberry sherbet to round it all off.
It costs a few cents more these days ($15.95 for the whole shebang), but it sounds like good ole gut-busting, recession-proof grub to me.
Not only is the eaterie the largest full-service, single-location chicken restaurant in the world (yes, there are billions of qualifiers there, but still), but Knott's is also where the boysenberry was born (they were developed on the farm by Walter and his pal Rudolph Boysen). Weirdly, it doesn't seem to be acknowledged as the only theme park in the world created to entertain the lines of people waiting to be served the chick-fest, but surely it must be?
June 13 is the big day, with a wee ceremony rededicating Knott's as an Orange County Historic landmark at 1:00pm, attended by Marion Knott, daughter of Walt 'n' Cord. And from this Saturday through the end of the month there's a daily boysenberry pie-eating competition in the park, and, in the restaurant, regular contests and a "local celebrity server night" on June 22 (Gustavo: be on the lookout!)