By Meredith Munk Special to The Herald
Are you tired of restaurants with 20-page menus? Can’t decided between Mexican, Chinese, a deli or a pancake house?
If you are a fried chicken fan, Ezells Famous Chicken makes dinner easy. The modest menu offers limited choices so ordering is a snap and the efficiency of the kitchen makes it quick.
Lines were out the door at the newest Ezell’s in Mill Creek on the day of the Seahawks playoff game, but during the week after, they were far more manageable.
Like fast food restaurants, the menu is posted on boards above the counter. Unlike fast food restaurants, it makes no difference whether you choose to eat in or take out, your order is assembled and packaged in the exact same way. Note that if you are eating in or taking it somewhere other than home, ask for plastic ware, because it won’t be provided automatically.
Also of note: The dining room accommodates about 20 people. It really isn’t intended to be a sit-down place, even though you can. Most people sitting inside are there only a couple of minutes, waiting to grab their orders and go.
Be prepared to identify whether you want your chicken original or spicy. The spicy chicken is marinated and has cayenne in its breading.
Both options offer Ezells’ thick, crunchy coating. Also, plan to know if you want white meat, dark meat or a mixture.
You can order chicken by the piece ($4.90 for two — up to $44.99 for 24), or by the combination. A friend, my husband, Tom, and I tried both two-piece ($7.29) and three-piece combinations ($8.99,) with dark and white meat. Both options had large pieces of juicy, flavorful chicken.
When you take your first bite, you can see the moisture in the hot chicken.
Combinations come with a dinner roll and two sides.
The sides are corn; baked beans, which are flavorful and very sweet; cole slaw, which is creamy, yet crunchy, nice to pair with the chicken; mashed potatoes, which are perfectly lump-free and covered with a rich, delicious gravy; potato salad with a pronounced pickle flavor; it’s good; and rich and creamy macaroni and cheese, with an extra charge as a side dish.
You can also order the sides separately in three sizes ($1.79, $3.49 and $4.79).
The included roll is worthy of a few words. Here they are: popular, puffy, pillowy, light, warm, shaped like a popover, slightly sweet.
Chicken tenders and dipping sauce are also on the menu ($3.99 to $24.99,) as is chicken gizzards.
If you are in a mood for gizzards, the good news is they are cooked to order in original or spicy flavor. The bad news is I did not try them and you are on your own for those.
Same thing with jalapenos ($0.37 each).
Two sweet Southern treats are on the menu for dessert: sweet potato pie ($2.19 for a slice or $12.99 for a whole pie) and peach cobbler ($3.99 for a serving and $35 for a full tray). The peach cobbler is traditional Southern style with a subtle flavor of allspice. It is delicious, especially slightly warm.
A self-serve beverage station includes iced tea, sweetened and plain, plus several pop flavors.
There appears to be plans for a drive-through at this Ezell’s location, a former bank, but when asked, the clerk told me they had no idea when it would open. That will be convenient, but there is parking in back, so getting in and out fast is no problem.
If you want an easy, tasty, fresh fried chicken meal to eat at your own table (or in front of your TV), Ezell’s is the answer.
Ezell’s Famous Chicken
18001 Bothell-Everett Highway, Mill Creek; 425-408-1855; www.ezellschicken.com.
Specialty: Fried chicken.
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Vegetarian options: No.