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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Chicken Coop - Costa Mesa

414 Old Newport Blvd
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 645-6086‎

The Chicken Coop is an unusual little place. In the words of my father, "It looks like this place hasn't been cleaned in a decade." It's the kind of place where you walk in and find peanut shells all over the floor. It's also a strictly cash only joint. I kind of like places like this though.

I visited the Chicken Coop for lunch the other day with J. We waded through the layer of sawdust and peanut shells on the floor and found a table. We were handed a couple of sticky menus by a friendly waiter. We looked over the menu and everything sounded yummy. J was in the mood for breakfast. She asked the waiter if they still served breakfast at lunchtime. They did. She decided to order the pancakes with bacon and eggs ($4.99). Since she made breakfast sound so good, I decided to order the Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs ($8.95) instead of the lunch special I had been pondering.

After we ordered I started looking at the table. It had logos from a bunch of different restaurants in Orange County. It seems as if they were all related to The Chicken Coop. I hadn't heard of any of them before though, so I have a feeling that they're all gone. I could be wrong though. It also looks like this place is also known as Zubie's Chicken Coop. On the awning outside though, it looks like the word Zubie's was taken off, so maybe Zubie doesn't own it anymore. Some of the other restaurants on the table were Zubie's Pizza and Zubie's Dry Dock (which I just discovered is still open in Huntington Beach).

Our food arrived pretty quickly. My meal looked delicious. On my plate was a nice sized chicken fried steak, three perfectly poached eggs and some hash browns. I believe that the chicken fried steak was made from a pork cutlet instead of the more traditional beef steak. It was juicy and tender. The batter on it seemed to be more of a beer batter than breading. It made it extra crispy and very good. It was a little on the bland side, but some salt really helped. The picture also makes the portion look small. I think the plate was just big though. It was actually big enough that I couldn't finish everything on my plate.

J said that her meal was just average. It's kind of hard to go above average though with pancakes, eggs and bacon.

Halfway through our meal, J commented on how weird it was that the floor was covered in peanut shells, yet they didn't serve us any peanuts. I stopped and thought for a minute and realized I had never had peanuts there. I asked the waiter if they actually served peanuts and he said he would bring us some. I guess if you want some, you have to ask.

The Chicken Coop is a nice place to go if you are looking for a casual, no frills, inexpensive meal. Just make sure to bring cash with you if you go.

Zubies Chicken Coop on Urbanspoon


Chubbypanda said...

Peanut shells with no peanuts? Danger! Danger! Gimmicky window dressing.

Anonymous said...

yes, this used to be Zubies Chicken Coop. It was 1 of 3 in the area - Zubies Gilded Cage (closed a while back, used to be on Placentia near 19th), and of course Zubies Dry Dock on Adams and Magnolia in Huntington Beach.

Chris Moudy said...

We drove across country moving back from VA to Southern CA in 2003. First stop on arrival was The Chicken Coop. The owner still knew my favorite drink ~ cherry coke with a little chocolate sirup which he brought without me asking, each time I would visit! Our experience was excellent because it was more of a hang-out for locals on the bar side. On the other side you could get an elegant meal in peace and quiet which the bar wasn't after 5 pm :). The food was always great, especially the BBQ chicken pizza. We took many friends there, especially from other countries. They were baffled at the peanut shells on the floor and sawdust, but rest assured it's cleaned and replaced often due to health codes. This is a clean, well-run establishment and very welcoming. The locals from millionaires to average joes are as welcome as the next. Enjoy!

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