As I walked towards Anna’s Oven on 39th off of State Line, the quaint sign and chalkboard out front that told me it was “Fried Chicken Friday” were very appealing to me. The inside of the restaurant was very warm and homey. I guess I could say I literally felt like I was in an oven.
But immediately it took a turn for the worse. I have a very sensitive nose, I hate bad smells. And let me tell you, there was some sort of funky stench in this place. That may have to do with the fact that the menu ranges from hummus.. to lasagna.. to chocolate cake…but we’ll get to that later.
Unfortunately, I didn’t do my research well enough to realize that this place closed at 2:30. Apparently it’s quite normal for restaurants around this area to close in the afternoon and then re-open before dinner time.
With my wonderful luck I arrived at 2:29. The service was surprisingly great.
Even though I was that girl that showed up a minute before the shift ended, the woman working the register offered to make me my food and just put it in to-go boxes.
I went with the special, fried chicken. It came with mashed potatoes and of course I ordered a slice of apple pie. Because it was staring me in the face, and I’m a sucker for the dessert counter. My total came to $18.30 which I thought was a little pricey, but to my surprise they gave me a LOT of food. Three fried chicken breasts, a mound of potatoes and a huge slice of pie. I left this place, a happy girl with food in hand. I found a table outside that was just around the corner from the restaurant, pretty convenient.
Ok, lets start with the chicken. I didn’t have a knife so I had to literally dig in with my hands. As I started to look at the chicken I saw some dark spots — dark spots in food scare me. I also came to the realization that no, this wasn’t like the chicken I eat at home. These chickens had the bone in them still. Usually I make one of my family members take the bone out for me before it’s served. I’m also afraid of bones in food if that wasn’t obvious already. My first bite was bland; it really didn’t have much flavor. I always like a little kick to my stuff, but there wasn’t even a measly spice on this thing. I was left with more of a “straight off the farm” taste in my mouth.
Next up, I dug into the mashed potatoes. I may be biased here but these taters didn’t even compare to the ones my mom makes. They were a little runny for my taste and they had the potato skin mixed in which I’ve personally never been a fan of. For some reason they were really yellow too. I don’t know if it was a certain type of potato that they used, but they just weren’t visually appealing either.
After these two not-so-great entrees, I finished off my meal with the apple pie. Now, this wasn’t too shabby. I could dig this and it was definitely one of the best slices of apple pie I’ve ever had (sorry mom). It looked pretty and it was also the perfect combination of cinnamon and apple mushiness.
Overall my experience at Anna’s Oven was just sub-par.
I don’t totally want to bash this place, though. I think it’s one of those hit or miss situations. Obviously, I was spot on in my choice to get the apple pie, I just kind of missed with the chicken and potatoes. With such a wide variety on the menu and so many things to choose from it’s hard to make that one perfect choice. Now, it definitely has great potential. It’s cutesy, grandma’s house atmosphere makes you feel right at home. I wouldn’t be opposed to going back, I would just try to select something a little different on the menu, maybe ask for their best dish.
One thing I did appreciate about Anna’s Oven was that it really broke the hipster stereotype that turns me off from most downtown restaurants. It’s definitely not for the average vegan-feminist. So there you have it Anna. Thanks for the experience, but your comfort food made me quite uncomfortable.