My Meal Cost: $14.37 (for 2). Health Rating A. Yelp 4 stars
This week I was once again in my Lincoln Park neighborhood so was able to walk the approximately 1000 steps (smart watches / fitbits have taken over our lives) to Donahoo's Chicken.
First a note on why I skipped our own neighborhood Starbucks. I had gone to the Starbucks at Mission Promenade, which has indoor and outdoor dining and an indoor space. When trying to decide if I'd eat at Starbucks in the 'hood, I decided against it as they don't prepare food there and with the exception of three small tables, this is mostly a drive-thru version of the chain. I know it's arbitrary, but hey, it's my blog. I have had coffee and a breakfast sandwich there and have eaten at the tables, so I can say that it's as good as any Starbucks drive-thru I've been at.
Back to Donahoos. I came by for lunch today (Tuesday). They do not have tables, nor anywhere to dine inside or out. This is strictly take-out food. AND, they are cash only, which means you either need to bring some folding money or use their usurious ATM machine.
I had actually had the Donahoo's chicken years ago when I worked in Pomona (1970s) and again when I married the Lovely Mrs. C, and we lived in east Pomona near Indian Hill, but it was when we moved to Lincoln Park that the cravings began. When the weather is just right, the smell of frying chicken permeates the entire neighborhood (including 1000 steps away), causing salivary flow and craving that must be addressed. That's how I think of Donahoo's chicken. The current owners have been there for about 6 years and, as far as I can tell, are still using the same recipe that I enjoyed back in the '70s. About once every 6 weeks or so, we will trek across Columbia to Garey for 2 breasts of chicken and a side (usually their cole slaw with a dollop of golden raisins on top).
For this posting I decided to order my favorite chicken breast (one for me, one for the Lovely Mrs. C) and to go outside my comfort zone, a dozen fired chicken livers. For years, those who like chicken livers have raved about how wonderful both the livers and gizzards are at Donahoo's. For me, I've never been a chicken (or cow) liver fan at all, but decided to give them a try. Be warned. While Donahoo's is known for getting your order to you in a manner of minute (often before you've even finishing handing over the cash) the livers and gizzards require an extra 7 minutes to prepare. They are not cooked in the same deep fryer as the regular chicken, but are fried on the stove top in a heavy cast iron skillet.
I also ordered a side of mashed potatoes (I've already talked about my potato obsession) and the livers came with one of their signature HUGE rolls.
The potatoes are excellent, not runny like the instant mashed potatoes at a certain southern military franchise, with a nice rich brown gravy (although I would have liked a little more of the gravy). The roll was very good (and large) and since I brought it home I could slather it with butter. The livers . . . again, I'm not a liver fan so these were not something that I would probably have again. Having said that the portion (the menu said 12 but I swear that there were about twice that many) was very large. I ate about 6 of them (with LOTS left over--don't worry they won't go to waste as our Terrier, Lady, has decided she's a big fan), and they were crunchy, with a mild liver flavor, not overly greasy and the breading was as good as on the chicken although seemingly cooked a little longer for an extra crispiness. The chicken breast was golden brown with a crispy crust and skin and moist tender meat.
As an aside, I happened to run into Mayoral Candidate Tim Sandoval (who I serve with on the Pomona Public Library Foundation, as directors) while I was there who was being followed by Pomona Proud and Eye on Pomona who captured us ordering lunch from one of Pomona's favorite spots. While I usually don't run into anyone I know on these treks, this one turned into a media frenzy which you can see on EyeOnPomona, or Pomona Proud.
I'll definitely be going back again in the near future. This is a go-to place for a quick meal when you just don't want to cook. Just make sure you've got cash on hand.