Reel M Inn

Chicken Dinner | Tavern
Worth a detour

The sign at Reel M Inn promises chicken and jo-jos, and chicken and jo-jos is what you should get. When we visited, the bar and fry station were being run by a single, laid-back bartender. She set the vibe for a casual, no-frills experience that requires some patience: The chicken can take a half hour or more. But it’s worth it.

I recommend starting with appetizers, which come out almost immediately after you order — good distraction from the wait time. We dipped mac ‘n’ cheese bites and deep-fried pickles into every one of the sauces sitting in our table’s High Life six-pack: spicy buffalo, sweet chile, barbecue, ketchup, honey mustard, spicy sweet mustard, plus, of course, ranch.

Draper Valley Farms chicken is delivered several times a week — always fresh, never frozen. You can order pretty much any part of the bird. Our order of 2 thighs, 2 wings, and 2 breasts was supplemented by a 3rd thigh to make up for the fact that they were running small.

The chicken arrives piping hot. Its thin layer of breading is crisped up nicely, and meat falls right off the bone. Buffalo sauce is my favorite for chicken-dipping: It’s fairly thin and spicy enough to balance the meat’s flavor. Jo-jo’s, which are huge, deep-fried potato wedges, have crunchy skin and soft, tender potato insides.

I’m a sucker for corn dogs, and am not disappointed by what’s served here. The batter is sweet and slightly doughy; and the batter-to-dog ratio is just about perfect.

The crowd is mixed and the music’s loud, ranging from rock to country. Three slot machines in the corner are constantly manned by hopeful bar patrons, who every so often take a break for another beer or order of tots. There’s a pool table in back, a few flat-screen TVs, and some high tables with rickety leather barstools held together by duct tape.

The effort goes to the chicken. And it shows.

What to Eat
Reel M Inn, Fried chicken
Fried chicken
Chicken and jo-jo potatoes take a while, but they're worth the wait.
Reel M Inn, Fried pickles
Fried pickles
Pickle chips are especially tasty dipped in buffalo sauce.
Reel M Inn, Corn dog
Corn dog
The meaty corn dog wears sweet, quick-fried dough.
Reel M Inn, Mac ‘n’ cheese bites
Mac ‘n’ cheese bites
Deep-fried mac ‘n’ cheese bites are gooey and addicting.
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
11 stops | 1683 MILES | 30 hr 15 min

Road Trip Overview

Originally from Ohio and most recently San Francisco, Roadfood contributor Jess Dawson has taken her show on the road, traveling throughout America with her husband in their 27-foot Winnebago. They’re stopping at as many national parks—and restaurants—as they can along the way. These are the restaurants that stood out to them on…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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