Initial Visit: May 4th, 2021
Description: This place gives a cluck!
I’m not sure how I discovered Dell Rhea’s originally but it has been on my list of places to visit since 2014. I know it was featured on an episode of ‘Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives’ so maybe that is where I heard of it. However I was made aware of it doesn’t matter as I finally got to mark it off my list since I was in the area and knew I needed to try it.
I stopped in during an hour-long lunch break from work and thought it was a place where you ordered at the counter and took a seat. Wrong. This is a full-fledged restaurant with an optional buffet if you should want to stuff your face until you pop. I snagged a table in the far corner and got to take in the restaurant as I looked over the menu.
One thing I noticed was a distinct smell if you took a big enough breath. I am not sure what that smell was but it was just a bit unpleasant. Not enough to sour the appetite if you breathed normally but enough to take note. The place also had a bit of a grime to it but that could be due to the sheer age of the place. I know it’s been around since the 1940’s, whether that adds to the charm of the place or detracts from it is up to you.
As I sat there and waited for my Buffalo Chicken Sandwich to come out, the waitress put a biscuit with a honey packet in front of me. I looked around and noticed other people with the same thing, so this must be an appetizer they give out to all patrons, similar to chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants. I ended up dipping my biscuit in the honey on the plate to avoid getting my hands too sticky. I enjoy a good accompaniment to my food and this biscuit was delicious. Easily a top 5 biscuit in my book (not that I am keeping track). This got me excited at the prospect of what my sandwich will bring.
I didn’t have to wait too long before my main meal was placed in front of me. The chicken sandwich dominated the basket and I had to snack on a few of the fries to be able to grasp the sandwich in a way that didn’t make a mess. The fries themselves were okay. Nothing special but also nothing awful. Just your standard french fry.
Since I was on a time crunch, I inhaled my chicken sandwich. I typically eat fast, so that wasn’t an issue. What I did encounter with trying to eat fast was that the buffalo sauce was indeed hot. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath and drink some water before I could continue. The sandwich came with blue cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. I learned while scarfing the food down that I wasn’t a big fan of blue cheese. Not that it took away from the sandwich, just a personal preference.
The sandwich itself was really good. It burned my mouth (in a good way), cleared up my sinuses, and hit the spot. It was more than enough to fill me up and I sometimes have an endless appetite. I couldn’t finish the fries that came with it but half of that was due to not finding the fries all that tasty. If I was in the mood for a chicken sandwich and lived in the area, this is the place I would hit up.
I might have to see if I can find the episode of ‘Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives’ that featured Dell Rhea’s to see what it’s like behind the scenes.
645 Joliet Rd
Willowbrook, IL 60527