Romeoville's White Fence Farm celebrates 65 years serving up delicious chicken off Route 66

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- Making it five or ten years in the restaurant business is considered a major achievement, but one local restaurant is proud to say they have stuck around for 65 years. This month, the White Fence Farm in Romeoville is celebrating that milestone and ABC7 Chicago's Hungry Hound stopped in to see what makes it so special.

Three generations of the Hastert family have been breading and frying chickens over the years. Their visitors continue to come, not just for the food, but also for the antiques, the car museum and even to see the live animals.

The concept is a throwback and is located directly on historic Route 66.

There is so much more to see at the White Fence Farm than just the giant chicken. There are alpacas and goats to feed, antiques to ponder and classic cars to examine up-close. Collectibles, dolls, and a sense of history live here along Route 66 and it all started back in 1954 by Bob Hastert, Sr.

"We have kept the recipes just as grandpa started them 65 years ago, as he always said 'if it's not broke, don't fix it'," said Laura Hastert.

If you came to the White Fence Farm years ago, the relish tray of creamy cottage cheese, kidney beans, vinegary coleslaw and pickled beets will look familiar. Nothing's changed and many like it that way.

The corn fritters contain actual kernels of corn, and once they're deep-fried, they're doused in an obscene amount of powdered sugar.

There is also the chicken, which is butchered on-site. The pieces are tossed into what looks like a cement mixer full of flour and seasoning. The pieces emerge on the other side, where they're sorted into baskets, then rolled up a steel ramp into pressure fryers the size of grain silos. They get a quick pressure fry, then when orders come in, they're deep fried a second time to create that crispy, golden brown exterior. As soon as they emerge fully-cooked, they're plated with baked potatoes and whisked out to one of the several dining rooms on the property.

"A lot about the chicken fry, but we're really well-known for our steaks too. Most people do come for the chicken," Hastert said.

Besides steak and chicken, they also have fish which can be both broiled and fried. However, the chicken is and always has been king.

"We have so many 3rd and 4th generation people that come here," said Hastert. "I came here when I was your age and they show them all the antiques in the lobby and tell them what they ate when they were little and how their grandparents always brought them here."

So while there are plenty of attractions here at the White Fence Farm, like the animals and the antiques and the museum, the one thing you have to be sure to try is the chicken with all of the accompaniments.

In Steve's Extra Course Video, he takes a look at the Brandy Ice - one of the restaurant's best-loved desserts (must be 21 or over to enjoy).
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In Steve's Extra Course Video, he takes a look at the Brandy Ice - one of the restaurant's best-loved desserts (must be 21 or over to enjoy).

White Fence Farm
1376 Joliet Rd., Romeoville
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