The fried chicken at Price's Chicken Coop -- often called the best in America - has golden, crunchy skin and meat so mind-bendingly moist that I suspect brining is involved. The 40-year-old Charlotte, NC-based restaurant also has a mysterious handwritten sign on its wall:
"WE WILL NO LONGER REFUND OR REPLACE ORDERS THAT ARE PLACED WHILE YOU ARE TALKING ON CELL PHONES OR 2-WAY RADIOS."
It sounds like a decree worth supporting, right? According to a Price's employee, the rule was born following a rash of distracted customers and poorly communicated orders. "When they're on the phone, they just got their minds on the conversation so bad that they're not paying attention." And the two way radios? "The truckers who come have them."
In a quick poll of some of Los Angeles' popular fried chicken eateries, it turns out that the rules, albeit unwritten, aren't that much different here:
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Pann's Restaurant - "We don't take the order until the person is done with their call. The waitress won't interrupt your conversation, she'll just wait and take your order when you're done. That way there's no confusion." What about two way radios? "The same goes for them."
Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken - "We appreciate it if [people] don't talk on their cell phones while giving us their order. People hold up the line while being on the phone. They confuse us because we can't figure out if they're talking to us or not and we get the orders wrong." What about two way radios? "I don't know. I've never seen one of those."
Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles -"It is difficult if we're trying to take an order. Things get confused, they aren't paying attention to their order and when they do get their order, they're upset." What about two way radios? "What??"
Pann's Restaurant, 6710 La Tijera Blvd., L.A., (310) 670-1441 ., Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken, 9537 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310) 202-5453., Roscoe's Chicken N' Waffles , 1514 N. Gower St., L.A., (323) 466-7453