Not too long ago, someone noticed in comments that J orders chicken strips a lot. For the most part, chicken strips are chicken strips. It’s a safe choice because it’s hard to screw them up. Most places just open a bag and dump them in the fryer. “Rachel” suggested in the comment section of another post that we should try Olympic Broil because they have “the best chicken strips in town.” I’m always up for the challenge when someone throws that phrase out there.
Olympic Broil is an old drive-in near the corner of Grand River Avenue and Willow Street. The business started in the mid-70’s and has been a local favorite ever since. We pulled in to the parking lot around one o’clock and parking was at a premium. Most of the old car stalls were full and parking on the outside edge of the lot was scarce as well. We found a spot out near the road and made our way inside.
Inside, Olympic Broil resembles most fast food restaurants. There’s a dining room near the front as well as one around the corner from the counter. The booths are the same plastic type booths you see in the chain restaurants. The menu board is above the counter and you can see into the kitchen area where workers put your meals together.
I was going to get the chicken strips, but I knew J would, so I went with a 1/4 Bacon Cheeseburger meal. The sandwich had two very thin patties topped with bacon and cheese. Ketchup, mustard, pickle, and onion also come standard, but I did without. The burger reminded me of Burger King. Even the bacon tasted like something you’d get from the King. The fries were crinkle cut fast food fries. The burger was good, but it was nothing special. I could get the same thing at any fast food place in town. The pop machine was filled with Pepsi. I like places that let you get your own. I like to mix a splash of Pepsi in with a Diet. I can save a few calories, but still get the Pepsi taste. I always feel stupid when I ask someone else to do it, so I appreciate places that leave the fountain out in the dining room.
Like I expected, J got the chicken strips. She went with a six piece meal which included fries and a drink. The chicken strips were awesome. Instead of frozen, breaded pieces of chicken, they use a batter to fry. The taste is amazing. J thought she had the best chicken strips she had ever had Sunday at Houlihan’s. Wrong. Olympic Broil’s chicken strips probably ARE the best in Lansing and they certainly are the best we’ve had anywhere in town. I was tempted to go get another order to go. Her meal included quite a bit more fries than mine, so she had plenty to share. I ended up with a couple pieces of the chicken and I’m grateful for that. Battered chicken is so much better than breaded chicken.
Our meal cost us just over ten bucks. They only accept cash so it was a good thing it wasn’t too much. There is an ATM in the corner for those of us that don’t carry a wad of bills anymore. We spent less than fifteen minutes in the store. I was looking for something quick and cheap and that’s exactly what Olympic Broil was. They don’t have the best location, but from the looks of things, the locals know about it and keep them in business. I’m still amazed at just how good something so simple like chicken strips can be when a place takes a little extra time to do it right.