Two summers ago, our whole family drove to the States (New Jersey area, close to Philadelphia) to visit my uncles, aunts and cousins. When I say the whole family, I mean we rented a 11-passenger van to fit everyone!
One of our missions on every road trip to the US is to find the elusive Roy Rogers fast-food restaurant. They are famous for their fried chicken and roast beef sandwiches. Every time we’ve visited, my older brother and I HAD to eat their chicken. We even got my younger brother, who didn’t live there when he was little, to share our enthusiasm for Roy Rogers fried chicken. My uncle always wondered why we kept wanting to eat there. He said, “Church’s Chicken is better!” But eating at Roy Rogers brought back fond memories for my older brother and I because it was one of the fun outings with my cousins when we lived in the States.
Roy Rogers has since disappeared from the Philadelphia landscape. They’ve been overtaken by newer and perhaps better fried chicken places. Now it seems like they mostly reside at service stops throughout interstate highways or in certain parts of Philadelphia.
After crossing the border from Canada to the US, our first sighting of Roy Rogers was the second service stop at Clifton Springs. Of course, we were super hungry after we crossed the border and couldn’t wait so we ate at the first service stop instead. Shucks! Every time we go, we forget it’s the second service stop!
We didn’t get to eat at any Roy Rogers chicken during our stay in New Jersey and Philadelphia. But alas, on our drive back, we stopped at the Allentown Service Plaza and devoured the much anticipated Roy Rogers fried chicken! I honestly don’t remember if it tastes better than any other franchised fried chicken restaurants. It’s not the taste or aroma of the chicken that brings back my childhood memories. It’s eating it with my family that does. Hunting for Roy Rogers has become a family tradition. This fried chicken has become a collective Memorable Dish of my brothers and I. I can’t wait for our next road trip to the States again!