It’s the season for picnics, whether that’s under sunny skies or during dazzling fireworks. One of the easiest ways to enjoy time with family and friends is by packing enough delicious Indiana fried chicken to feed everyone before heading to the lake, park, or the coolest part of the backyard.
Wagner’s Family Restaurant in Oldenburg, Indiana is one of the most popular choices in Southeastern Indiana. Call ahead to order plenty of fried chicken for a crowd, or meet everybody inside this casual, comfortable local place where the piping hot chicken is served up with dish towels instead of napkins, and the sweet tea is fresh and cold.
Waitress and daytime bartender Betsy McCray grew up in Oldenburg. She knows most of the diners by name and rarely has to offer a menu even to the newcomers since most folks come in for the Family Style Chicken Dinner.
The heady fragrance of chicken frying in cast iron pans makes hungry guests grow impatient, but when those generous portions arrive, it’s obviously worth the wait. Brian Larimore and his father Robert drive up from Lawrenceburg to enjoy the delicious food and enthusiastically recommend the freshly fried chicken dinner.
All of that crispy, moist, amazing chicken is piled onto plates – what a sizzling, aromatic feast. Betsy serves steaming bowls of tempting side items against the backdrop of a cheerful dining room noisy with conversation, laughter and TV sports.
The coleslaw is creamy and just a little sweet. Those flavors marry well with the peppery gravy made onsite. The dinner rolls are the store-bought, in-a-plastic-bag kind and are actually perfect with a generous spread of butter, or smeared with extra gravy.
The green beans come to the table with a dollop of butter and plenty of salt, while the mashed potatoes are of the standard variety, leaving the diner plenty of opportunity to focus on the flavorful chicken and rich gravy.
According to Betsy, there are delicious desserts available, as well. Fruit cobblers, a variety of cheesecakes … it’s all so tempting, but after such a banquet, dessert might require a separate visit all its own.
Fortunately, a return trip to Oldenburg is just a scenic drive away …