If I personally had to choose one word that describes the food here it probably would be "nostalgic." That may sound odd from someone who was raised in Japan but my parents both working and having access to the military commissary meant that frozen dinners were a staple to my diet. (I remember when they used to be wrapped in aluminum foil.)
But simply comparing the food here to T.V. dinners wouldn't be all fair. Sure the style may be similar but the execution substantially superior as you will see with the closest resemblance being perhaps the amazing prices.
Some great reading on the SDCPS if you are interested are ones from Cathy of MMM-YOSO team here, Clayfood here and Amateur Foodie here.
I think I'll start with the Chicken Giblets because it's a Pot Pie derivative that is sometimes overlooked.
It is offered as a dinner set which means it comes with whipped potatoes, vegetables (of the day), coleslaw, a dinner roll and dessert ($6.50).
The chopped giblets are in gravy and served open faced on a pie crust shell. As far as I can tell they were mostly of hearts and gizzards. (I'm guessing the liver is saved for the Sauteed Chicken Livers dinner.)
While the word giblets may turn some people off I would bet they wouldn't have a problem with this if they didn't know what they were having. It is of decent tenderness and basically tastes like very dark chicken meat. Portion was quite large.
The dinner rolls are made on premise. Large and lightly sweet.
[A slab of butter melting in the roll while still warm..]
The whipped potatoes are good as well. I think you can choose brown gravy if you like. Pictured is the white. Aren't the first bite after braking the potato levy the best? :)
You will be offered several pie choices for dessert. I had the peach but to-go.
Crust was coated with coarse granulated sugar while the filling wasn't too sweet.
The famous chicken pie here is simply called the Pie. While you can have it as a dinner for also $6.50, I find the a la carte a more than filling meal for $3.60. Comes with the roll and butter.
Densely packed with meat, a blend of Chicken and Turkey with a minimal amount a gravy. No peas, carrots, potatoes or pearl onions.
If you're feeling a bit over carb'd, you can have a side of cole slaw but that combination will run you $5.25.
I've heard many describe it similar to KFC's which I agree but this is fresher.
The Sauteed Chicken Liver ($7) is pretty tasty here if you're into that.
Looked lightly floured and seared well to create a crispy outer crust. I have it with a dash of salt but it's also pretty good with ketchup (was the waitress' recommendation).
I tried a few of their soups and found the Chicken (with rice) probably the best bet. ($1.75 for a cup.)
Always fresh tasting where this day I was able to also taste some turkey stock in the soup. Filled with large chicken pieces and some rice. My second favorite is probably the split pea.
And the third maybe the corn chowder because it had the least amount of flavor. Could've been an off day.
The Fried Chicken was interesting. The drumstick, thigh and breast pieces had a Shak'n Bake like coating but it did look fried.
All including the breast was fairly moist and wasn't bad but not really amazing in a way that would make me crave in ordering it again.
The Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich ($4.50) is often on the specials board.
It wasn't exactly the best execution of a TCS for my taste but you can read about it on my Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich post.
Other items I've seen listed on the specials board was the Chicken Quesadilla, Chicken Fajitas, Chili and Beans and the Tuna Salad or Sandwich. The Tuna Salad seems to be very popular with the older folks.
Other specials are designated by the day of week. The Meatloaf dinner was a Monday offering for $5.75.
Your basic meatloaf but can't complain much for the price here. You do have to be careful how you order though because you might end up with two sides of mashed potatoes like what happened to me this day. If you ask for a side of mashed potatoes they may think you're interested in a double order because the potatoes are a given and many patrons supposedly order their dinners this way. Shown is with the darker brown gravy.
The pumpkin cream pie again was to go. The cream tasted like Reddi-Wip but the pie was actually pretty decent.
Other specials of comfort food sounding goodness I'd like to eventually try is the Corned Beef and Cabbage (Mon.), Liver and Onions (Tues.) and the Mac and Cheese (Fri.). The Spaghetti on Saturdays I am strangely curious in trying for the heck of it.
Christmas decorations are now up "and the
Which reminds me, cash only but they do have an ATM machine now.
"Please put a penny in the old man's hat.." :)
[A part two revisit can be read about here.]
San Diego Chicken Pie Shop, 2633 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92140