Royal Chicken: Food Rehab in the Capital City of Chad
Living in a country that is not our own is mostly delightful. Like a newborn child, our senses come alive with each new experience. So many of the details are new to us, and stick out to us, especially at the beginning. This can also be true within our own country, in cities and regions where the way people talk and react are so different.
However, living in a foreign country can also be overwhelming. We don’t know what to say, and what to do. We offend others easily without knowing why. We miss those we have left back home. On the hardest days, we just want to go home.
On days like that, we all need a place to go to fill our stomachs, and gain new perspective on why we’re here.
On Mobutu Street in N’Djaména, just before you arrive at the Presidential Palace Super Complex, there is a restaurant that serves a delicious, more affordable alternative to the “Haute Cuisine” found on Charles De Gaulle.
Royal Chicken: what to expect
In that bright pink building almost across the street from the “Mairie” (Town Hall), there is a family restaurant who knows how to serve up a taste of American fried chicken.
These are not the scrawny chickens being sold in the Central Market. For many years, I keep returning to Royal Chicken Restaurant and, every single time, the meal has been a succession of tasty bites of mouth-watering satisfaction.
Walk into the Royal Chicken Restaurant. Choose your seat quickly, and hold it. There aren’t many tables… but don’t despair. If you are unable to find a seat, you can always bring your take-out order with you to the magnificent Independence Park further up the road, and enjoy it there.
The kitchen equipment behind the windows is typical of what you would find in a fast food restaurant in the US or overseas, but here in Chad, there is none like it anywhere else.
Part of the fun of eating at Royal Chicken is to watch from behind the window as the cooks prepare your meal. Unlike many other restaurants in this town, this place has nothing to hide.
The store manager and chef is warm and friendly, and personally sees to it that every meal meets his standard of deliciousness. His daughter will take your order, and usually bring it to you in less than thirty minutes, usually in fifteen, depending on the size of your order. While you wait, there is a sink right there for you to wash your hands as one of your party holds on to your seats.
At Royal Chicken, you have two main choices: fried chicken, or a chicken sandwich. They include french fries with almost ever meal on the menu, and you get to choose a can of soda from the refrigerator which also comes with your meal. For a little extra, you can choose a fruit drink or a bottle of Maltina. Or go ahead and pull out a small dish of ice cream from the freezer, and the waitress will add that to your bill for you as well.
The chicken is less salty than you may expect. Sometimes I use the salt and red pepper shaker to spice it up a bit, and sometimes I don’t. But I almost always dip my fries in the mayonnaise which comes with my meal while my friends use the ketchup bottles on the table for theirs.
The only warning I can give you when you come is to stay away from those delicious-looking tomatoes if you are prone to tummy bugs.
Otherwise, for the price you would pay at Côté Jardin, Ali Baba or Le Carnivore, you can enjoy your meal tonight and come back some other night to eat once again at my favorite chicken place in all of Chad, the Royal Chicken Restaurant.
Do you have a favorite restaurant you enjoy when you need a taste of home, or memories of better days?
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