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Christmastime chicken dinner at Zehnder's of Frankenmuth, MI

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Winner, winner chicken dinner! Or in this case, chicken lunch. Zehnder's, 30 S. Main St., Frankenmuth, MI 48734, is owned by a member of the same family that owns Bavarian Inn. Both serve the same German and local to that part of Michigan food, same recipes. The coleslaw with bits of veggies, the mashed potatoes and chicken gravy, fried fish plates . . . the same.

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Of course, the art of execution lies with each chef. As to their famous golden chicken, the one I had the day before at Bavarian Inn was noticeably juicier. With chicken, a minute makes a difference. They describe their chicken preparation as this: "Natural chicken, lightly breaded, flavored with our own blend of seasonings, then quickly fried in canola oil for full flavor."

While Zehnder's is a huge operation and does see lots of tourists, with their housemade dishes and ingredients for them, it doesn't feel as "touristy" as say, some of the major Amish tourist restaurants or other tourist stops. The Zehnder family first started a restaurant in Frankenmuth in 1856.

The restaurant is down the street from Bronner's, the world's largest Christmas store. I didn't check at Zehnder's, but I did notice at Bavarian Inn that the Lord's Prayer was placed at each table. And, since it is the Christmas season, this would seem the perfect time to enjoy the restaurant as a family.

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