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“Famous chicken dinners”

Iva's Chicken Dinners
Ranked #1 of 4 Restaurants in Sterling
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Families with children, Kids, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
alger, mi
Level Contributor
50 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Famous chicken dinners”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 12, 2012

Good food, unusual setting; feels like you're dining in the home of a favorite aunt:) I thought the prices were high for a family. I found that the hours were not easily displayed.

Thank TopKat2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Birmingham, Michigan
Level Contributor
38 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Like Sunday Dinner at Grandma's House”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2012

Family style Chicken dinner is served with delicious sides and their chicken noodle soup has wonderful homemade noodles.It's like a "mini" Frankenmuth. I also tried their Walleye and it was very good to.Family owned for many years and wonderful service.

Visited August 2012
Thank maryemc1014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
107 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Very Disappointed But With An Asterisk”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2012

I hate to have to write a negative review about this long established place but I'm honest with all my reviews. And to be fair, there were extenuating circumstances involving this visit so please read the whole review and especially the last paragraph.

I ran across this place while leisurely looking through an AAA Tour Book. Up until then I had never heard of it. I absolutely love old, established traditions like this one that dates back to 1938. So my wife and I decided to make the two plus hour drive up to the tiny town of Sterling, Michigan and back to Metro Detroit. The round trip covered more than 300 miles.

When we got in the vicinity the main exit from I-75 to Sterling was closed due to construction. So our Garmin navigator suggested another way there and we got there with no problems.

I was shocked that there was only one car in the parking lot and that, no doubt, belonged to one of the staff members of the restaurant.

We were greeted by a very friendly young woman and promptly seated. This was at 1pm on a Saturday afternoon in August and we were the only diners in the whole restaurant.

My wife and I each ordered the family style southern fried chicken dinner. It came with a choice of tomato juice or chicken noodle soup. And the main course was also preceded by two biscuits with butter and honey, a small relish tray consisting of a sliced dill pickle, a couple of carrot sticks and a couple of celery sticks. Cottage cheese and cole slaw also came along with crackers and butter.

The soup was very good. Nice, rich broth with very thick and large noodles. A pleasant surprise. The cole slaw was very sweet and usually I don't like sweet slaw but it hit the spot. Then finally the main event was served.

Our server brought a plate full of fried chicken (a breast, a thigh, a leg and a wing) along with mashed potatoes, stuffing, yellow gravy and some green peas.

The chicken was a huge disappointment. It oozed dark grease and was nearly room temperature on the outside yet scalding hot inside. You know what that means, right? The chicken had been fried earlier and then reheated using a microwave. The skin was soggy and lifeless. The actual chicken meat was okay but nothing more. The grease trail left behind on the plate was dark and disgusting. Nothing even close to the chicken we're used to in Frankenmuth which isn't the best chicken around to begin with.

The mashed potatoes were great. The gravy was good if you like a corn starch based gravy rather than a creamy gravy. I prefer the latter. The stuffing was good. The peas so so. No seasoning, no butter.

We ordered a second round of chicken to check on a couple of things. Was the first batch just a bad batch? Would it take a few minutes to fry our second order or would it immediately be brought from the kitchen indicating a microwave job? It came within two minutes of our reorder microwaved to imperfection oozing in dark grease and luke warm on the outside and blazing hot in the center. Exactly the same result as our first order of chicken.

Okay here an important thing to consider about our visit. The main exit from I-75 to Sterling was closed due to construction. It had just closed. Our server said business the previous weekend had been good prior to the closure. I suppose when you do the math it would not be feasible to fry each, individual order of chicken on a day when only a few people might visit due to construction. I can also imagine what this place would have been like if business was booming and freshly fried chicken dinners were flowing out of the kitchen. I hope our experience was just an isolated case. But we won't be making that 300 mile round trip again based on what we found.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank newspro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
167 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Chicken Dinners Like Mom's”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2012

We have been passing by Iva's Chicken Dinners for almost 50 years and always said we should stop there some time, but we were headed "up north" for the weekend and didn't want to leave our cottage. Now that we are retired up north, we have time to explore. Iva's is only about 20 miles from us so we talked some friends into going there. WOW!!! We are so sorry we waited so long. The food is certainly home-made (just like mom's) and the atmosphere is quaint. We were there on a Sunday evening and the waitress suggested that we get the chicken luncheon plate which was way more than enough food (we even took leftovers home). Drinks are available if you so desire. We were so impressed with Iva's that we booked our October dinner with friends outing where about 40 to 50 people will be in attendance. Don't miss out on this great little place up north - you won't be disappointed!

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Sharon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterford, MI
Level Contributor
134 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2012

Good food in a unexpected place! Squeaky clean, good service, all around I'd recommend having dinner here.

Visited June 2012
Thank Jennifer I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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