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Sep 15, 2007 07:28 PM

Scootz - Santee

If you grew up in Southern California during the 50s and 60s you'll remember this jingle - "Don't cook tonight, call Chicken Delight". Chicken Delight was a franchise operation specializing in broasted chicken AND they delivered it direct to your door piping hot...or not. Broasted chicken was easy to find back then, not so much now that we're all more health conscious and the idea of one more fat gram strikes fear into the dining plans of many.

But broasted chicken is good, very good. Lightly seasoned, sometimes with a little flour added, the chicken is deep fried under pressure. The results is crackly skin that shatters at the touch of a fork or tooth, while the flesh stays moist and tender. Definitely not a dieters delight, but certainly the chowhound's friend. Scootz in Santee does broasted chicken, they do it well...but the broasted potates are unbelievably good.

For $1.99 an order, which is easily well over a pound of potatoes and enough to feed 2 generously, thick, meaty wedges of potato are seasoned and broasted. The interior is perfectly mealy, soft and tender, while the exterior is crunchy with just the right amount of seasoning. Add some ketchup (Heinz in this case) and this is nirvana for potato lovers. I am sure there are a bazillion fat grams in these spuds and probably a bazillion and one calories, but who cares when they taste this good. They'll make you swoon when they're hot and they aren't half bad when they cool off either.

The broasted chicken was a bit too bland and a bit too greasy, the potatoes suffered neither of those problems. At any rate, both the chicken and the potatoes are better than anything Chicken Delight even thought about turning out.

Scootz is on Mission Gorge Rd. across from the post office. Reasonably priced, informal, order at the counter and they'll bring you the food.

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  1. Definitely have to try this sometime - I'm enjoying your posts about eating out in the E. County - hope the kitchen is going well!

    1. How are the potato wedges different from the ones at KFC? I love the ribs and the potato chips as well as the broasted chicken at Scootz!

      3 Replies
      1. re: surfer1966

        You know, I'm afraid I can't answer that question for you. I've never eaten potato wedges from KFC. I do know that the broasted potatoes at Scootz were some of the best potatoes I've eaten in a long time. I thought the broasted chicken was okay but not outstanding. I've had better, but it's been a long time, so perhaps the memory is really just a legend in my own mind.

        I did like the place and would like to go back and try the ribs, burgers and didn't they have some tri-tip? The salad that came with the meal was very good. Very fresh, not the standard 3-way salad mix.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          There's your answer, DD, the rice/bran oil wouldn't approach the taste imparted by the gnarly stuff I imagine they used to use at Chicken Delight. Remember the huge chicken on the roof of the delivery cars?

          1. re: deckape

            Oh, gawd, how could you forget those old delivery cars :-D. Once you saw that chicken up on top it was imprinted in the brain.

            I got a sample of rice bran oil 3 or 4 years ago at a trade show. I wasn't very impressed with it and remember I threw about 1/2 the bottle away because I didn't like it very much. It's still fat, there are still calories in it, but it's not saturated fat and it probably doesn't have those nasty transfats in it. It still doesn't make those great potato wedges guilt-free but at least I can delude myself into thinking I'm being good to my body when I do eat them ;-)

      2. We like this place, and, living in East County, it's a much better alternative to all the chains and greasy spoons. If you like salad, get the one with raspberry vinaigrette. I love the dressing, and it compliments the greens and the chicken. And, yeah, the potatoes are to die for! Definitely try their rolls, too. YUMMY!

        1. Thanks Diva, excellent to hear. Will give them a try. My favorite watering hole back in my small hometown outside Pittsburgh had a broaster, and like your experience, the chicken was good but a little greasy, and the potatoes were great. The best were the broasted pork chop sandwiches. Had to cut the chops a bit thin so they'd cook through, but they were excellent, served with the bone in (careful with your bites), nicely seasoned...Hey Scootz guy, how bout some broasted pork chop sammies?