New Mexico Mailday & Rips Tavern Fried Chicken

Last year I blogged about the greatest fried chicken I have ever had. It’s a small restaurant and bar in a tiny town called Ladd, Illinois. The population of Ladd is just 1,295.

It’s taken this long since my blog post to actually reserve a time to revisit the famous eatery. My last trip to Rip’s Tavern for fried chicken was about 10 years ago. It was a hot spot when I was growing up just 30 minutes down Interstate 80 as we would make the trip several times during our high school years. Before I go through my recent fried chicken experience, I had some mail before I headed to Illinois.

Blake in New Mexico sent a package with 26 Chicago Cubs baseball cards. A nice mix of mostly 2000’s cards. At this point in my project, and my disorganization of Cubs cards, I’m not sure which cards are actually new to the collection or not. A few from this package stood out and looked unfamiliar. The first was this 2006 Topps Own the Game Derrek Lee.

When I finally get around to putting player binders together, Mark Prior gets one. I like this 2006 Upper Deck First Pitch Prior card.

And another First Pitch from Upper Deck, this one from 2005. It’s LaTroy Hawkins. I like this card a lot better than I liked his pitching while in a Cubs uniform.

Thanks, Blake, and now onto the chicken. My trip to Rip’s was planned with my mom and her friend, a big fried chicken fan who surprisingly had never been to this famous joint. Aside from the delicious chicken, it’s known for the experience (and long wait).

As we drove into Ladd on Illinois Route 89, there were sparse parking spots. Not a surprise. I don’t think I’ve ever parked closer than two or three blocks in all of my visits. As we approached I joked, “at least the line isn’t outside.” The interior is pretty long, and it’s very common for the line to extend outside and down the sidewalk. In those instances, it’s a two-hour plus wait.

Well, the line wasn’t out the door, but it was right up to the doors. The entryway holds a few groups of people, so for the first 15-20 minutes there was a lot of moving around as people entered and left.

The best part of the wait is talking with other people in line, and of course there’s a bar, so we weren’t left thirsty.

Not only the beer….it was Cubs/White Sox, and the game was on during our wait.

After about an hour, we made our way closer to the dining area. Here you can see the tables (not a large dining area), the kitchen in the background, and the beautiful Wrigleyville sign.

I noticed this internal memo just as we were to be seated. I’m assuming employees are not allowed to use cell phones while on the clock.

It took nearly 90 minutes to get seated, and among appetizers you can order are crispies, the fried leftovers that are scooped up and dumped in a cardboard boat. Also, a cup of pickles.

We entered the line right around 5:50 p.m., and the chicken came out at 7:45 p.m. Nearly two hours, and it’s well worth the wait.

Delicious. If you’re in northern Illinois or central Illinois, take the trip to Ladd and have some Rip’s fried chicken. Even if you’re in the Chicago area, it’s a fairly short drive for a great experience and excellent fried chicken.

One Million Cubs Project Stats

Saturday’s (7/6/2019) Cards: 26

Saturday’s (7/6/2019) Packages: 1

January’s Cubs Count: 9,343

February’s Cubs Count: 8,980

March’s Cubs Count: 15,704

April’s Cubs Count: 11,651

May’s Cubs Count: 7,273

June’s Cubs Count: 7,690

July’s Cubs Count: 6,885

Total Trades/Donations: 166

Trade States of Origin:
Arizona (2)
Alabama (3)

California (12)

Colorado (3)
Connecticut (9)

Florida (9)

Georgia (3)

Idaho (2)
Illinois (14)
Indiana (4)

Iowa (2)


Kentucky (2)
Maryland (7)
Massachusetts (4)

Minnesota (2)

Missouri (2)



New Hampshire
New Jersey (10)

New Mexico (2)
New York (14)
North Carolina (5)
Ohio (6)

Oregon (2)
Pennsylvania (4)

Rhode Island

South Carolina
Tennessee (4)
Texas (6)

Virginia (2)
Washington (4)

West Virginia (3)
Wisconsin (10)

Countries of Origin

Korea (1)

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