FRANKENMUTH, MICH. - Whether you've never been or visited a dozen times, hearing the city name of Frankenmuth probably conjures up images of what its famous for: Christmas and Bavarian-style charm.
But you also may have heard of another claim to fame: the family-style chicken dinner.
The famous family-style chicken dinner is almost as old as Frankenmuth, and far older than the Bavarain architecture that spreads through the town. In fact, two restaurants are serving up the traditional dinner.
The Zehnder family became involved in the restaurant business back in 1929 by opening Zehnder's restaurant, offering the family-style chicken dinner. 20 years later, the family purchased the restaurant across the street and continued to serve the chicken dinner.
That second restaurant became the Bavarian Inn, a place that celebrates their Bavarian roots. Zehnder's and Bavarian Inn are now separate businesses, but both focus on fun family experiences.
"Well we both celebrate different things so here at Bavarian Inn, we celebrate our German heritage where it's more colonial American over there," says Amy Zehnder-Grossi, General Manager of Bavarian Inn. "We both have family style chicken dinners but just different recipes and different tweaks that we provide to our guests."
"Zehnder's for generations has specialized in celebrations cause that's what we're really all about. We've been serving families for generations," adds Al Zehnder, CEO of Zehnder's restaurant.
Their food has certainly helped Frankenmuth become a vacation destination. One family ventured from Alaska for the experience.
"We came from Alaska. This is what used to be a family tradition. It's been ten years so we decided to make a trip, come back here and let the little ones feel what it's like to be back in Frankenmuth," said a diner.
For more information about Zehnder's, head to their website here.
For more information about Bavarian Inn, head to their website here.
(© 2016 WZZM)