There was a day when beatniks strolled by this place. Then the hippies. Then wearers of mullets. But inside the Proud Rooster in Clifton, things don’t change. Longtime locals still seek refuge (and a deep-fried thigh) here from the ever-morphing college menagerie out on Ludlow. The Proud Rooster is stuck in the late ’60s. From the mustard-colored linoleum on the floor up to the gray-globed chandeliers, everything has remained the same. There’s a touch of rooster memorabilia around, but mostly it’s filled with elementary league sports trophies. Both the food and the prices date back to earlier days. You can order omelettes, goetta, pancakes, fried potatoes and ham for breakfast. For lunch it’s burgers, double-deckers, or a meatloaf sandwich, when available. You can get mock turtle soup, when mock turtles are in season. For dinner, well, you’re probably going to get the fried chicken. That’s why this place is here. But since they’re not open for dinner, you’ll need to get dinner for lunch. (Be sure to bring cash, since plastic is an unknown commodity in these parts.) The Proud Rooster in Clifton is not associated with the restaurant of the same name on the west side. Once, they were both part of the old Hitching Post chain, but they went separate ways long ago. If you like a place where nothing is too pretty, but everything is pretty predictable, this is it. Mullets and berets are still welcomed, should you be so inclined.
345 Ludlow Ave., Clifton
Breakfast and lunch seven days
Originally published in the April 2011 issue.