• PLACE: Salida’s Kountry Kitchen
• LOCATION: 4702 Broadway, Salida, CA 95368
• INFORMATION: (209) 543-0483
SALIDA — The food at Kountry Kitchen in Salida is not for sissies. Visitors who order the one pound chicken fried steak will certainly be begging for a doggie bag half way through their first sitting.
“People make it their challenge to finish the entire plate,” said KK owner Gary Oreglia. “Most of them can’t even finish their plate halfway.”
The demand for the one pound buttermilk fried steak accompanied by three eggs, potatoes and a biscuit was so high that Oreglia had no choice but to make it into a food challenge that customers could not refuse.
“Every time a visitor finished the entire plate we take a picture of them and hang it on our wall,” said Oreglia. “We started the challenge in January, and since then we’ve only had 30 people complete the challenge.”
Since January, about 1,800 chicken fried steaks have been ordered and attempted to be devoured in one sitting (not many have been successful).
“We average around 60 chicken fried steaks a week,” said Oreglia. “It’s pretty amazing to see what people will do to get their picture on the wall.”
Orgelia, who’s also a pastor in the community, bought Kountry Kitchen eight years ago along with partner Tami Oosterkamp.
“We wanted to give a diner atmosphere to the place,” said Oreglia. “We didn’t want to lose the concept that the previous owner worked so hard to build. We are happy with the business and the people who come to our place. We build wonderful memories together.”
KK is not only known for its gigantic breakfast platters, it’s the spot for the entire community to gather every day of the week.
“I have people that come twice a day,” said Oreglia. “We also have almond farmers come every morning during sunrise for a cup of coffee. We have their personal mugs hanging in a special shelf just for them. It’s a family circle of life.”
Kountry Kitchen is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. It is located at 4702 Broadway Ave., in Salida.
— NANCY ANGEL /
209 staff reporter