I was fortunate to recently visit one of the newest hot spots in Fullerton called Grits Fullerton. This dining establishment is located in Downtown Fullerton a short distance away from the loud bars & was a total gem located on Chapman at 133 W. Chapman Ave., #102. 

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Dani in front of Grits Fullerton

I was unsure of what to expect at Grits Fullerton for dinner because everyone I had spoken to about this place has ranted and raved about the breakfast / brunch. I still need to go check that out sometime soon as well! 🙂 I happened to visit Grits Fullerton with my husband and some friends on a Sunday night, which is the only night that they serve their famous fried chicken dinner!

I normally like to go out to dine on Friday and Saturday nights for dinner, but for this place I had to make an exception because fried chicken only happens on Sunday nights and I had heard the fried chicken at Grits was definitely something to write home about.  I was excited to taste this dish and compare it to my favorite about 15 miles away at The Playground in downtown Santa Ana.

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Knight Fall, Red Blend – Grits Fullerton

Grits Fullerton is in an awesome location and I loved that it was not as hard to find a parking spot like if you are visiting the jam packed downtown area where sometimes you have a little walk to get to your car. Don’t get me wrong, I love to walk but sometimes when you have a big fat meal sitting in your tummy you get super lazy and it is nice to be able to waddle over to your car when it is super close.

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Stuffed and happy – Grits Fullerton

Anyhow, back to the fried chicken… There are two different options that you can take advantage of. You can either get the fried chicken plate that comes with 3 pieces and all the side fixings or you can opt for the all-you-can-eat. I went for the all-you-can-eat but my eyes were a lot bigger than my stomach because I was only able to make it through two pieces of my chicken and ended up taking one home. This is the price that you pay for the all-you-can-eat if you select this choice because the price is a bit higher than the 3-piece dish ($18). However, with the all you can eat, it is non-stop chicken for $26 and this chicken was delicious! Don’t forget this deal is only good on Sundays! 🙂

As far as how the chicken compared to The Playground… I cannot say that it was even a comparison because the flavors were so different between these two hot spots and I like them both equally for their own different spices and sauces. At Grits you do have an option of different sauces (Habanero Glaze or Sweet Whiskey BBQ) to add to your chicken which I thought was pretty awesome! My tastebuds that cannot handle spice were only able to do the sweet whiskey bbq, but this chicken was also fabulous in its’ natural dry rub and did not need to have sauce.

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Fried chicken legs dipped in habanero glaze and sweet whiskey bbq sauces – Grits Fullerton

We started our meal with the Bacon cornbread which stuck out to me on the menu because it was the first thing my eyes gravitated to (I mean who does not like cornbread and bacon?? J) and I just had to try it! J  This cornbread was prepared with bacon, maple and brown sugar butter. It was so delicious and I could have gone for more of this if we did not have 2 more appetizers on their way!

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Bacon Cornbread – Grits Fullerton

The second appetizer we dug in to was the Blue Crab Tostadas which were loaded with crab, avocado coconut puree (very unique and delicious), tomatillo salsa, pepitas and cilantro.  For a plate of three of these, this dish was reasonably priced at $14 & they even allowed us to add one more taco which is a slight upcharge, but well worth it if you are in a group of 4. 

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Blue Crab Tostadas – Grits Fullerton

The last appetizer was pretty damn amazing…definitely something to write home about!! The Thai Balls, which were prepared with shallots, Fresno chilies, powdered sugar, maple syrup fish sauce, pork cutlets fried, cilantro, and pancake balls was an extremely unique dish and full of flavor. I had initially questioned if this would have the right flavor when blended together…one bite though and I was addicted! The flavors were in perfect harmony and while I am not normally a pork or spicy person, the way these cutlets were cooked you could not go wrong!  Maple syrup and fish sauce?? Seriously this idea was genius! I would recommend to anyone that they get this dish for sure when visiting Grits Fullerton. 

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Thai Balls – Grits Fullerton

For main courses for the evening, three of us got the all-you-can-eat chicken special and all three of us ended up with boxes to go…Note to self…when devouring three appetizers before your meal along with wine, order the standard chicken meal.  🙂 Seriously though, the fried chicken was so delicious that next time I think I will go a little lighter on the appetizers so I can enjoy round 2! I loved my chicken dish and all of the sides that accompanied it (cajun black eyed peas, sauteed asparagus & spinach, & duck fat mashed potatoes), and I also loved having leftovers for lunch!  If you like spicy sauce, you are in for a treat when you select the habanero glaze. I cringe at spice, but my husband that absolutely loves spice still had his eyes watering from this one! 🙂

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Fried Chicken Dinner – Grits Fullerton

My husband was the only person that ordered a different entrée than the chicken and he opted for the Pork & Grits ($21) that was prepared with a Dr. Pepper braised pork shank, white grits, and a dried bing cherries glace. The Dr. Pepper concentrated syrup reduced with orange juice, soda water and butter made for the perfect blend of flavors and my hubby licked the bone dry!  There was literally nothing left on his plate!

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Pork and Grits – Grits Fullerton

For dessert we were in for a treat as they are always changing up the menu and our friends insisted there was going to be a bread pudding and then we were all surprised when 2 slices of Dulce de leche cheesecake with pistachio crust arrived on our table! J  Even though I had leftovers, I always save room for dessert and cheesecake is a must! J  This cheesecake was prepared fresh and was moist and creamy and I loved the blend of flavors of the Dulce de leche and pistachio. I hope they have this dessert again the next time I visit!  🙂

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Dulce de leche cheesecake with pistachio crust – Grits Fullerton

The beer selections at Grits were pretty impressive and they are also known for their sangria. Being the wino I am, I settled on a lovely glass of Knight Fall, a red blend from California which was full of flavor and well-rounded which paired nicely with my fried chicken. Meanwhile our friends had the Sangria and my hubby ordered the Enegren Nitro Milk Stout  from Moorpark, CA. The beer he chose was a fairly strong beer, a highly roasted dark stout with pronounced bitterness.  He loved this beer and he said it went nicely with the Pork and Grits.

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Sangria – Grits Fullerton
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Enegren Nitro Milk Stout – Grits Fullerton

There are a few awesome deals going on now at Grits Fullerton which include:

Industry Wednesdays: 25% off entire bill with valid pay stub

Thirsty Thursdays: 1/2-off tap craft beer and wine all day

Social Hour: 1/2-off tap craft beer and wine 3-5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays

Trail Special: Come in off the trail (presumably the Fullerton Loop) with your bike and still in your gear and the first beer is on Chef Cody.

Hope you get a chance to make it in to Grits Fullerton soon! Please share your thoughts about this tasty establishment in the comments section below! 🙂

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My love and I happy after our meal – Grits Fullerton

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