I was always pretty lucky with Albertson’s and having it fried right. Von’s is definitely the saltiest of the three for me. Von’s been running a $5 for 8 pieces and haven’t been tempted too much, but if it was Albertson’s or Ralph’s, quick and easy dinner during hot days.
At their peak, Pioneer’s was definitely better than KFC and I loved KFC growing up. Speaking of peak and inconsistency, there was a Church’s fried chicken in Santa Ana in the 90’s that was so good! We’d make runs at all hours and it was always good. But sadly I think Church’s overall isn’t the same. I should give them a try for comparison’s sake. There’s one on La Brea, north of Centinela, not too far from Pann’s and Serving Spoon.
I have a lot of nostalgia for Thrifty’s. One of my first jobs was scooping ice cream there. The one on Atlantic and Garvey was my main store, but I worked all over as a clerk. The store manager always made it a point to tell people that Farrell’s used Thrifty’s ice cream. A big threat was saving my pennies and buying myself a pint, I’d store in the freezer and no one in the family was allowed to touch it.
Also remember being the low man on the totem pole and having to unload the delivery. Nothing like running in and out of high SGV summer heat into a deep freezer stacking those containers. Some things I don’t miss.