Article and photos by Jeff Pierce, Washtenaw Voice staff
An odd looking structure sits on Ann Arbor’s southeast side, owned by Yong Kim and his wife Aggie. Loyal followers have flocked to this structure since Yong and his wife opened it back in 1982. Welcome to a restaurant named Mary’s Fabulous Chicken & Fish, located at 3220 Packard road, in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Yong and his family have proudly served the Ann Arbor area for three decades.
“I love Yong Kim’s gizzards. I’ve been eating here for years,” said Al Dungey, 74, a Ford retiree from Ann Arbor.
“Gizzards are healthy to eat. They’re rich in iron and protein like beef liver,” said Dungey, while eating in the two-table dining area.
CPA Pete Papadopoulos, 45, is a financial adviser in downtown Ann Arbor.
“I stop here once in a while for a pint of gizzards to take to work. They’re excellent,” according to Papadopoulos. He also ordered a 3-piece chicken dinner.
‘Brick’ Washington, 28, lives and works in Ypsilanti. He stops in Mary’s Chicken the time for carryout. “Yong’s gizzards are the best. I get them when I order chicken legs or a cheese steak hoagie,” said Brick, a patron since 1993.
L.T., 32, of Ann Arbor, has stopped at Mary’s since the age of 8. “Good gizzards are hard to find. I stop in at least once a week. It’s a cheap snack– $1.99 for a half-pint of gizzards,” said L.T., an unemployed southeast-side resident.
“Yong serves his gizzards in a Styrofoam cup ready to eat! When I’m done, I have a cup and fork to use later,” said L.T.
The carryout restaurant relies on chicken and cheese-steak hoagie sales. But shrimp, clams, French fries, onion rings, fried mushrooms and various sandwich styles are available, as well as chicken and fish combo dinners. All dinners, served in grease-stained boxes, contain french fries, coleslaw and a roll.
Gary McCall, 45, from Chelsea, a University of Michigan employee, stops for the convenient carryout.
“I’m picking up a few pints of homemade rice pudding for a dinner party tonight.” according to McCall.
Yong Kim sells 80 pounds of gizzards per week. He buys frozen chickens pre-cut, but the gizzard demand forces him to buy additional 40-pound packages of frozen gizzards.
“Gizzards are small. Our chicken sales can’t generate enough gizzards. We buy frozen gizzards separately to bread, cook and serve,” according to Yong.
Don’t forget the gravy “I keep the price down for everybody,” said Yong.
Mary’s Fabulous Chicken & Fish is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.