Huffpost Chicago

Tina Fey's Praise Brings Chicago Restaurant New Crop Of Customers

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Last week, in a clip posted on Hulu, "30 Rock" star Tina Fey gushed about her favorite meal in Chicago: the Athenian Room's roasted chicken.

"I lived on the North Side," Fey said in response to a viewer question about her favorite Chicago restaurants. "You need to go to a place called the Athenian Room on Webster. You need to order the roasted chicken. It's cooked on a spit, it comes on a bed of steak fries and the chicken juice gets into the fries. Unbelievable."

Well, her glowing review of the meal was taken to heart by locals--who have packed the Lincoln Park restaurant since.

The Chicago Tribune's Mary Schmich spoke with Alex Polakis, owner of the Athenian Room on Webster and Halsted. Polakis told her the phone started ringing as news spread of Fey's endorsement--and then came the crowds.

Schmich reports:

It was lunchtime, and the Athenian Room was filling fast, though not as fast as it did Sunday night when everyone in the unexpected line outside had to cram inside to escape the rain, and Polakis was afraid he would run out of his suddenly famous chicken.

Polakis told Schmich he is very grateful for Fey's glowing endorsement, and though he has not seen "30 Rock," or any of Fey's movies--he does remember her from her Second City days.

"I remember her when she was young," he told Schmich. "She's still young, don't get me wrong. But she was not famous."

Read more about the Athenian Room's history and sudden popularity here.

WATCH Fey explain her roasted chicken love affair here: