When all is said and done, and we look back at the summer of 2015, it will likely be remembered as the Summer of the Chicken Sandwich. In New York, fried chicken sandwiches are having a bit of a moment. Right on cue to capitalize on the trend is the Shake Shack ChickenShack sandwich. A timely addition, but two years in the making, the ChickenShack joins a mature field of competitors. Is the ChickenShack ready to fly, or did it hatch too soon?
As of this writing, the ChickenShack is limited to only three stores, all in Brooklyn. It seems inevitable that the plan is for a full roll out as Shake Shack continues to aggressively expand. Since being announced, and selling out, then restocking this July, I had been meaning to take the trip. Shake Shack typically is a cut above the rest, so I had high hopes for the ChickenShack.
- Crispy buttermilk marinated chicken breast
- Shredded lettuce
- Buttermilk Herb Mayo
- Toasted Potato Roll
At first bite you can immediately tell that this isn’t just another fast food fried chicken sandwich. Most fried chicken sandwiches have patches of soggy breading. The ChickenShack’s breading is crispy and very flavorful. You can tell that at some point someone shook some real pronounceable seasonings into the batter. You can also tell that it was cooked relatively recently. The breading is extra crispy and the chicken appears to be quality–no weird questionable parts.
Beyond the chicken we have the lettuce, the sauce, and the pickles. The Sauce and the pickles really elevate the ChickenShack from being average to noteworthy. The secret here is the thick cut pickles. Chick-Fil-A takes the simple chicken plus pickles approach, but their pickles are flimsy and soggy. With the ChickenShack, the pickles are thick cut and the vinegary flavor balances out the crunchy batter. The buttermilk mayo also helped step it up from other fast food fried chicken. The shredded iceberg lettuce is an interesting choice. It gives a cool crisp taste to the sandwich, but it also helps to pull back a bit on the “high quality” reigns.
Lastly, is the standard Shake Shack Martin’s potato roll. I am a huge fan of the roll for the burgers. I thought it definitely helped make this sandwich taste distinctly like a Shake Shack sandwich. My only gripe is that it seemed to have a little bit of trouble standing up to the girth of the chicken breast. The roll was definitely maxed out trying to fit all the contents.
Shake Shack ChickenShack – The Verdict:
The Shake Shack ChickenShack is not only a mouthful to say, but also a substantial sandwich. The obvious–and really the only–close comparisons to make is with Chick-Fil-A’s Classic Chicken Sandwich. The ChickenShack is definitely higher quality tasting and more filling. The portion size is great, and with fries and a drink you will be full. The problem is the sandwich is 6.29 without fries or a drink. The bottom line is the ChickenShack is the best fast food chicken sandwich I’ve tasted, and I look forward to it being available at all the Shake Shack locations.
The Shake Shack ChickenShack is 595 Calories, 36 grams of Fat and 28 Grams of protein
Shake Shack ChickenShack Review