Restaurant Review: The Crack Shack

Details: 2266 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101. The official site

The Crack Shack is a fried chicken place with a pretty cool outdoor space. I came here for lunch on a Monday.

I ordered the Firebird (spicy fried thigh, cool ranch, crispy onions, pickles, potato roll, cost $11.00) and an order of the biscuits with miso-maple butter on the side (comes with six biscuits, cost $5.00). The Firebird is usually drenched in the hot sauce, but I asked they put it in the side.

I can say with utmost confidence, that this is probably the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had. Easily better than Chick-Fil-A, better than Shake Shack… better than anything. It was that good. And I think it would not have been as good if I didn’t ask for the hot sauce to be on the side rather than having the chicken drenched in it. The chicken patty is literally a whole thigh, barely altered, just battered and deboned. The rest of the sandwich was okay, but that chicken was prepared and fried just right. Adding a little of the Firebird hot sauce here and there was perfection. The sauce was good in that it wasn’t too spicy. It just added some flavor.

The biscuits were all right. Their just your standard biscuits, nowhere near the vicinity of how good Red Lobster biscuits are. The only thing interesting about them was the miso-maple butter. Never had miso infused butter before and it was all right. Additionally, they have their own brands of fountain sodas, which is also interesting.

The space also need a mention. It’s a lovely out-door space with benches and tarps to block the sun. The day I went was sunny and temperatures in the sixties. It was a perfect day to come here.

There are people who take your trays and bring you your food, but no real waiters. They ask for tip when they take your order, but you can opt to tip nothing if you want.

Overall, a great place with perhaps the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had. It’s still a little pricey when compared to other fast casual chicken sandwiches, but it was still good. The ranking of fast casual chicken sandwiches in my mind is now Crack Shack in first, Shake Shack in second, and… no one else really worth a mention.

One last thing. I originally came here wanting to get their fried chicken. They only provide orders of ten pieces of chicken or more. That is stupid. What kind of a stupid business decision is it to force everyone who wants to come by and try your fried chicken will need to buy at least ten pieces? Kentucky Fried Chicken, Popeyes, and other fried chicken establishments have figured out that the optimal amount of chicken for an individual meal is two to three pieces. People don’t always want a bucket nor do they always have five to six friends handy to help eat a bucket of fried chicken. A ten piece minimum is just idiotic. What a dumb, selfish decision.

The chicken sandwich was still good.

Score: 6.7/10

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