Written by: Alexandra Lotzgeselle
As you may have figured out by now, my husband and I are serious foodies. We love all food- crappy, unhealthy, fast food, ultra-luxurious cheffy food, and everything in between. Alas! There is a restaurant that exemplifies our favorites from both ends of the spectrum! After months of hearing about this new Richard Blais (of Top Chef, Juniper and Ivy, J6, etc.) chicken restaurant that has people waiting in line around the block, we finally made a trip! When we came back from our recent vacation, we took Monday off as our last day to recuperate, and, to be quite honest, because we figured if we went to The Crack Shack on a weekday, we would be able to eat there without having to wait in-line with a baby all day.
There were a ton of things on the menu we both wanted to try. However, our pride got the best of us and we each ordered one sandwich and an order of the mini biscuits to share. I’m not afraid to admit that I really wanted us to be sharing about a half dozen things, but cooler heads prevailed. My husband went with the Firebird- spicy fried thigh, crispy onions, cool ranch, and pickles on a potato roll, and I decided on the Señor Croque- crispy chicken topped with bacon, a fried egg, cheddar cheese, and a miso-apple butter all on a brioche bun. WOW. I honestly couldn’t decide which I liked more. Both sandwiches were so moist and flavorful and you could taste every individual ingredient. Normally, whatever we eat, we sit there and say “Oh, this would just be perfect if it had this”, or “It would only be better if this wasn’t on it”, but not here! Each sandwich was perfectly and precisely crafted in a way that says foods that are typically considered low-class can still be appreciated and heightened. The food is hearty and rich with layered flavors without being overly complicated. I’m a sucker for a good biscuit and these were as good as any I have ever tried. The miso butter is out of this world, and I think just beat out honey butter as my new favorite.
I get it, fried chicken isn’t exactly healthy or fine dining, but at The Crack Shack, you don’t leave feeling disgusted either. The ingredients are clearly FAR better than your average fried chicken and the menu is absolutely more elevated than a traditional fried chicken joint. The venue is pretty huge with a ton of seating, which they clearly needed even on a Monday outside of peak hours. They have a large full-bar and there’s places for kids to run around, so it’s a great place to go out with friends and family. Luckily for all of us North County residents, there is a Crack Shack being built in downtown Carlsbad. This may not be good for your waistline, but I HIGHLY suggest you suck it up one day, brave the lines that I’m sure will stretch down Carlsbad Village Drive, and treat yourself to the best fried chicken outside of the south!