“Really? That’s like going to Peter Luger and getting the salmon,” my pal Robbie told me when I said I was excited to try the chicken sandwich at the newish Shake Shack in the Queens Center. Robbie is a big, big fan of their burgers. Not to say that I’m not, but I seem to be on a fried chicken sandwich kick of late.
As I waited on line a young couple in front of me bantered about the name of the sandwich “Chick’n Shack.” Soon it was time for me to fork over $6.29 for a cage-free buttermilk marinated fried chicken sandwich. As I waited for my sandwich I noticed somebody with a bottle of Louisiana brand hot sauce and immediately grabbed some to doctor up my bird. Shortly thereafter the Shake Shack pager began to vibrate and I picked up my order.
After the obligatory photo shoot, I splashed on some hot sauce and dug in. It was one of the juiciest crunchiest fast-food chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had. I could easily have eaten two. It was certainly the best fried chicken sandwich I’ve ever had in a mall.
After I finished my World’s Fare Concrete—vanilla custard topped with matcha, marshmallow sauce and crispy crunchies—I decided to check out the offerings in the nearby World’s Fare Food Court. It had been years since I’d been in a conventional mall food court, so I thought I’d see what was going on. And that’s where I encountered Boc Boc Chicken.
Boc Boc, which also serves fried chicken made from happy birds, predates Shake Shack. When the gal in front of the faux Korean style chicken shack offered me a sample of fried chicken I knew what had to be done and gamely paid my five and change for a fried chicken sandwich. While it paled in comparison to its neighbor, it was certainly a generous sandwich for the price. The two soggy pieces of breast with American cheese in between on a squishy bun with lettuce and tomato were hardly Chickendelicious as their wrapper proclaimed. While the sauce was vaguely Asian unfortunately the chicken itself bore little resemblance to a top-flight Korean fried chicken.
With all the fried chicken flying around New York City these days I’ll lay odds that it won’t be long before somebody creates a Korean fried chicken sandwich, a KFC if you will. As for me, I’m off fried chicken for the next few days.
Shake Shack, Queens Center, 90-15 Queens Blvd., 347-225-0190
Boc Boc, Queens Center, 90-15 Queens Blvd., 718-271-8098