Oooooooh Crack Shack, how I love you.
I mean, I really, truly love this place so much that it was literally my last meal before driving out of the San Diego city limits for the very last time.
We stopped by the Little Italy location, and I picked up some of my favorite Oyster Nuggets and fries for a late lunch as we hit the road; the fact that I can’t have it anymore makes my soul hurt.
There are two San Diego Crack Shack locations (Little Italy and Encinitas), and both of them were at least 20 minutes from our house, so we had to make it a point to visit, which was honestly probably a good thing otherwise we would’ve been there all the time.
What’s this “Crack Shack” you speak of?
You’re probably wondering what The Crack Shack is all about, and I’ll tell you….all while trying not to drool as I reminisce.
Crack Shack is essentially a chicken place…kinda like an upscale and trendy Chick-fil-A (in the sense that chicken is the name of the game), but—dare I say it, because you know I love me some CFA?—Crack Shack is way better…like, it can make your mouth water just thinking about it.
We were first drawn to it because of celebrity chef Richard Blaise (Top Chef All Stars and he’s on Food Network often); he’s the culinary whiz behind the menu, and God bless that man for creating such deliciousness.
Now if only they could open one up in New Mexico, I’d be an even bigger fan.
Time to Dig In
Oooooooh the food. Thankfully the menu isn’t too big, so you don’t have to worry too hard since everything is wonderful.
I think we tried almost everything during our visits to the Crack Shack, but my personal favorites were the Oyster Nuggets and the Shmaltz Fries (oh. em. gee). The fries are fried in chicken fat, and have the most fantastic flavor.
I’d also almost always get their Baja Chop salad (to ease the schmaltz guilt a little bit), but then I’d top it with their Oyster Nuggets for some extra protein…don’t remind me that they’re fried as well.
My kids also loved the Oyster Nuggets, and while the kid’s meals come with a drink, a cookie, and some carrot sticks, they weren’t actually crazy about the actual chicken nuggets that came with the kid’s meal.
So we’d just get them an order or two of the Oyster Nuggets. They also have grilled cheese if you have a non-clucker fan in the family.
My husband almost always picked the Firebird, and for good reason: It’s spicy, tangy, crunchy, and the ratio for all the ingredients is spot on.
The Fried Chicken is bomb.
California Dip was another personal favorite (but it gets messy and you’ll want to eat it there, not to-go)
Senor Croque has that nice sweet and savory thing going on, plus it has a runny egg, which is always a winner.
Mexican Poutine. Oh yes, my friends. This rocks our socks off. Ask for extra jalapeno cheese whiz, and then drizzle some Baja Hot Sauce over it. Eat it hot and fresh.
Seriously, though, anything you get will be fantastic.
Stuff for Kids, too!
With three young kids, you’ve gotta know that any place we go to more than once (on purpose) has to be kid friendly, and The Crack Shack is fabulous for little chicks.
The Encinitas location has an indoor and outdoor spot for tots to roam free (range). There’s a little sand pit, with some blocks and toys out there.
And inside they can play a giant game of Connect Four, draw on the chalkboard, and play around.
At Little Italy kiddos can play on the artificial turf off to the side, and play some corn hole.
My kids got a kick out of the signature giant chicken at each location.
Other Cluckin’ Awesome Stuff
They’ve got a fabulous happy hour ($5 for a smattering of things), and great drinks—their green chile bloody mary, by the way got two thumbs up in our book.
We also loved their self-serve sauce bar, and often mixed our own concoction for dipping.
Then again, I loved the fries and chicken plain on their own, so I was always super torn on what to do.
Are you hungry yet?
Long story not short: if you’re ever near a Crack Shack location, you’ve gotta check it out. Then you have to savor each and every bite, and report back on how delicious it was.
Have you been to the Crack Shack before? Share your go-to order below!