…and hoo boy, is it a surprise. 

Hattie’s Chicken Shack


Note: that’s the website for the original restaurant, the shack doesn’t have its own. 

Anyway, so this place is in a strip mall, next to a Five Guy’s and a Chipotle, right in the middle of chain hell (Route 50).  And it makes the aboslute best fried chicken sandwich I have ever had in my life at any time ever.  Extremely basic:  a kaiser roll, a couple of fried chicken thighs, some coleslaw. That’s it.  So flipping good.  They need to get the CEO of Chick-Fil-A up here and say “This is the kind of thing you need to be making.”

It’s a spin-off of Hattie’s restaurant, a locally legendary cajun/fried chicken restaurant in downtown Saratoga Springs.  Which of course confused the hell out of me.  But the story behind it (which is too good to be true, but here it is) is that a black woman born in Louisiana sometime in the late 19th or early 20th century to a family too poor to have a calendar to know her birthday got a job as a cook for a wealthy businessman who wintered in Miami and summered in Saratoga Springs.  By 1938 she had saved enough to open her own place, chose Saratoga Springs, and voila.   Hattie’s Chicken Shack is a spinoff, downscale, pared down menu version of the original restaurant.  My only complaint is that they indulge in the practice of selling excessively large portions to justify high prices.  An order of fries for $4.00?   That feeds three?  Can’t I get an order that feeds one for a buck-fifty?  Please?  Good fries though.  It does seem that this part of the country is universally skilled at deep-frying.