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  • Evanston Chicken Shack

    Post #1 - February 14th, 2016, 10:11 am
    Post #1 - February 14th, 2016, 10:11 am Post #1 - February 14th, 2016, 10:11 am
    Chicago is turning into quite the fried chicken town. There have been several famous and not so famous fried chicken joints that opened this year, with more to come. One place that has been here for years, serving up consistently excellent fried chicken is Evanston Chicken shack.

    A while back, we did a fried chicken taste-off, and ECS came out the clear consensus winner. ECS is always in the conversation when talk turns to fried chicken here at LTH Forum. You can find members singing its praises in nearly any thread that mentions fried yardbird.

    Here are a few samples of what people had to say about Evanston Chicken Shack:

    Ram4 - I ordered the 2 breast special (for $6.00 you get 2 breasts, fries, bread, and slaw) and it was great. Juicy, moist and tender chicken with a great crunchy breading that had some nice spices in it (not spicy - but a little peppery).

    d4v3 - One thing I will say though, the Chicken Shack makes some damn good catfish. I would put their fried Catfish steaks up against any in the city.

    Cathy2 - The chicken came so hot from the grease, I had to wait for it to cool. It was very well made fried chicken with a light breading that did not need any dipping sauce.

    And from the fried chicken taste-off that I linked to above:

    GWiv - Evanston Chicken Shack was my favorite of the day. Crisp crust with a noticeable spice component, juicy, though toothsome, chicken flesh with a slight salt flavor to the flesh. Leading me to wonder if ECS brined their chicken prior to frying. ECS was the only chicken of the day that tasted the same as previous times. ECS livers and gizzards were quite good as well.

    Bob S. - But the next chicken I had was Evanston Chicken Shack's, and that jumped right out at me, pointing out everything Cajun Charlie's was missing. It was by far my favorite, skin having a little kick to it, meat tasted like more than just industrial processed chicken. Taste and texture combined on this one to carry it into the winner's circle.

    It is with great pride that I nominate Evanston Chicken Shack for a GNR Award.

    Evanston Chicken Shack
    1925 Ridge Ave
    Evanston, IL 60201
    (847) 328-9360
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #2 - February 14th, 2016, 1:06 pm
    Post #2 - February 14th, 2016, 1:06 pm Post #2 - February 14th, 2016, 1:06 pm
    Fully support this nomination. With all the newer Fried Chicken joints opening, ECS is a little under the radar these days, but the product is consistently outstanding, and well worthy of a GNR.
  • Post #3 - February 14th, 2016, 2:29 pm
    Post #3 - February 14th, 2016, 2:29 pm Post #3 - February 14th, 2016, 2:29 pm
    I also fully support this nomination. The two thigh, two leg special has never let me down. In my experience, the quality of the chicken has always been consistently excellent.

    Remember to call in your order ahead of time.
  • Post #4 - February 14th, 2016, 5:20 pm
    Post #4 - February 14th, 2016, 5:20 pm Post #4 - February 14th, 2016, 5:20 pm
    Ecs has been my go to fried chicken since the 1980's. I fully support this nomination.

    There are hipper places and places that have better presentation but I'll take ECS's chicken over all of them.
  • Post #5 - February 14th, 2016, 9:02 pm
    Post #5 - February 14th, 2016, 9:02 pm Post #5 - February 14th, 2016, 9:02 pm
    I'm happy to support this nomination. I work only a few blocks from Chicken Shack, and it's a go-to place for take-out on my way home. The chicken is excellent, always hot and crispy, and not as salty as some other (more famous) fried chicken places. No atmosphere, forgettable to lousy sides, but a fantastic main product: fried chicken. Great nomination!
  • Post #6 - February 14th, 2016, 9:53 pm
    Post #6 - February 14th, 2016, 9:53 pm Post #6 - February 14th, 2016, 9:53 pm
    I did a recent half-intentional swing that involved Mini Hut and Evanston Chicken Shack (close enough in time to datapoints at White Fence Farm on Harlem, and Harold's in Hyde Park as well), and came away very impressed by ECS, particularly the dark meat. The smaller birds with crisp coating, perfect salt level, and balanced mild seasonings make for what I think is just about an ideal situation for legs and thighs in this style. This place is to Parson's and HBFC what your local Polish bakery that makes right-on $0.80 cake donuts is to Stan's and the Vault (may they all succeed).
  • Post #7 - March 6th, 2016, 10:47 pm
    Post #7 - March 6th, 2016, 10:47 pm Post #7 - March 6th, 2016, 10:47 pm
    I did my graduate studies at NU, though commuted from the city. My routes to & from campus never took me down that stretch of Ridge. And that's too bad.

    Laikom and I hit this place up a few weeks ago, first time for both of us. I really enjoyed it. The place certainly feels culturally removed from the elite airs of campus, a true everyman spot. I'm pretty sure there were some Wildcats in the mix that afternoon, but the business was brisk with a real mix of folks. They got that neighborhood feel down for sure.

    Leg quarters were served piping hot with juicy and pleasantly salted flesh that suggested brining with a nostalgic Brown's-esque simplicity to the crunchy breading with a lingering garlic note. I might have even enjoyed the catfish nuggets a notch more with sweet meat encased in a discernibly different, more aggressively seasoned breading fried a shade darker.

    For a first timer, I'll give my nod to ECS!
  • Post #8 - March 6th, 2016, 10:58 pm
    Post #8 - March 6th, 2016, 10:58 pm Post #8 - March 6th, 2016, 10:58 pm
    Evanston Chicken Shack is a terrific nom, actually a terrific nom nom. :)

    ECS, count me a Fan!
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - March 7th, 2016, 12:58 pm
    Post #9 - March 7th, 2016, 12:58 pm Post #9 - March 7th, 2016, 12:58 pm
    ECS is one of the very few places that makes me long for the days when I lived in the area. They were frying chicken there long before fried chicken was the flavor of the day. I fully support this nomination.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #10 - March 7th, 2016, 1:02 pm
    Post #10 - March 7th, 2016, 1:02 pm Post #10 - March 7th, 2016, 1:02 pm
    A recent take-out order was excellent. The side of mashed potatoes were okay, but the gravy was wonderful. Happy to support this as a GNR.
    -Mary
  • Post #11 - March 8th, 2016, 12:08 am
    Post #11 - March 8th, 2016, 12:08 am Post #11 - March 8th, 2016, 12:08 am
    I tried Evanston Chicken Shack for the first time with jefe (mentioned above) and loved everything about it. I wish I had a similar place in my neighborhood and definitely support them for a GNR.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #12 - March 11th, 2016, 6:20 pm
    Post #12 - March 11th, 2016, 6:20 pm Post #12 - March 11th, 2016, 6:20 pm
    ECS is just the kind of place that the GNRs should support. Not trendy fried chicken and certainly not a stylist decor, but excellent, classic fried chicken. I vote yes. It should have been a GNR long ago.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik

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