photos courtesy of Chicken Shack, unless otherwise indicated
Whether you’re on your way into Corpus Christi, or on your way out, that funky little shack with the big neon clucker beacons like a delicious, welcoming lighthouse. Perhaps you’ve seen the old-school neon sign and wondered about it? Well, those who stop, know: The Chicken Shack is where it’s at!
1. Part of a Long, Local Tradition
Back when Michael Berry was in college, he worked for one of Corpus Christi’s last surviving Shep’s Chicken Shacks, a popular chicken chain for over 50 years, with locations around the Coastal Bend and across South Texas. After he finished college and was well into a few decades pursuing another career, the chain disappeared. Berry and his wife Kerry decided to revive the beloved chicken business and opened their first Chicken Shack in 1997. Eventually, they obtained the trademark and opened the business up for franchising.
Don’t be surprised to see the owners yacking it up from behind the counter with customers. Locals, Winter Texans and other regulars love this spot!
2. Nothing Beats Hand-Battered and Homemade
There’s just no comparing your average fast food to fresh, juicy chicken that’s been hand-battered in buttermilk, then deep-fried. The Shack’s famous chicken tenders are just as tender and fresh. They are also known and loved for their chicken fried steak, fish, shrimp… and hold on to your gizzards: fried chicken livers and gizzards! Same goes for the onion rings: Sliced rings from whole onions, dipped in the same scrumptious batter and heaped on the plate in generous portions.
Fans of fried food (um, everyone) will also flip over the fried pickle spears, tater tots, jalapeño bottle caps, mozzarella cheesesticks, fried green beans and jalapeño poppers. Folks watching the ol’ waistline can indulge in fresh grilled chicken salads and savory sides like broccoli, green beans and house-made cole slaw. Don’t ask us for details about the slaw: We inhaled ours.
3. Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!
Whether you wish to dine-in or take-out, menu items at the Chicken Shack are available as dinners, family packs or ala carte. Everyday, the big marker board at the front of the line features daily specials. Sometimes the deals are full dinners with two sides, sometimes they highlight sandwich specials with free drinks and on Fridays, folks line up for the very special daily special and Tex-Mex favorite: King Ranch Casserole.
4. Oh My, Pie!
It just isn’t a visit to the Chicken Shack without a pause to meditate on the heavenly delight that is Buttermilk Pie. (And by “pause to meditate,” we mean: “chow down and polish off.”) Here at the Shack, this creamy, sweet and tangy Southern staple is homemade and comes in two varieties: Traditional and Chocolate!
5. Two Convenient Locations to Serve You
Since the Berrys opened up franchising opportunities, another location opened on the Southside in 2015, Chicken Shack Saratoga. The same belt-busting menu is on board there and at the main location in Northwest Corpus Christi. Convenience is king. Both stops feature a full-service drive through, making take-out a breeze. There’s nothing like a day at the beach with a picnic of freshly fried chicken.
We’re waiting for you in Corpus Christi. Come on down! And whether you are driving in on I-37 or renting a car once you fly in, take our advice and cross the road for this chicken.