Review: Shake Shack Crispy Peking Chicken Sandwich & Quick Recap of My ’15-’16 NBA Predictions
JFG Nation, we are already in the middle of the first round of the NBA Playoffs, so I wanted to take a quick look back on my before-the-season-started NBA predictions. And let me just say – I was waaaaaaay off.
In the East, I predicted the playoff standings to go:
Where’d I go wrong? Well, how about 3 of the 8 I predicted didn’t even MAKE the playoffs – Washington, Chicago, and Milwaukee!! Good lord. Thanks for making me look bad, Chicago – I only picked you to GO ALL THE FRIGGIN WAY (sigh). Way to NOT take a step forward, Milwaukee! AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON YOU, WIZ. Also, I specifically said the Pacers would NOT make the playoffs. Lame.
In the West, I had:
1. Golden State.
2. San Antonio.
7. New Orleans.
OH MAN. The Lakers????? What was I thinking?? I did slightly better in the West, which isn’t saying much, because the same old guys ALWAYS make the playoffs. Predicting 6 of the 8 isn’t that impressive, especially considering I left Portland off the list entirely. Takeaways? After some pretty good years predicting playoff teams, I have clearly regressed.
How do you guys think the NBA playoffs have been going so far? I woke up this morning and didn’t even realize Chris Paul broke his hand. Oooooof.
Turning to more pleasant matters – here in DC there is a popular noodle joint called Toki Underground, launched in part by chef Erik Bruner-Yang. Then Bruner-Yang opened his own restaurant, Maketto, which drew rave reviews – lots of Taiwanese & Southeast Asian flavors. The place is legit. I ate there over the summer.
CHEESY GRIN. Anyways, that’s one of Maketto’s signature dishes – Taiwanese fried chicken and bread. Chicken bread, pounded flat, deep fried, covered in honey, soy, chili – it was the bomb diggity nom.
Recently, the popularity of both Chef Bruner-Yang and Maketto led to an amazing pairing – he worked with Shake Shack to create a fast food fried chicken sandwich on their menu: the Shake Shack Crispy Peking Chicken Sandwich!!
Now you’ll notice that the sandwich was only available til….Sunday. This past Sunday. So yeah, the sandwich is gone. So this review is…unhelpful? Whatever. Read on and drool.
The Shake Shack Crispy Peking Chicken Sandwich is a crispy chicken breast covered in Maketto hoisin sauce, pickle, cucumber, and scallions. I bought two – one for me and one for the JFGal. The people at Shake Shack weren’t the best with consistency. This is what the JFGal’s looked like:
A perfectly shaped Shake Shack Crispy Peking Chicken Sandwich, complete with a nice clear pickle, and a nice clear cucumber. Mine looked like this:
Yeah, I decided to take the Shake Shack Crispy Peking Chicken Sandwich that had the bigger chicken breast. Go figure.
The consistency problem with my Shake Shack Crispy Peking Chicken Sandwich? Barely any pickle or cucumber!!!!
Still, you can see the construction – hoisin on top holding all of the scallions in place.
What is hoisin sauce? It’s basically like a Asian BBQ sauce – it’s sweet, salty, with heavy garlic notes – made of soy beans, chilis,a nd garlic. It’s like a thickened soy sauce with BBQ elements. It’s delicious. You want to slather it all over your face, I promise. And this Shake Shack Crispy Peking Chicken Sandwich had plenty of it.
As for the chicken breast in this Shake Shack Crispy Peking Chicken Sandwich? PERFECT – back when I reviewed Shake Shack’s Chick’n Shack, I talked about how excellent fried chicken needed perfect little craggs all over the surface. It’s reflective of good brining, good breading, and good buttermilk content. This breast had all of that in spades. The taste of the breast did taste different than the standard Shake Shack Chick’n Shack breast…maybe it was all in my head, but I thought it was a little spicier.
This was the bottom of the Shake Shack Crispy Peking Chicken Sandwich – I unfolded it after the first bite so you guys could see the healthy distribution of hoisin sauce underneath the patty. Again – no pickle, no cucumber. YOU SHORT CHANGED ME, SHAKE SHACK. WAIT TIL I TELL THE CHEF.
Of course, I’m really just being a blow hard, because this Shake Shack Crispy Peking Chicken Sandwich was effing tasty. The soft bun and the perfect chicken breast of course set up everything so that success was easy. The chicken was thick, crispy, and juicy, and the standard potato bun from Shake Shack held everything together nicely with no sogginess.
But the Maketto sauce? HOOOOOO BRUTHA. Sweet and savory and luscious. It transformed the fried chicken into an Asian BBQ chicken. Those who know hoisin sauce know that it can get a LITTLE overwhelming, which is where the raw scallion and cucumber/pickle come in. The pickle/cucumber help mute the sauce with a little bit of crunch and tang, while the raw scallion was SUPER onion-y and spicy. It REALLY cut the sauce well, and the normally sweet BBQ flavor actually finished on a onion-spicy note rather than a sweet note. When I smacked my lips after, I tasted soy, onion, and savory chicken – like I had just finished eating some egg rolls, dumplings, etc. Totally unexpected, but I was into it.
There ya go – that was the sandwich. AND NOW IT’S GONE. But if Chef Bruner-Yang and Shake Shack ever get together again – hop on this sandwich.
PURCHASED AT: Shake Shack, F Street, Washington, DC