- A Quik Shoppe in a Shell gas station is said to sell the best fried chicken in Charlotte, North Carolina.
- While in town for the NBA All-Star Weekend, I ventured over to give it a try.
- I’m no fried chicken expert, but I left impressed.
In preparing to go to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend, I was tipped off to a meal worth trying while in the Queen City.
The Quik Shoppe at a Shell gas station just outside of Uptown is not a secret. In 2016, Thrillist wrote that the convenience store makes the “best fried chicken” in Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer has taste-tested it, as well as several other local publications. It’s a favourite amongst locals.
So, during some downtime in Charlotte, I ventured over – entering a gas station as a drop-off point for Uber is a weird thing! – to try the fried chicken that had become something of a legend.
I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s the verdict:
The Quik Shoppe is part of a Shell gas station just outside the city center of Charlotte, North Carolina.
From the outside, it looks no different than any other gas station.
But, as promised, there was a sign advertising the chicken.
And inside, a smorgasbord of fried chicken, potato wedges, and more, scattered haphazardly.
I ultimately settled on two pieces of fried chicken — a regular breast and a spicy one — and a side of mac-and-cheese.
I went with the regular piece first.
I won’t pretend to be a fried chicken aficionado, but it was good!
The skin was crispy and pleasantly salty. It was slightly dry on the inside, but not terribly dry, and the fatty pieces still maintained enough moisture.
I’m from New Jersey; there isn’t an abundance of great fried chicken. This tasted like other pieces I had had, but… better! One of Quik Shoppe’s cooks told Thrillist in 2016 that one of the keys to their chicken is that it comes in fresh and they don’t season it. I buy that line of reasoning.
Next up: the spicy piece.
I’m a willing spicy-food eater, but not a huge fan. I approached this piece with hesitancy.
I was pleasantly surprised and a little confused. The piece was delicious — the best of the two — but not at all spicy.
I don’t think there was a mix-up behind the counter, either. This piece tasted different. According to Thrillist, Quik Shoppe does season the spicy chicken. This one was equally as salty, but had a black pepper taste and was even a little citrus-y. It was more moist than the regular piece and overall better.
Secondary observation: this was a thick piece of chicken! The employee behind the counter at Quik Shoppe asked twice if two pieces was all that I wanted. I couldn’t imagine eating a third.
The chicken didn’t feel overly greasy to the touch, but a pool of grease was collecting in the corners of the box, so maybe that’s why.
The mac-and-cheese was next. Sadly, there wasn’t much to report.
It was pretty standard mac-and-cheese – creamy, a little salty, but not much flavour. I would guess that most places serving fried chicken or southern fare would have a more impressive mac.
The final damage.
Again, I can’t pretend to be a well-travelled fried chicken connoisseur, but I was left impressed by the Quik Shoppe chicken. True to the genre, it was greasy, salty, messy, mostly juicy, and left me full for a long period of time. If you’re in Charlotte and willing to travel for a meal you’ll have to take elsewhere, it’s worth a try.
Now, check out what attending the NBA All-Star Weekend is like…
We attended the NBA All-Star Weekend, basketball’s version of Super Bowl week – here’s what it’s like >
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