Phatz Chick N Shack- Vero Beach- 5-Stars
Hidden Gem BEST CHICKEN IN FLORIDA
If you have ever visited or spent any amount of time in the City of Angeles with a local, then you must have heard of the strange phenomenon of Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. At first thought, it seems like a strange combination that can't possibly go together. However, when done right, it is spectacular. I don't know if it's an L.A. thing or if Roscoe brought this from wherever he came from, regardless, I never expected to find something as good, if not better, in a run-down strip mall in Vero Beach.
While the outside may have left much to be desired, the inside was clean, warm, cozy, albeit Spartanly decorated and permeated with smells of fried chicken and...maple syrup? Met by an exquisitely kind server by the name of Kaye, I was immediately sat and handed a menu. Casting my eyeballs hurriedly down to the end, I found what I thought I smelled...the vaulted Chicken and Waffle combo. Ripping my eyes away from that listing, I turned to the food listed above and placed an order for one Chicken and Shrimp combo, one unsweetened ice tea and the aforementioned Chicken and Waffle combo.
Kaye placed our order with the cook, Antoine, and he jumped on it. While he was preparing our meals hand cutting and frying to order, Kaye returned with a ginormous unsweetened tea, this was certainly a value if I have ever drunk one. Before getting to the jewel on the table, I started with a side of Dirty Rice. This is made in house and is utterly unreal. The depth and complexity of flavor is something you just don't expect to find in a "Chicken Shack", but rather from a gourmet kitchen in New Awlins. The chicken wings came with their self proclaimed "World famous" sauce. While I don't know if a couple in say, New South Wales is aware of it, I know they would be talking about it if they ever had it. This sauce is the real deal. I don't know if it's Antoine's recipe or from Robert and Tessa Adams (the owners) or someone's Great Grandpappy, but it is savory, sweet and has this lingering kick I found to be extremely pleasant on the palate. The wings were indeed hand cut and breaded then fried to perfect doneness. They were juicy, tender and farm fresh. The Shrimp is of such high quality that if Antoine told me he had just taken it out of a tank, ripped the head off and peeled, deveined, dredged and fried, I wouldn't have doubted him in the least. They were big, succulent, tasty and top of the line.
With that combo out of the way and with a slight lingering kick on my tongue (man, I love that sauce), I greedily began devouring the Chicken and Waffle combo in front of me. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the homemade dredge used by Antoine. It is more than salt, pepper and flour that is for sure. I am leaning towards a Col. Sanders type of secret recipe here as it is like something I have never tasted. The Chicken was absolutely delicious. The flavors from the coating literally partied on my tongue, dancing to and fro from savory to sweet, to spicy. If I concentrated long enough, I was sure it would make me dizzy trying to keep up with the complexity of flavors to be found in this breading. The Waffles. What else can I say about the food here?? Homemade batter, hand dropped, griddled to a supreme golden brown, fresh and springy on the inside with just the right amount of give on the outside these were some of the best waffles I have had and that includes several places that "specialize" in breakfast foods. One bite of glorious chicken mixed with one bite of wonderful waffles and I was in foodie Shangri-La.
This is truly a hidden gem, but I don't think it will remain hidden much longer. After 8 years they have expanded to two locations and a food truck. With that in mind, you now have no excuse whatsoever not to try this place.
The Big Boy says, "For ginormous drinks, scrumptious sides, hand cut and hand dredged fried goodies along with fantabulous waffles, stop in Phatz Chick-N-Shack or hit up their food truck. You can thank me later." #iamthebigboy #bigboydiningout