Along Park Boulevard in Alameda, California, there is family owned restaurant called “Lola’s Chicken Shack.” It’s a quick eat shop that specializes in chicken marinated in rice malt to keep the meat nice and tender. They serve the chicken as fried tender strips in either salads, sandwiches, or on their own with a variety of dipping sauces. There are soups and other sides to choose from as well to eat in or to take out.
I walked in the other night, not sure what to expect. The concept sounded fantastic but oftentimes, in these small shops, it is easy to fall short in execution. Plus, it did not help that there was a customer waiting for a to-go order going on and on in a loud voice about how lousy the service was.
But my order was taken very quickly by staff who were courteous and attentive. My order was out in a timely fashion and smelled fantastic. I had gotten three of their sandwiches to go:
1) Lola’s Classic Sandwich. I always start with the classics on my first visit to get a baseline for that establishment. This was great – served with Lola’s classic coleslaw, each bite reminded me of a summer day and picnics under the sun.
2) Chicken Bacon Ranch. I chose this b/c I love ranch and I wanted something to contrast to the classic sandwich. This was also great – the ranch dressing was not overpowering or messy to eat. The bacon was not oily and seemed to have been baked crisp to add a great constrast in flavor and texture. I would eat this to go any day!
3) Chicken and Waffles. Well, because I love chicken and waffles. This was served on a bacon cheddar green onion waffle that was delicious with a maple mustard sauce that had just the right balance of tangy and sweet.
So, in the end, I am glad that I did not walk out in response to the yammerings of a crazy customer and stayed for a great meal!