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Discerning Diner: Chicken served every which way in Lower Allen
Discerning Diner

Discerning Diner: Chicken served every which way in Lower Allen

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Joey's Chicken Shack

Joey's Chicken Shack offers plenty of chicken options from wings to cheesesteak to tacos.

It’s not often that my travels take me to the Cedar Cliff area of Lower Allen Township, so I was surprised to learn that Joey’s Chicken Shack had opened in The Shoppes at Cedar Cliff back in 2017.

If you remember the old Gullifty’s, which was a mainstay in the plaza for many years, Joey’s Chicken Shack is located right across from the former restaurant.

I somehow had it in my head that I would be enjoying a sit-down meal at their establishment; that is until I did a little research and learned that Joey’s is still in “take-out only” mode. I switched gears and called in an order during the dinner hour on Friday night. The friendly employee who answered the phone estimated that our order would be ready in 35 minutes. It turned out that the timing was right on the money, and when I arrived a half hour later, I waited only for about five minutes.

As far as décor is concerned, you won’t see much in the spartan, casual eatery, but a few socially distant mismatched chairs for customers to sit while they wait. Tables have been cleared out and little remains other than the name of the restaurant with a heart and chicken logo festooned on one wall, a painting on the opposite wall and marked areas for customers to judge how far apart they should stand while waiting.

Joey’s Chicken Shack offers many types of chicken dishes, from grilled tenders, to popcorn chicken, to traditional or breaded wings. A few things you won’t find are beef, fish or traditional fried chicken.

Wing lovers can choose house sauces like buffalo, ranch, honey mustard and ‘Merica (mayo, House hot and ketchup), or brand-name sauces like Kraft Blue Cheese or Sweet Baby Ray’s. Additional lunch and dinner options include sandwiches like the “sloppy joey” made with chicken tenders tossed in BBQ sauce and served on a toasted Kaiser roll; the “Southern” made with tenders, ‘Merica sauce and dill pickles, once again on a toasted Kaiser roll; and the “Shack Attack” made with chicken tenders, bacon, fries, macaroni and cheese bites, cheese sauce and buffalo sauce on a toasted club roll.

Listed under “Tex-Mex” are quesadillas, tacos, taquitos and nachos topped with shredded chicken, lettuce, house made pico de gallo and sour cream. A small salad selection includes a garden salad (that can be topped with chicken) and a cucumber salad comprised of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, jack cheese and Italian dressing.

The menu is heavy on the French fry selections, offering up an order of fries many different ways. “Chicken, Bacon, Ranch” fries are topped with house made cheese sauce, chopped tenders and bacon and house made ranch. The “Yeti” is comprised of fries with cheese sauce, chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese bites and a choice of two sauces. And the comically named “Fat Guy Fries” are described as “a meal in itself, loaded with cheese, chicken and other tasty toppings.”

Most of the specialty fry orders are 16 ounces—great for hungry families, but not likely for singles, who may be happier with a 12-ounce order.

My husband chose as his dinner a dozen wings, all drums, with a side of blue cheese ($13.87). Our dinner guest opted for the chicken cheesesteak ($7.99), and I decided on a grilled, two-piece chicken tender order ($2.99) served with a BBQ side sauce, along with a single taco ($2.99).

When we opened our carefully packed orders, they were still hot after a 15-minute drive, and the first thing we noticed was that the wings were substantially bigger than those we’ve ordered elsewhere.

I found the grilled chicken tenders to be moist and flavorful with a tasty seasoning, perfect for the diet conscious. My chicken taco was wrapped in a grilled, six-inch flour tortilla. Often these disappoint me because the wraps end up being too thick for my taste, but I’m pleased to say that this particular wrap was extremely light and all the flavors worked together to make it something that I most certainly would order again.

Our dinner companion (who can be a bit picky) weighed in with a thumbs up on her chicken cheesesteak, and as someone from Philadelphia, she knows a good cheesesteak, even though she rarely veers from the traditional. She said the bun was fresh, the chicken was tender and the cheese sauce, along with the sauteed peppers and onions, were all very tasty.

My husband also enjoyed his selection of moist and meaty wings. He commented on the seasoning, which he liked quite a bit, along with the side blue cheese dipping sauce and said that he would order them again.

If you’re like me, meal preparation is getting a bit old these days and I, for one, was quite happy to turn the work over to Joey’s Chicken Shack, where I discovered good food at reasonable prices.

Next Up: Lunch at Market Street Deli at West Shore Farmers' Market

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