The Shelby


Photo courtesy of Denise Reaman.

Denise Reaman, Culture Contributer

This previously ran in our December 2022 print issue.

Let’s face it: 15 bucks may not be the best deal for a crispy chicken sandwich meal. But what if it’s more than some quick fried bird, bagged with a moist bun and saltless fries, dropped into your car window with pleasure? 

That’s where The Shelby comes into play. 

Located at Hamilton Crossings, The Shelby offers a most succulent, spicy, crispy sandwich with a side choice of fresh cut fries, salad options, or its well- known tater tots. The toothsome masterpiece boasts an organically large portion of deep fried chicken thighs, glistening with a sweet hot-and- honey sauce that makes it almost challenging to eat by hand. The rich sauce almost soaks into the bottom of the bun a bit and somewhat to the edges. 

So is that a good thing? 

Yes. And, well, no. 

If you get this belly-filler to-go, taking it home means compromising the ability to enjoy it at its freshest. 

For many a discriminating palate, food should be eaten right after it is prepared. Why order fast food to be delivered to your house, only for it to be lukewarm? Your chicken sandwich shouldn’t make detours before it lands in front of your face. When you get a chicken sammy at the drive thru, you should park and eat it. Same with chicken and biscuits. 

(When the Bojangles opens in Quakertown, you park and eat the biscuit. If you ever go to Chapel Hill, where Southerners argue over important matters like fried chicken, you must try a chicken on a biscuit at Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen near UNC and then sit in the car. You’ll forget every other sandwich you ever had.) 

What really elevates this sandwich far beyond above Popeyes or Bojangles or Chick-fil-A or the Ch’King (RIP, the BK Royal Crispy Chicken will never replace you) is how the kitchen treats the food: it’s fantastically fresh. And you simply cannot top that. 

But since we have The Shelby in our backyards, it is so worth the extra cash. You have to try this spicy sandwich here and now. It’s not a sandwich that one picks up with the hands very easily. A fork may come in handy. And don’t wear your favorite white shirt. 

Fashion aside, it’s all about the taste buds. Not only do the spicy and honey sauce blend together perfectly well, The Shelby sandwich is topped with flavorful fresh dill dressing, along with lettuce, tomato, and pickle. It might make one think of high-brow boneless wings, but it’s so much more than that. 

And you simply cannot top that. So if you’re dropping a Hamilton on a spicy chicken meal already, for just $14.95, this is a marvelous way to spoil yourself.