Quick service Chix Shack holding steady with Edmonton’s downtown crowd and offering some outstanding Thai food.
A long overdue post on Chix Shack but one that I think needs to get off my overwhelmingly long to-do list. Nestled under the condo units of the Capital Centre, the small eatery is sister to Sawaddee Thai in Sherwood Park. With owners from Bangkok, I don’t doubt all the positive reviews about Sawaddee’s food and looked forward to Chix Shack’s opening last fall. Fast forward nearly a year later and I think Chix Shack did a great job of fine-tuning their menu and listening to the downtown crowd.
As you might guess, Chix Shack’s primary focus was on their ‘Gai Yang’ Thai Grilled Chicken. Although still available on the menu to order, it’s currently no longer front and center at the walk-up order counter, but is instead off to the side and what appears to be almost an afterthought.
Chix Shack’s grilled chicken has been touch and go for me” some pieces quite moist and well-marinated, whilst others have been on the dry side. I have yet to reorder the chicken in the past three months but it’s something I’ll need to revisit! What I do remember loving? The tamarind-based dipping sauce that comes with the dish — highly addictive and pairs well with the strong lemongrass notes of the chicken.
The Som Tum (spicy papaya mixed with tomatoes, green beans, carrots and peanuts) and Larb (spicy minced pork mixed with toasted rice, onion, cilantro, green onions, and mint) remains on the menu and are classic Thai sides. Both are fantastic for summer, spicy yet refreshing with all the fresh vegetables and herbs. Gang Keow Wan (Green Curry, coconut milk, bamboo shoots, snow peas, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini and basil with chicken) with a side of coconut rice is a good option if you’re looking for something heftier, although other Thai restaurants in Edmonton are quite comparable.
I think what really brings Chix Shack up to speed is their Pad Thai. The classic stir fried thin rice noodles with tofu, egg, peanut, and tamarind sauce with chicken is one of my favourite dishes to order. It’s not too sweet, not too salty, and to be honest, consistently spicy when you ask for it to be. It’s the real deal and done Thai-style if you specifically ask for them to amp the heat. Edmonton’s Thai favourites Viphalay and Syphay have their fans, but lately I’ve been returning to Chix Shack more frequently and it’s because of the pad thai!
The newest rendition of their menu also includes noodle soups, something my boyfriend is quite happy about. The Yum Noodle Pork is a full-on pork affair: pork-based broth with pieces of pork and pork meatballs with rice noodles. It’s heavy on chilies, fish sauce, and lemongrass but all in the right ways. Order to stay in the small space and an assortment of condiments arrive at the table for you to customize your bowl: chili vinegar, chili fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. It’s a rarity that I find a noodle soup in the city that’s new (to me, at least) and this is one of the best. There’s a specific funk to this broth that I just love and one that I haven’t found anywhere else in Edmonton. Somebody tell me if there’s something similar!
I’m looking forward to this summer’s change: the owners have decided to go with a more sit-down approach and will be renovating their space this summer. I think it’s a good call in order to establish themselves as a downtown staple and I hope it helps more people discover them! Working across the street, I’m all for quick-service and take-out concepts but there’s nothing quite like sitting down with friends and family and really enjoying your meal.
Chix Shack’s location is a bit of a stickler with limited street parking and a storefront hidden deep into the building’s structure and past the sidewalk and set of stairs. For reference, it’s right next doors to CoCo Bubble Tea and is a literal stone’s throw away from Hudson’s and the Pint. Try it out and let me know what you think!
10149 109 St NW