It wasn’t that long ago that I mentioned a desire to get back into eating more burgers after a year of placing my hot sandwich focus almost exclusively on cheesesteaks. I’ve had a few since then, but they’ve been average at best. It had been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a really good hamburger and I was increasingly feeling the need to get off the schneid. It finally happened Tuesday when I visited Crisp Chik’n in Lansdowne, PA, for lunch.
It sits in the heart of Lansdown’s business district in space that had previously been occupied by another restaurant my wife and I once ate at. But while that was a full service restaurant, Crisp Chik’n is somewhere between that and fast food. As was the case at M2O Burgers, ordering was entirely self-serve on a monitor; although the man I assume to be the owner was very attentive in making sure nobody had any difficulty with the process.
The menu consists of chicken sandwiches, wraps, bites and tenders along with an array of burgers, sides, salads and milkshakes. While all of the other customers that were there during my visit took their food to go, I ate in the moderately sized dining room at a table with a view of Lansdowne’s main drag.
Given the name, chicken would seem to be their primary focus. But mine was a single cheeseburger. Each patty is a quarter-pound. I could have ordered a double, but I also wanted to sample the chicken and ordered the smallest available size of bites – what they call their nuggets. There was a nice list of available dipping sauces, which included my favorite, honey mustard.
The triple-head shake-maker I spotted behind the ordering counter was calling out my name, but it was still morning and I had eaten ice cream the previous evening. So I resisted temptation and went with a mandarin-flavored Mexican soda to wash down my lunch.
In spite of the ordering system, I didn’t want to narrowly label Crisp Chik’n as a fast-food restaurant because not only did the couple that run the place bring my food out to me, but it was clearly made from scratch after I placed my order.
I’ll start with the burger. I was definitely off the schneid with this baby. It was wonderfully juicy and had a slightly charred and strong beefy flavor. They unquestionably use high quality fresh meat. And the onions appeared to be fully caramelized, adding another dimension to the overall flavor package.
This was the best burger I’ve had in a long time. It felt very good when I took that first bite.
The chicken bites were no less impressive. While they were all white meat and I’m more of a dark meat guy, the pieces were so big, juicy and fresh compared to any other chicken nuggets I’ve ever had that it was difficult to care about the meat’s complexion. The breading was also delicious and nicely fried.
Who needs fries with a burger when these are available?
I didn’t have any kind of expectations going into this meal, and my initial reaction to seeing a self-serve ordering system wasn’t necessarily positive. But I was a full convert by the time I finished lunch and walked out of Crisp Chik’n and into the cool late-autumn air.
I’ll definitely be back. I need to try a shake and possibly a chicken sandwich. Of course, I will also need another of those burgers.