STACKED is a Scout column that aims to dig down into the delicious details of Vancouver’s better sandwiches and burgers. From banh mi and burgers to sliders and reubens, the goal is to craft and catalog an archive of awesome that visitors and locals alike can reference when at their hungriest.
by Andrew Morrison | Last summer I had the pleasure of introducing my face to the boneless fried chicken appetiser at Fable Diner off Main Street (151 East Broadway). I recently returned for a well-remembered taste and was just about to order it when chef Chris Oliveira explained that they were now doing a sandwich version of the dish, with cheese and a side of their superb french fries (brined, steamed and triple fried, they are arguably the best fries in the city). Don’t look for the beast in the ‘sandwich’ section of the menu, however. It’s listed under appetizers as an upgrade option. A deal at $14.
1. The same pliable, soft, lightly toasted milk bun that makes Fable Diner’s beef burger (in and of itself very worthy of this column). Fried chicken sandwiches often (counter-intuitively) get a firmer bread than most beef burgers do (eg. ciabatta), even though beef burgers make for a much softer bite. Fable Diner does it right.
2. Tucked under the lid are slices of pickled jalapeno peppers, maybe three or four coins worth. These add some heat to the overall package, but it’s more of an accent than a punch. That being said, the little bastards are hidden and thus strike without much in the way of visible warning.
3. Three of four pieces of boneless chicken. These are cornmeal battered and deep fried to a golden crisp and then dusted with a fine, impactful powder made from hot sauce. An argument could be made for there being too much chicken on the sandwich, but I’m not going to make it. I’m also fine with it being white meat only.
4. Cabbage slaw. This stuff is really not that important in the grand scheme of the sandwich’s overall architecture but it is definitely welcome as an added textural layer (a different crunch than that of the chicken) and it definitely adds some colour. There’s a 50 shades of brown thing going on otherwise.
5. A seam of bright American cheese. The stuff is wilted, not melted, arriving at the end of the plate build rather than the finishing stage on the flat-top (cheeseburger-style). But does American cheese really belong on a chicken burger? Yup. It’s extra flavour, extra viscosity, extra awesome.
6. Housemade ranch sauce. A gently herbaceous coup de grâce that pulls all the elements together with a bow, cooling down the peppers and hot sauce dust while also taking the sharper edges off the chicken’s outer crisp. Super creamy stuff (if I remember it correctly, it’s all about the dill).