Hancock made me question why I ever stopped eating chicken


Feeling a sickening swirl of unease flip my stomach upside down, I stared at the piece of fried chicken—something I haven’t eaten since eighth grade—and decided that it was what I had to do.

If I was going to review Hancock, a restaurant known for their southern-style chicken, I was going to have to momentarily not be a vegetarian and just eat the chicken.

Was I initially disgusted? Yes. But was the quickly dissipating wave of nausea necessary? Also yes, because the chicken I had made me question why I ever stopped eating it in the first place.

Rewinding to a couple of weeks ago, when my dear mother texted me about Hancock, I knew, deep down, I was probably going to have to eat chicken. Scouring the menu online– which had a whole section dedicated to fried chicken alone– it was pretty clear that, despite my unease, I was going to be ordering from that section.

And so, flashing forward to the day my mom, brother, and his friend and I piled into the car and crossed the highway to Wealthy Street, I mentally prepared myself to order from a section of the menu I habitually skip over.

Quickly finding a parking spot outside the restaurant, which I credit to the fact that we went out to eat at 4:30, we crossed the street and trekked across the neatly-paved sidewalks and too-green turf. My brother and his friend’s 12-year-old brains couldn’t quite wrap their head around the fact that there was fake grass outside a restaurant, but I was tunnel-vision focusing on the chicken I was about to eat for the first time in a very long time.

Walking past the turf and stepping into the all-white restaurant—white walls, white tables, white decorations—we were graciously greeted by the laughter of the staff waiting for the dinner rush to come through, the cheery country music, and the vast menu occupying the back wall.

Noticing the stack of red numbers beside the stacks of glass water cups, I was surprised to see that it was not a sit-down restaurant, but more of a Five Guys situation, where you place your order and take a number to the table.

The boys immediately decided on two baskets of fried chicken and waffle fries and ran to an open high-top table, which there was no trouble in finding since we were one of two families in the restaurant, and my mom placed her order of a grilled chicken salad. I instinctively eyed the sides menu, which consisted of almost every variation of potatoes, biscuits, baked beans, and macaroni and cheese, priced at three to five dollars. I decided to order waffle fries and macaroni and cheese, just to be safe.

Eyeing the high price for the chicken baskets—10 dollars for a medium—I concluded that I didn’t want to waste money on something I could possibly throw up a few hours later. So, I just decided to sample chicken from everyone else’s meal in order to save money and my stomach.

My mom and I took our number and headed to the table, which was positioned right next to a huge glass garage door overlooking Wealthy Theatre, other various restaurants and, yes, the fake grass. Taking in the environment, which was a relatively small space that felt ten times bigger because of the all-white setup, we waited about ten minutes for our food while listening to the country music and sipping our sodas.

A kind server brought out the fresh food—sizzling, steaming, and screaming southern—and placed the various trays on our circular table. The restaurant was on the smaller side, so the tables were too, but I didn’t notice how truly tiny the table was until the food came.

The white decorations expanded the space, but they couldn’t do the same to the too-small table. We all awkwardly bumped arms with the server as she was figuring out who ordered what, and we eventually had to remove everything that wasn’t necessary from the table in order to fit everything.

The pure deliciousness of the fries— the first item I dug into—made up for the lack of elbow room. Perfectly seasoned, with a kick of spice, and not at all soggy or greasy, it was the perfect way to start dinner. Moving to the macaroni and cheese, which came in a bowl the size of the palm of my hand, I devoured the cheesy goodness in minutes.

Then, the chicken.

Feeling a sickening swirl of unease flip my stomach upside down, I stared at the piece of fried chicken—something I haven’t eaten since eighth grade—and decided that it was what I had to do. It was fried chicken, exactly how I remembered it to be. Southern-style, simple fried chicken with a fiery twist and without a drop of grease.

Fried chicken is often the meat I crave, and my experience at Hancock will only enhance these cravings—it was truly such a great way to start slowly incorporating chicken back into my diet.

The fries were fiery, the macaroni and cheese was mouthwatering, and the chicken was a complete cure to my cravings.

Despite the pricey menu, despite the small tables, and, to my brother and his friend, despite the fake grass, Hancock was a fun way to spend a Tuesday night and cure my chicken cravings.