What the cluck!

North Austin restaurant shells out inventive twists on chicken salad

North Austin restaurant shells out inventive twists on chicken salad

Chicken Salad Shoppe
It's all chicken salad all the time at this North Austin eatery. Photo by Jessica Scott Photography
Chicken Salad Shoppe
Half-pound monster cookies come in seasonal flavors. Photo by Jessica Scott Photography
Chicken Salad Shoppe
The Chicken Salad Shoppe is now open. Photo by Jessica Scott Photography
Chicken Salad Shoppe
Chicken Salad Shoppe
Chicken Salad Shoppe

If you love chicken salad, boy do we have the restaurant for you.

The aptly named Chicken Salad Shoppe is now open on Burnet Road, dishing out — wait for it — all kinds of chicken salad. Leading the operation are co-owners and husband-and-wife duo Ivan and Molly Mills. Molly previously worked as a chef at the iconic Hill Country eatery Hudson's on the Bend before starting Vanilla Orchid Catering with Ivan more than a decade ago.

For their latest venture, the duo is doing all chicken salad all the time, with "flavoristic" offerings like The Texan (fried chicken salad with bourbon peaches, barbecue pecans, bacon, and jalapeño jelly); The Big Blue (grilled chicken salad, dried blueberries, and toasted pecans); or the James Banh (spicy Thai peanut banh mi chicken salad with shredded carrots, fresh jalapeño, cucumber, avocado, Thai peanut sauce, and jalapeño jam). 

And chicken salad purists shouldn't despair; the restaurant also offers Mee-Maw's Classic Chicken salad with grilled chicken, mayo, mustard, and herbs.

Each order can be made into a sandwich, wrap, or salad, and customers can select from Texas toast, croissant, ciabatta, sourdough, sun-dried tomato wrap, or gluten-free bread. For those who want to bring the chicken salad home, bulk chicken salad is available in both individual and party pack options. 

Despite the name, vegetarians and vegans have a handful of meat-free "chicken" salad options to choose from, including a chickpea-apricot salad sandwich and meat-free version of the shop's Big Blue and Chipotle Chicken recipes.

For those who travel to the Chicken Salad Shoppe but don't want chicken salad, the restaurant also dishes out housemade soups, half-pound monster cookies, and fresh sides like mixed grilled veggies and pasta salads.

The concept is currently open for takeout and delivery only, as it operates out of a ghost kitchen at the couple's Vanilla Orchid Catering concept.

"We originally planned to launch a brick-and-mortar," Ivan says in a release. "After a few months, we realized Covid wasn't going to go away anytime soon. So instead of sitting on this concept, we decided to launch as a ghost kitchen in the middle of a pandemic in hopes of keeping our amazing chefs employed while also serving Austin something new and fun in a safe way during this season."

The Chicken Salad Shoppe is now open for curbside and delivery only at 7433 Burnet Rd. To order, go online or call 512-790-7790. The Chicken Salad Shoppe is open Monday-Saturday, from 10 am to 4 pm.