Actually Pretty Awesome

Actually Pretty Awesome: The Fried Chicken Sandwich at Hi Tops

It's like Bakesale Betty's, but dare we say it's better?
It’s like Bakesale Betty’s, but dare we say it’s better? Photo: J. Barmann

As critic Jesse Hirsch wrote just last week, “The Bay Area is lousy with fried chicken sandwiches,” and we think this stems largely from the explosive popularity of Oakland’s Bakesale Betty, where they still sling 800 or so of those bad boys every day they’re open. Nevertheless, there is always room for another, and we have to say this one is damn good. It’s probably the aioli and the dark crunchiness of the fry batter that do it for us, but Hi Tops’s fried chicken sandwich is a winner.

Consulting chef Jamie Lauren is who we should thank for this one — she took the basic components of Bakesale Betty’s sandwich, with the marinated, boneless fried chicken breast and the spicy slaw, and improved upon it with a sweet brioche bun, and extra-dark frying. The generous hunks of juicy meat come out well crisped, seasoned, and very delicious, and it’s the perfect thing to eat while drinking beer and watching a game. However, be mindful that this is a gay bar, and you may be judged.

Earlier on Actually Pretty Awesome:
The Dungeness Crab Salad at Haven
Chicken Drums at Rickybobby
The Doc Hopper at Absinthe
The Burger at KronnerBurger
Bang Bang Chicken Wings at M.Y. China
’Fruit Loops’ at Chambers Eat + Drink
Smoked Pulled Goat at Southpaw
Manti Dumplings at Troya Fillmore
Flaming Sea Bass Roll at Elephant Sushi
Black Risotto With Uni and Egg at Prospect
Seared Salmon and Mussel Mashed Potatoes at Bisou
The Meatloaf at Jamber
Carrots at Commonwealth
Turducken at Honor Bar
Beggar’s Chicken at Betelnut
Lobster Bread Pudding and Smoked Cod at Maverick
Green Farro-Sausage Risotto at RN74
Vegan Charctuerie at Gather
Pickled Eggs at St. Vincent
Beef Tongue at Namu Gaji
Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken at Brasa
Green Garlic Bread at State Bird Provisions
A Dinner of Small Plates and the Duck Confit Salad at Frances
Duck Fat Chex Mix at Truck Stop Café
The Lamb Tongue Salad at Txoko
The Branzino and the Cucumber and Scallops at AQ
Dinner at Local Mission Eatery
Suckling Pig Sandwich at Sweet Woodruff
Crudités at Saison
The Roasted Broccoli Sandwich at Split Pea Seduction
The Buffalo Burger at Double Decker
Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas
The Cocktails at Outerlands
The Meatball Gigante and the Honey Pie at Tony’s Pizza
Three New Gins from St. George Spirits
The Fried-Chicken Sliders at The Lookout
The Tripe and the Pickles at Bar Tartine
Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Doughnuts at Beast & the Hare

Actually Pretty Awesome: The Fried Chicken Sandwich at Hi Tops