Harold’s Chicken Shack Review – Schaumburg, IL

Harold’s Chicken Shack Review

Beats me if I can figure out which Harold’s is affiliated with what other Harold’s.  They are all over the country now, but I think there must be several different parent companies. Kinda like “Original Ray’s” pizza places in New York City.

Harold’s sells chicken.  On the bone, wings, strips, gizzards, catfish, and perch.  All fried. The sides offered include fries, okra. slaw and mushrooms. Most times this location is out of one thing or another.

I go for the catfish (filets). They offer a dinner with one filet or two, including fries and white bead.  I’ve never received the bread.

I love catfish.  It’s an acquired and geographical taste.  Growing up in Minnesota, if we caught them, we tossed them back. (I’m saying this in the most polite way I know how).

But I moved to New Orleans as an adult and came to love it. There’s a lot of it around because neighboring Mississippi is the epicenter of domestic catfish farming.  Some restaurants have decals in their windows boasting that they only serve Mississippi farm-raised cat.

Most restaurants serve filets, and it’s hard to find bone-in, but an entire fish deep-fried is more flavorful than the fillets. Every restaurant has a different style of bread, too, but most of them use copious amounts of cornmeal.Harold's Chicken Shack Review

Harold’s does a good job, mostly, the fish is cooked when you order, so it’s a fifteen-minute or so deal.  But I have two problems with Harold’s. You’re selling FISH.  Accompaniments are NOT ranch or hot sauce.  At catfish school, they’d teach you to offer tartare sauce or lemons, but you never have it.  You previously told me once you were out, but now you’ve fessed up and told me you never even order it.


Here’s my other problem.  $15 for two small filets and a mound of fries is NOT a good deal.  You have a competitor in some cities I visit called “JJ’s,” with a very similar menu. They have locations around Illinois. But they’re “large” is four fillets, fries, slaw and bread. FOR TEN BUCKS.  Here are my thoughts on JJ’s a couple of years  back.

Also, one must consider going to the source, the mecca for fried catfish, in Maquoketa< Iowa, Bluff Lake Catfish Farm.  Friday nights they do all you can eat catfish, fillets or bone-in, with fries and slaw.  No reservations, I got there at the opening bell and waited two hours. It was worth it.  This place is way out in the sticks, so pay attention to your nav system, and call to make sure they are open, cause I’m not sure if they are open in the winter. Other specials other nights.  Here’s their menu.

Or course, you’re located in a high rent district, but I gotta say, I won’t be back. Too many other choices around that offer a good value. Here’s Harold’s menu.

Harold's Chicken Review











Harold’s Chicken Shack Review