While it's a limited item, it may just end up staying — the Chick'n Shack sandwich started as a test item at Brooklyn locations, too.
But how does the sandwich taste?
The Chick'n Shack was one of the best new menu items of 2015, and is still a massively impressive chicken sandwich — it may just be my personal favorite.
The new Salt & Pepper Honey Chick'n sandwich is a somewhat simpler variation. The devilishly crispy and tender chicken still takes center stage, but gone is the shredded lettuce, the pickle chips, and the herbed mayo.
Enveloped within the pillowy potato roll is the hunk of buttermilk marinaded chicken slathered with salted honey and black pepper. Slathered may not be the most accurate word — perhaps lightly brushed is closer.
There's not a whole lot of the honey, which is a great thing. On the first bite, it's a very light and alluring suggestion of sweetness — nothing sickly or cloying. The pepper is subtle, and it brings a satisfying warmth to the tongue that melds with the smooth honey flavor.
Yet, the sandwich feels unfinished. I was shocked to learn that it did not have pickles in it — what better way to bring clarity to the satiated warmth of honey and pepper than the bright, acidic crunch of a pickle chip? Pickles are a time honored tradition amongst the fray of fried chicken sandwiches, and the taste works for a reason. Or they could buck tradition and place some pickled onions on top for a tart, sharp twist.
Or, perhaps a dipping sauce, or an additional sauce in the sandwich is necessary. As one esteemed BI taster noted, Shake Shack's chicken, while tender, isn't juicy enough to stand on its own without a saucy buttress or veggie accoutrements.
In the end, however, it still is a decent sandwich. Shake Shack knows how to fry a chicken breast to a crunchy crisp while managing to keep it tender, and that's more than half the battle. A chicken sandwich by any other name smells as sweet — but at least this one has some honey.
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 28: A sign hangs over the entrance of a Shake Shack restaurant on January 28, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The burger chain, with currently has 63 locations, is expected to go public this week with an IPO priced between $17 to $19 a share. The company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SHAK. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 18: People wait in line at Shake Shack on August 18, 2014 in Madison Square Park in New York City. Shake Shack is allegedly considering going public and holding an initial price offering (IPO). (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
A logo sits on display outside the first Shake Shack burger restaurant to open in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. The New York burger joint known for its queues will sell ShackBurgers for 235 rubles ($7.15), about 50 percent more than in New York and almost triple the price of a local Big Mac. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - APRIL 16: Patrons line up outside Shake Shack at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, during a baseball game in the Flushing neighborhood of New York, U.S., on April 16, 2009. Shake Shack, one of four venues Danny Meyer runs in the outfield, offers burgers that are just one dollar more expensive ($5.75) than his Manhattan outposts. (Photo by Ryan Sutton/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 31: Photos for FOOD SECTION : For June 8 First Bite review -Exterior of the busy lunch time at the Shake Shack in Washington, D.C. on May 31, 2011 (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
A logo hangs on a sign outside Shake Shack's new burger restaurant in London, U.K., on Tuesday, July 2, 2013. Shake Shack, opening in London's Covent Garden this week, started as a hotdog cart in New York's Madison Square Park, and has outlets in six U.S. states as well as in the Middle East and Turkey. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CHESTNUT HILL, MA - MARCH 19: Shake Shack, a burger restaurant, will open in Chestnut Hill. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: People line up for free Shake Shack hamburgers outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during the burger company's IPO on January 30, 2015 in New York City. Hamburger chain Shake Shack rose more than 130 percent in its trading debut on the NYSE Friday. Shares for the New York based burger chain opened at $47 and quickly climbed above $52 before dipping back to $48.77 for a 132 percent advance. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Free Shake Shack hamburgers are given out outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during the burger company's IPO on January 30, 2015 in New York City. Hamburger chain Shake Shack rose more than 130 percent in its trading debut on the NYSE Friday. Shares for the New York based burger chain opened at $47, and quickly climbed above $52 before dipping back to $48.77 for a 132 percent advance. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)