Last year, a co-worker brought amazing fried chicken to a work baby shower that was reportedly from a chicken shack in a gas station. Sounds good to me.

From what I can tell, Shark’s is a mostly Southern chain with several locations in the state. This location is attached to a Sunoco on Greensprings:


Mr Foodie and I headed to meet 2 friends there on a weeknight. Once inside, it is apparent that essentially everything on the menu – meat, veggies, pickles-is fried. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never been to a place like this before-it was like being in a breaded and oil covered parallel universe. I was mesmerized.

Turns out, one of my two friends had gotten the dates mixed up and had ALSO shown up the night before. When I started to tell her how sorry I was that she came all this way only to leave with an empty stomach-she recommended the fried shrimp…. And told me she was glad to be back for a second night in a row. Now that’s dedication to fried food.

We soon saw why she was willing to make the pilgrimage twice. There are numerous ways to order food here. A la carte or in a dizzying array of combos:


We all ordered something different and shared. My friend who was back for the second time opted to order 3 sides for her meal, and the rest of us got combos, so we all got to taste lots of deep fried things.

It’s hard to write very distinctly about all of the food we ate, so I’ll just summarize. Everything tastes juicy and deep fried. And delicious. Everything goes well with either ketchup, hot sauce, and/or ranch, which are plentiful:


And the service is friendly and funny. After an hour of us plowing through the food, when I went back for more ranch, the guy cooking the food said-are you guys still here?? To which I replied, did you see what we ordered??

And so here it is, the deep fried photo montage, in no special order:

Fried green tomatoes:


Fried pickle spears:


Hushpuppies (the sweet cornbread-y kind):


Now in cross-section:


Corn nuggets, shrimp, chicken, and catfish:


Corn nugget in cross section:


Wings, catfish, and seasoned fries:


Now for the non-fried bits.

The salad, defined loosely:


The bread:


If you are reading this from north of the Mason-Dixon Line, do not, I repeat, do NOT, try to determine what Wonderbread is doing in this photo montage. If you’ve spent the last few minutes wondering whether I was going to photograph the Wonderbread-you are definitely from ’round here.

In summary, at Shark’s, you get what you came for-fish and chicken. You can’t get much more genuine than that. And while I’m pretty sure I just un-did about a month of what my statin and running routine have been trying to accomplish, it was worth it for the very genuine, very homey, very deep fried (have I mentioned that?) experience.

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