Roth Scott and Ian MacBryde opened the first Boxcar Betty’s in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2014, with the idea of building a better fried chicken sandwich.
Since then, they’ve opened two more South Carolina outposts, plus locations in Chicago and Charlotte, North Carolina.
The new Atlanta location, in the Westside Paper development on Marietta Street, opened in April, then closed for a time, and recently reopened.
The space is decorated simply, with dark wide plank paneling and a wall of windows looking out on the tables and chairs in the courtyard.
Not surprisingly, Betty’s is most famous for its Boxcar fried chicken sandwich, stacked with an ample brined and battered breast, pimento cheese, peach slaw, house pickles and spicy mayo, on a Martin’s potato roll. At $9.89, it’s not cheap, but it is delicious, with sweet and savory flavors, and a toothsome crunch. However, in my experience the potato roll was too squishy to contain all the goodness inside, leaving the sandwich soggy before the last bite.
Also on offer is the Buffalo sandwich, dipped in Buffalo sauce with blue cheese dressing, lettuce and tomato. And the Chicken Not So Waffle turned out to be a sandwich, with maple syrup and bacon jam.
Additionally, you can build your own sandwich, with a choice of fried or grilled chicken, or fried pimento-stuffed portobello mushrooms, and toppings galore
A featured option for beef eaters is the signature smash burger, featuring two seasoned patties, melted American cheese, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, onion and special sauce. I liked everything about it. The patties are cooked to order on a flattop, and are assembled quickly, giving them a crispy edge. The sauce, which seems to be mayo-based, has a nice kick. And even though it also was presented on a Martin’s bun, it held up much better.
There’s also a big salad, loaded with bibb lettuce, shallots, pickled green tomatoes, candied pecans, a choice of proteins and lime vinaigrette or agave buttermilk dressing. I enjoyed the salad topped with the buttermilk dressing and the fried pimento-stuffed mushrooms, which also had a welcome picante edge.
For sides, I enjoyed the fried green pickled tomatoes with a side of spicy mayo dipping sauce, and the hand-cut fries straight out of the fryer were the real deal.
Fountain sodas and iced tea are self-service. The kids menu includes chicken nuggets and tenders.
Boxcar Betty’s is known for offering macarons for dessert, but, sadly, the sign at the Atlanta outlet still says “Coming Soon.”
Food: fried or grilled chicken sandwiches, double smash burger, salads, sides
Service: dine-in, online ordering, pickup, catering
Vegetarian dishes: salads, pimento-stuffed portobello mushroom
Price range: $1 juice box to $9.89 Boxcar sandwich
Hours: 11 a.m-8 p.m. daily
Outdoor dining: space in front of the restaurant
Address, phone: 950 W. Marietta St. NW, Atlanta. 404-941-7542
Sign up for the AJC Food and Dining Newsletter
Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.