If you’ve followed our adventures for a while, you know that I fell in love with Nashville hot chicken back in 2013. Since that first visit to Prince’s, we’ve been back there three times and tried it in several places here.
I didn’t realize that I wasn’t the only one involved in this love affair. There’s this great quote from Sean Brock (one of the top chefs in the South – check out Husk or McGrady’s to see what new Southern cooking can be), that I found here while writing this post:
“It has ruined regular fried chicken for me,” Brock says. “I eat fried chicken now, and I’m bored.”
On this road trip to NashVegas, I was determined to try a couple of more of their versions, so we started our meal adventures at Hattie B’s. Open since 2012, Hattie B’s does such a good business that they quickly opened a second location in west Nashville. And I found this article from Eater Atlanta last month that says that they may be coming to Atlanta (hallelujah). We had heard about the line and showed up about ten minutes before they opened at eleven. We were the third party in line, but by the time we placed our order and found a table, the line was wrapped around the front of the building, 35-40 people deep. We decided to split a large white (2 breasts and a wing) and added a couple of tenders to vary the spice levels.
The Medium heat was flavorful – much spicier than any “spicy” chicken you get at any chain. One of the keys to hot chicken is not merely to make it hot. You can add enough chilis to anything to make it too hot to eat. The key here is to make it so hot that you don’t want to eat it, but so tasty that you just can’t stop. For edification, the Damn Hot chicken was aptly named. It was too spicy for my beloved, but I hate her tender, along with all the sauce covered white bread I could find. There were two guys sitting at the rail seats along the outside wall eating “Shut the Cluck Up” (level five) and crying while eating. For the sides, the mac-n-cheese was creamy and cooling but the black eyed pea salad didn’t have much flavor. I’m glad we got to try the chicken here as it was very good. But I still prefer Prince’s.