RESTAURANT

NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN FIRST TIMER

Have you been to Music City? Have you tried the Nashville Hot Chicken? How hot did you get it? These questions are a right of passage for foodies that have been scorched by the flames of the famous Tennessee bird. Although there are several spots looking to stake their claim, there can be only one original. Prince’s is where it all began and even though Hattie B’s gets the headlines and the long lines, I wanted to go to where it all began. This is where it gets interesting.

When I first drove up to the landmark location on Ewing Drive I passed right by it. I expected to see a long line of hungry patrons the likes of which I witnessed at Hattie B’s downtown location. The GPS told me to make a U-turn and then into an unassuming strip mall. Sandwiched between a nail salon and a tax return company was a handwritten sign on the glass of what could have easily been a laundry mat. I parked and went in, still not knowing what to expect inside. My first thought was to run and hide but the pride of trying the original pushed me into the poor dated decor. A small window cut out of the drywall was all that separated me from the kitchen and a large menu above showed me how to order.  There were two levels that were above “hot” so I decided to play it safe and just go with the regular heat.  I wondered at what point did someone find a recipe that was extra hot and decided to go a level above that.

Given what I had seen online, I knew that sitting down at a table would not help me should I need to move.  I brought the greasy bag out to the parking lot and opened up the tail gate.  The first 20 seconds of my Nashville Hot Chicken journey was very enjoyable but that would be short lived.  I should have brought a glass of milk and it only took 20 seconds for the spice to reveal itself to my mouth.  The heat sneaks up, it comes on in layers with each layer bringing the heat level up a notch.  As insane as the heat entered, it dissipated in a similar fashion.  It didn’t take long for the craving of another bite.  With each bite the level goes up and then recedes.  The sick and twisted part is as I write this my mouth is salivating for more.  My brain has blocked the pain and my stomach craves more.  Maybe I’ll go up a heat level for the next one.