DSCF2009.jpg

Blog

FOOD. MENSWEAR. PHOTOGRAPHY. WRITING.
Perpetually #huangry. Occasionally #huangover.

#Huangry: Hattie B's Hot Chicken

Look. I'm not a hot chicken expert. In fact, I've only had honest-to-God hot chicken once, in Columbus, OH. (Shoutout to Hot Chicken Takeover!) 

All I know is that hot chicken is good, and Nashville's known for it.

So on the suggestion of former BOF intern Sydney Scaggs, I went over to Hattie B's (the West Nashville location) before I left town a few weeks ago. Thankfully, it was almost 4pm, so there was no line and plenty of room in the restaurant.

I was feeling ambitious. I hadn't had anything to eat since 8am, so I was starving. I ordered their large dark meat plate: two leg/thigh quarters with bread and pickles, plus two sides. I opted for the collard greens and the pimiento mac 'n' cheese. And of course, a tallboy of PBR. Because why not? I only had about 8 hours of airport/airplane time ahead of me. 

It was good as heck

Obviously, what "spicy" means tends to vary from place to place, so I played it safe by picking the mild and medium spice levels. These were both cayenne pepper based, instead of habanero, and were just spicy enough for me. I probably could have done the medium for both leg quarters, but the way that heat persists and accumulates, any more than medium would have resulted in me being a total sweaty mess.

(Definitely the kind of seatmate you want on your flight.)

As for the chicken itself — it's fried chicken, and dark meat to boot. It's pretty hard to have a bad experience. The meat was juicy and hot, but I do wish I could have tasted more of the spiciness, if that makes sense. That is to say, I just felt the heat, rather than tasting anything other than hot chicken. Maybe it'd be different with the habanero spice levels.

I don't really remember exactly what the Hot Chicken Takeover version was like, but in my mind, that experience might be better. Could be due to a number of factors: the company, the time of day, the vibes, etc. 

Either way, the only way to know for sure is to have more hot chicken.

So I'm gonna have more hot chicken.