Food & Wine

My First Taste of Nashville Hot Chicken: Hattie B’s

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Until I took my first trip to Nashville recently I had no idea that hot chicken was a thing. But when I was polling friends on what to see and where to eat, Hattie B’s came highly recommended.

I was advised that lines could be long depending on time of day, so I should consider ordering ahead, but I thought 3PM on a Monday might be safe for spontaneity.  I was wrong.

Not only was there a good sized line in front of the midtown location on 19th Ave, but I couldn’t even find a parking spot for several blocks. Ordering ahead requires at least a 30 minute lead time, so that option was out. However, since I had a car, the west Nashville location (5209 Charlotte Ave) was only a 12 minute drive.

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Gotta love the chicken references!

And for me it wound up being a better option since it had a spacious parking lot and many more seating options.

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The menu was pretty straightforward. You can get just the hot chicken on white bread with a pickle, the hot chicken with sides, or a hot chicken sandwich. My early BBQ lunch was not that long ago so I opted just for the chicken, the small chicken at that.

And since I didn’t have time to tour any of Nashville’s breweries I decided to try something from their list of a dozen or so local beers on draft.

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The seating options were rather awesome, you could hang out in the main dining room, enjoy sun on the front patio, or somewhere in between at picnic tables in the breezeway.

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It hadn’t taken long to place my order but it did take 20 minutes or so to get my chicken. Glad I ordered the small!

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It was one of largest pieces of fried chicken I’d ever seen and beautifully cooked. Juicy inside and a perfect spicy crust. I’d ordered the “hot” level of spice — which was quite spicy but didn’t set your mouth on fire.

Thumbs up for Hattie B’s.

Though apparently I missed out on the original hot chicken place: Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack.  According to my Uber drive enroute to the airport, hot chicken was created to punish her drunken, cheating husband. But instead of bothering him, the intense spice apparently sobered him up and it became popular among their friends. No idea if that’s true, but will definitely have to compare their chicken on my next Nashville trip.

Verdict on my first hot chicken experience: If you like spice and you like fried chicken, Nashville’s hot chicken is awesome. If you’re indifferent to fried chicken, well…that’s what it is 🙂

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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