Friday, January 29, 2021

Eating in lockdown: Hanley's Nashville Hot Chicken

We've lived through the chicken wing era, the fancy burger era, and the Ramen era. Right now, I believe we're in the Nashville Hot Chicken era. And like all food trends they take their time to come to Ottawa but come during this lockdown it has and this week I tried one of the new local entrants: Hanley's Nashville Hot Chicken.

It seems to be a pop-up that moves around the city, most recently landing downtown at Queen Street Fare. I ordered it from Uber Eats though for my weekly Wednesday purchased meal. The chicken tendie combo comes with three tendies (I added one for a fee), crinkle fries which I upgraded to cheesy, corn bread and pickles. There was also a small cup of dipping sauce and a slightly larger but still small cup of pickled slaw. I also added a mac & cheese side, because I'm all about that mac and cheese. You can also choose from a scale of hotness for your tendies -- I went with medium.

Supposedly the origin story behind Nashville Hot Chicken is that a wife was very unhappy with her husband, I'm sure for very good reasons. Wanting to bring the pain, she made him fried chicken but unknown to him tried to make it scorching painfully hot. The result though was not what she hoped for -- he loved it. Not sure if they stayed together, but it made the leap to a local Nashville restaurant and spread from there.

Anyway, the dish arrived in a box that got rather jumbled together on the drive across Centretown. I'll dispense with the cornbread - I don't care for cornbread. I also don't like pickles. I don't really care for thicker fries like the crinkle cut (I'm a thin fry boy) but the cheese sauce, which had a mild kick, made them tasty. The less cheesy fried did not get eaten -- could have been crispier also.

The chicken was the star attraction though. They were big and fairly juicy, and as any portable chicken aficionado knows it's chicken tender>chicken strip>chicken finger. They're breaded but not saucy, the powdered heat comes from the coating. And it's a slow heat that took some time to hit me. Still, I didn't find it that hot and should have gone with the hot instead of the medium. It was tasty, but the breading didn't adhere to well and began to come off with minor handling. Still, was a good lunch. Would like to try it in sandwich form next time.

The mac and cheese was just OK. It had cheese, but it lacked any creamy saucy element. Need the cheese saucy for good mac and cheese. At least they used macaroni though, points for that.

I believe there are one or two other Nashville Hot Chicken offerings in town, so more exploration still to do.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers

No comments: