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May 8, 2009 06:37 AM

Nashville Hot Chicken & Other Local Eats


Can someone explain Nashville Hot Chicken to me? Is it spice? Is it heat? Is it both? What makes is special? What is its appeal? Where did it originate and become one of Nashville's eats?

Also, what other local eats are unique to Music City?



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  1. 1. Hot chicken is spicy hot. When you get it fresh, it is temperature hot, too, but the name comes from the spice.

    2. It's basically fried chicken with lotsa more pepper and spices in the dredge.

    3. You can choose how hot you want it. If it's your first time, I would recommend not getting hotter than medium, because medium is pretty darn hot.

    4. It is usually served over a couple of slices of white bread, which soak up the grease and spices. It might be the best part.

    5. The appeal is that it's awesome. Some people love it just because it's so hot, but I think it's just great fried chicken.

    6. There are at least three places in Nashville that serve it - Prince's (the best), 400 Degrees (pretty good), and Bolton's (not as good). If it's your first time, you've got to go to Prince's.

    7. There is a Southern Foodways Alliance mini-documentary on Prince's. You can watch that here:

    8. I would say that other than hot chicken, Nashville's food specialty would be the meat-and-three. This is a place, usually only open for lunch, that serves Southern-style plate lunches - one meat and three vegetables. And yes, macaroni-and-cheese is a vegetable. I think that Arnold's is the best one, but there are so many good ones - Swett's, Silver Sands, Wendell Smith's, Monell's, the Pie Wagon, and more.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jamiecarroll

      Great information! I can't wait to try some Hot Chicken!

      I grew up in Atlanta, so I am familiar with a Meat-n-Three ---- mmmmmm.

      I appreciate your answers, jamiecarroll!


      Chef Patrick