Hailing from the mystical far-off coast of SoCal: the land of sunshine and tacos, one of my biggest worries upon learning that I would be moving to Nashville, aside from the dramatic change in climate (goodbye 75 degree winter days you will be missed), was the loss of good Mexican food. While abundant in Southern California, Mexican food in Nashville is… sorely lacking. That’s not to say there isn’t any, in fact there are several places in the vicinity of my home and I’ve begun a quest to find the best tacos in Nashville with limited success… but that’s a story for another day. However, in my quest, I’ve stumbled upon a treasure of perhaps equal value: Nashville Hot Chicken.
Nashville hot chicken is chicken battered in a variety of spices, fried, and slathered in hot sauce and to a girl raised on Mexican food with a taste for any and all things spicy, it is the best thing since… well, tacos (side-note: this morning I discovered there’s a restaurant somewhere around here that has hot chicken tacos and my head nearly exploded). Understandably, hot chicken is kinda a big deal here with several restaurants dedicated entirely to the art of cooking this fiery poultry where they offer several levels of spice from no-heat to melt-your-face off. Some of these places even have food challenges where people can earn money/t-shirts/eternal glory in the form of your picture up on the restaurant wall for all to see if you can eat a certain amount of the face-melting variety. Personally, I’ve never felt any desire to intentionally melt my face off and I think any food so spicy you need to wear gloves to prevent from burning your hands probably shouldn’t be put in your mouth to begin with. However, I pride myself in having a pretty high spice tolerance and I tend to go for the fire-breathing spice level that stings your lips and clears your sinuses (in the best way).
While I have no intentions to stop my quest for quality Mexican food (a girl needs to get her taco fix, hot chicken or no hot chicken), I’ve found a new quest that I am beyond excited to experience: the quest for the best hot chicken Nashville has to offer. If you ever find yourself in Nashville, Tennessee I highly recommend you try it for yourself.