I'm a foodie at heart. I love seeking out culinary adventures and more often then not these are not adventures of the healthful kind. Enter "What a weight loss blogger should not eat" and how I celebrated our country's Independence.
When I knew I'd be in Nashville over 4th of July, I knew one thing - I'd be attending the city's Hot Chicken Festival.
If you've never heard of Hot Chicken, then you probably aren't alone. I'm not sure anyone outside of the South (or Nashville?) does chicken quite as the likes of Prince's or Bolton's does. If you've never heard of it, I suggest you take a moment to watch this.
Basically what Hot Chicken comes down to is breaded and fried chicken doused in a blend of fiery, hot spices served over a piece of white bread (and there better be pickles on the side in my book).
The weather was hot and steamy, but seeing as it was under 100 degrees out I knew I could handle a few hours in the high-noon sun to try this Nashville culinary tradition. Touting half a dozen chicken vendors, there was a little something for everyone including hot drumsticks, whole chicken pieces, fried fish and breaded chicken tenders. Little did I know I'd spend an hour in line to get my hands on this culinary delight.
We arrived right at lunch time - seems like most people had this idea as every. single. vendor. had a line rivaled by those at a Disney theme park. We actually lapped the park in the car wondering if we could just head over to one of the vendor's storefronts to get our Hot Chicken fix. Our deciding factor to wait out the crowds? A prime parking spot.
After a lap around the front of each vendor's line to survey the offerings, we decided on Pepperfire Hot Chicken. Their offering was simple; breaded chicken tenders doused in sauce with a side of white bread and pickles. No extras, no frills. Points on the boneless option (for KG) and a shorter line than some of the name brand vendors.
Once we had our chicken in hand we found a shady space to sit and enjoy. I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect. I love hot wings and spicy food in general, but this is a whole new game. Hot wings are not even in the same realm as Hot Chicken. As we stood in line, you could taste the hot pepper seasonings in the air.
The first bite was delicious. The quality of chicken from Pepperfire's was outstanding - juicy white meat chicken and the breading on the outside was perfectly crisp and salty. The first kick of spice was a pleasant surprise.
But was it good you ask? I give a wholehearted YES! But with a disclaimer, it BURNS your insides. By time I finished my first piece everything was burning. My lips, tongue, mouth, throat and stomach. But it wasn't as if I couldn't TASTE the food. I just had to take my time between bites to let the burning subside. Halfway through my meal I had to go out for reinforcements - our water supply was low and carbonated beverages were needed. I recommend eating Hot Chicken with a Diet Mtn Dew.
I wasn't sure if KG was going to make it, but she pulled through like a champ. One of the best parts is the spice soaked white bread left at the end.
At the end of it all we had burning lungs, fiery guts and we decided ice cream was in order. I recommend pairing your next piece of Hot Chicken with ice cream. It's quite the delectable and classy combination.
I hear several of the places were out of chicken by 1pm (just two hours after the event begun). So ultimately I'm glad we went early. Next year we'll have to get there 2 hours before it starts to beat the crowds. If you're ever in Nashville, I dare you to try Hot Chicken for yourself!