When Not Everybody Wants Hot Chicken…

Nashville hot chicken–everybody talks about it but not everyone wants to set their tastebuds on fire. If you want it and your friends don’t, I’ve got a pair of ways to maintain the peace.

Plan A: they can order fried chicken without the heat. Plan B: head for a restaurant with a broader menu. I surveyed a number of friends to get their recommendations for primo poultry in a restaurant that serves a variety of entrees.

Acme Feed & Seed

Hot chicken rules the roost on the first floor of this Broadway dining and music destination but you won’t find it on the second floor or rooftop bar. Very casual environment where you order, get a number and a server delivers your food. The menu lists a variety of sandwiches and snacks as well as southern favorites including shrimp and grits and meatloaf.

Other Lower Broadway honky tonks/music venues that feature hot chicken (though I haven’t received first-person endorsements) are Nashville Underground, Nudie’s Honky Tonk, Crazy Town Nashville, Jason Aldean’s Kitchen & Rooftop Bar, Blake Shelton’s Ole Red and Tin Roof Nashville. Check out my Complete Guide to Broadway Honky Tonks.

The Stillery

A helpful representative at the Music City Center (and longtime Nashvillian) claims the best in town is found at The Stillery which has two locations–113 2nd Ave. N. and 1921 Broadway in Midtown near Vanderbilt University. These take the form of zippy chicken tenders but your friends can chow down on pizza, sandwiches, salads, catfish or hangar steak. They also serve a slew of brews and an extensive list of libations served in Mason jars.

Big Al’s Deli

Big Al features hot chicken on Tuesday and Friday along with other daily specials. Don’t like those choices? He also serves up a variety of items off the grill. In Salemtown, adjoining Germantown. Open for breakfast and lunch only.

Green Hills Grille

I prefer the hot chicken salad (pictured at top) over the sandwich because I can convince myself that I’m eating healthy. To my thinking, the mix of greens, cheese and kale reminds me of slaw; may not sound like it works with blazing bird but it does. Other stand-outs on the menu include the marvelous tortilla club, fish tacos, salmon and a raft of interesting salads. Highly recommended, especially if you’re in the Green Hills area.

Scoreboard Bar & Grill

My friend, the social media guru, claims the Scoreboard’s creation is about the best he’s ever tried. If you’re in the Opryland area, it’s a convenient destination–next to the Willie Nelson & Friends Museum and Cooter’s Museum. The menu is deep on barbecue and serves the only hot chicken pizza I’ve heard about. You can also go the burger, sandwich and salad route.

The Southern Steak & Oyster

Don’t the name fool you. They also serve a respectable hot chicken salad or you can add hot chicken ala carte for $5. The recommendation comes from Delaney who knows her way around Nashville’s nicer restaurants.

Sportsman’s Grille

My friend liked their version more than I but it’s still quite good. Personally I prefer the catfish basket or barbecue on corncakes. Look for daily specials with a menu that goes beyond sports bar fare. Locations in Belle Meade and Cool Springs.

Tennessee Brew Works

Craft beer meets a fancified sizzlin’ sandwich just south of downtown. Burgers and salads are also on the menu. The deck’s nice if the weather’s good. Plus, they serve up live music Monday through Saturday.

55 South

Down the road, 55 South swings from salads to southern favorites with an emphasis on Mississippi fare including shrimp and oysters. I’ve had the hot chicken and can testify that it packs a punch. Locations in Brentwood, Franklin and Spring Hill.

ALSO OF INTEREST:

 Specialists in Hot Chicken–and how to eat it without hurting yourself

25+ Meat-and-Three Restaurants–an indigenous form of dining in Nashville

Safety Tips from Metro Police in the downtown precinct

 

 

 

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