A brave new world of chicken

I am writing with not an experience, but an epiphany. A religious revelation. Moses had the burning bush, but I had the hot chicken.

Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack is a piece of a dilapidated strip mall in North Nashville, in a rather dubious part of town. The restaurant has a handfull of tables, and a dingy green color scheme. The area by the counter is highlighted by a certificate from a Tennessee Speaker of the House of Representatives proclaiming Prince’s the best restaurant in Tennessee, and a large bail bonds ad.

The menu is quite simple. There are a handful of sides– baked beans, potato salad, slaw, fries, and then there is the hot chicken. Mild, medium, hot, and extra hot. I bought mild and frankly cannot fathom the insanity of anyone to go above medium.

This is the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten. Tender and crispy, but the breading isn’t just breading. It’s fire breading. You take a bite, feel the burn of cayenne pepper and simulataneous wonder how you’re going to eat another bite and how many more seconds you can survive without doing so.

On some level, I think eating Prince’s qualifies as an extreme sport. I always wondered about people who jump out of planes or surf giant waves. But I suppose the point of the whole exercise is the wild exhileration when it doesn’t kill you. As I picked apart each crumb in the box and sucked the last bites of skin off of my hot chicken, I understood it.

The tastiest chicken and one of the spiciest things I’ve ever eaten (and again, I got “mild”)– the combination is almost too much to bear. It’s like eating a great hamburger while riding a roller coaster, or getting a relieving massage in a hot tub. The senses just don’t know how to react.

I’m choosing just raving. You have to try this. Really. And in the meanwhile, here’s a 9 minute video about Prince’s, to help illustrate some of these things, as well as providing you with some background on how it came about (short version– womanizer goes home to angry girlfriend who tries to half poison him with scalding hot chicken, but he loves it, and dedicates his life to selling it).

May it brighten your week!

Joe

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2 Responses to “A brave new world of chicken”

  1. Julie Says:

    I am still impressed with your chicken-eating ways.

  2. Teresa Says:

    This really, REALLY makes me want some.

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