Friday, July 6, 2007

400 Degrees

Nashville Restaurants
400 Degrees
319 Peabody StreetNashville

Update 1/11: They have moved near downtown to 4th and Peabody street. We'll have an updated review soon.

400 Degrees jumped into the Hot Chicken fryer last year. They’ve got some serious competition in town, but it seems like they’re up to the challenge. It’s a small store front at the intersection of Clarksville Highway and D.B. Todd. The tiny interior holds two tables and a take out counter. They’re plenty busy behind that counter, and despite being told that I had a 20 minute wait during a lunch hour visit, my chicken came out in less than five.

The named is derived from the levels of heat available, with zero degrees being plain, 100 degrees mild, 200 medium and 400 hot. You should respect this system and order carefully, because just like Prince’s, these folks mean it when they say hot. I usually order the medium at Prince’s, although it seems like mild really has more flavor. I wimped out and went mild at 400 Degrees and I’m glad I did. It has plenty of heat at 100 degrees and it doesn’t overwhelm the flavor. For those not familiar with the Hot Chicken concept, it’s basically fried chicken with the spice built into the breading. 400 Degrees flavor and heat is a bit sharper than Prince’s. It’s akin to hot buffalo sauce, with the Tabasco taking center stage. It’s a nice change of pace and packs plenty of flavor covering the moist chicken breast.

They also serve up wings, pork chops and even burgers at 400 Degrees. The list of sides is quite small, with just the usual slaw, potato salad and beans.

The location and good food make 400 Degrees a real contender in the hot chicken arena and judging from the busy lunch business they’ve staked out their turf well. Prince’s and Bolton’s each have they’re own section of town, and there should be enough Hot Chicken customers out there for everyone.

The first, and hopefully annual, Hot Chicken Festival was held just this last July 4th and hundreds of people turned out to sample from the three aforementioned restaurants. 400 Degrees received quite a bit of praise from folks standing in line for free samples. I think the size of the crowd at the festival should also convince a few more cooks to jump into the Hot Chicken fryer. It truly is a Nashville original.
Four Hundred Degrees on Urbanspoon


Lannae said...

I went to the Hot Chicken fest too. The order of the best is still Prince's Hot Chicken #1, 400 Degrees 2nd but not too far behind Prince's and Bolton's coming in 3rd. I did respect Bolton's for giving out chicken breast for a taste. It was hot, the chicken was hot and I was hot eating the chicken. Where is Paris Hilton when you need her to say this was "Hot".

Eric and Katie said...

I agree. No one can seem to match the complexity of the Prince's's more than just hot, it has tons of interesting flavor. I give 400 degrees credit for coming up with an original version.

Lannae said...

So, since they Hot Chicken fest, I have been wanting more HOT CHICKEN!! So that is what we wanted to do for dinner, so we drove up to Princes, found it closed for the week due to a family vacation, and then we hopped on over to the other side of Trinity Lane to 400... and guess what... They were closed too! Argh. We had sub-par food somewhere else. :(