Thursday, August 16, 2007

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack

Nashville Restaurants and Food
Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack
123 Ewing Drive
Nashville
615-226-9442


This Nashville legend lives up to the reputation. The fried chicken is unlike anything else around: incredibly spicy and amazingly tasty. Hot Chicken is a Nashville specialty thanks to Prince’s and it really needs to be about more than the heat. Prince’s delivers. The batter is a complex mix of spices that you can taste best in the mild form. The medium version cranks up the heat quite a bit, and would rate as hot at almost any other restaurant. The hot is way out there, and has made more than a few persons uncomfortable, to say the least. It seems every TV food host in America has to take on the hot version, and usually succumbs well before they are finished. This is a shame, since the mild and medium versions have such complex flavor.

Prince’s is also known for the atmosphere. It’s the type of place where construction workers dine with city council members and quite often the soon to be ex-mayor, who is perhaps the number one fan. The tables are shared by everyone, so expect to meet new people. You’ll also meet folks in line, since Prince’s cooks the chicken to order and that means a real wait, especially at lunch time. It’s not unheard of to spend 45 minutes to an hour in line. The regulars know this and settle into the time-honored southern practice of shooting the breeze with anyone around them. It’s a wonderful immersion into Nashville culture.

The Hot Chicken comes served on white bread, which helps with the heat. The slaw is quite good and is a nice complement to the meal. Make sure you get lots of napkins because it’s a messy affair. It’s also one of Nashville’s finest meals, whether you go for lunch or for a late night munch.

Pre's Hot Chicken Shack on Urbanspoon

8 comments:

BP said...

Man, I totally agree with you about the heat obscuring the wonderful complexity of flavor. When I first started going to Prince's, I would order it hot and it was just like a test of manhood or something.

Nowadays, I order it "mild" or even "plain" and just enjoy it for the great fried chicken that it truly is.

Eric and Katie said...

I know...it would be different if it was just tabasco sauce or something, but it's completely different from the usual "hot wing" style and quite frankly it demands some subtlety.

S said...

My ranking:

1. Mr. Boo's
2. Bolton's
3. HotChickens.com
4. Prince's

That's not to say that Prince's is bad at all (quite the contrary!) -- but theirsy seems saltier than the others. HotChickens gets extra points for their sides, which I like(d) better than the other three.

Oh yeah, and two of the four on my list are now closed. Suck.

Are there others out there?

BP said...

Mr. Boo's was all kinds of awesome, but I never thought hotchickens.com was in the same league as the others. But then I'm not a huge fan of Bolton's.

400 Degrees in North Nashville is really good.

Eric and Katie said...

400 degrees is good. I don't think it has the same depth as Prince's...but it has a nice bite. I've got a review in here under hot chicken. I'm sad to say I missed Mr. Boos. Bolton's is also great....and I would probably put it right after Prince's on my list. There's this new place in Smyrna...I think also called the Chicken Shack or something...has anyone tried it yet?

Lannae said...

How does Prince's make the flavor happen? It is its own thing. Next time I go, I am bringing a book or mag. I am glad you wrote about Prince's!

Anonymous said...

http://hotchicken.fuzz.com/

Nariah said...

Keep up the good work.