Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Taste this, "Toast of ..."

As much as I hate making - and hate those who make - sweeping generalizations, I simply must say this: The individuals who participated in the Tennessean's "Toast of Music City," uh, contest are ****in' idiots. No, wait ... they are ****in' idiots who don't know the first ****in' thing about good eatin'.

I don't remembering it happening, but the Tennessean purportedly polled its readers asking them to vote for the best restaurants, best entertainment venues, best dry goods stores, best doctors, best car dealerships, etc. The final results were published in a 56-page tabloid-style insert in this past Sunday's paper. My right eyebrow almost cocked over my skull when I saw Best Buy as the third-best "Best Record Store" (what about Phonoluxe?); but that was nothing. I almost choked on the RC Cola I was drinking when I got to the "Best Food and Drink" entries.

According to the Tennessean's readers, the best BBQ restaurant is Bar-B-Cutie. Not only that, but Bar-B-Cutie was voted the "best restaurant" in Nashville as well. A little pissant purveyor or sub-par smoked pork was chosen as the best BBQ joint AND the best restaurant in town. No wonder I'm slowly becoming an aspirin junkie. (For the record, there are only three quality BBQ joints in Nashville -- Neely's, Pop's, Mary's, and Dee's -- none of which found a place in the "Taste of Nashville.")

With that said, let me tell you what "Toast of Music City" entry almost sent me into an apoplectic-foodie fit: the "Best Hot Chicken" winners were - in 1, 2, 3 order - Bojangles', Popeyes, and Otter's.

If you're new to Nashville, or if you've never visited Music City, you probably need to be schooled a bit 'bout "hot chicken." It ain't chicken that's just been retrieved from a pan, or an oven, or a slow-cooker. Hot Chicken is a unique style of fried chicken that gets dusted with a cayenne-paprika spice mix before being served. And - and this is important - it's traditionally served with white bread and dill pickles.

You can't find Nashville-style hot chicken at Bojangles' or Popeyes or Otter's. The fact that great numbers of Tennessean readers chose chain-store fried chicken restaurants as the best hot chicken joints in town ... well, what was it I said 'bout Tennessean-readers being idiots?!

Who wants to join me at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack tomorrow? I'll be there 'bout 11:50 a.m.


Brian Stanley said...

I threw that out as when I opened my paper Sunday.

Phillip Perry said...

hey, do you know what ever happened to Boos hot chicken over on Donelson Pike? My wife and I tried that place and liked it but then it was gone.Did it move?

kate said...

Yeah, even a girl new to Nashville realized that poll fell short. No locals would give that many nat'l chains that many votes.

Guess I have to try this hot chicked y'all go on about.

Joltin' Django said...


I don't know what happened to Boo's. It was damn good ... so damn good, in fact, that it was featured on an episode of WNPT's "Tennessee Crossroads" program.


When you decide to do the Hot Chicken Thang, you'll wanna go to Prince's. Lemme know when you're goin' ... and I'll go wit!!!