• Famous Adriane

Nashville Hot Chicken with Marc Maron

I got a surprise call from my friend, Marc Maron, asking me to go on an epic food vacation with him. Everyone knows I love hot chicken so it was obvious to Marc to choose me to try all the hot spots in the city where it all began... NASHVILLE!



If you don't know what hot chicken is, it's basically just really spicy, cayenne-heavy, fried chicken. It comes on top of white bread and pickles. It's really good if you like things hot. Marc and I are kind of a little masochistic when it comes to spicy food. We don't mind if it hurts a little. In fact, we kind of want it to hurt... Is that weird? Oh well...


The first stop on our trip was Prince's Hot Chicken. This is said to be the place where it all began. There are lots of articles online discussing the history of Hot Chicken (like this one from NPR), but I'll give you a super abbreviated version:


A guy cheats on his woman, so she tries to punish him by cooking up the spiciest chicken ever to make him sorry! Well, as it turns out pain can really be pleasure and the result was a very spicy, yet addicting dish that led to them opening a chicken shack. And that chicken shack was Prince's.




The restaurant is very small and you go to the back to order at a window. They give you a number and you just wait. We made friends with some ladies from Orlando at a table. They were kind enough to let us sit with them while we waited. The one woman warned us that the hot is hot. She regretted not being able to stay later to watch us eat the chicken. I know she really wanted to see us squirm. I wasn't scared by her statement. In fact, I was comforted by it.



I got a leg quarter "hot" and it came with two pieces of bread and 3 pickles. The hot was plenty hot. I'd actually say it was the perfect level of heat. It definitely made my lips red and had me going for my water, but it wasn't like I was dying. The two pieces of bread sopped up all the greasy, spicy goodness and that alone was amazing, but the star really was the chicken. It was cooked perfectly- it wasn't dry at all. What more can I say?



Marc got three wings, "hot" with cole slaw and french fries. He wasn't that thrilled with the cole slaw. I got potato salad and I liked it.


All in all, a great first experience. The chicken was amazing, but the sides weren't all that great.


On to the next!!!!



Hattie B's was our next stop and it is quite possibly the most popular hot chicken spot. They have several locations and they all seem to be doing well. We got there around 12 and there was a line wrapped around the restaurant. Nothing we could do about it so we just waited and anticipated what we would get.



Again, I got a leg quarter, "hot", but this time it came on only one piece of bread and one pickle. I got a side of pimento mac and cheese and greens (but they accidentally gave me cole slaw instead). I chose to get extra pickles and it was a good call, because one just ain't enough...

Marc opted for a sandwich this time, "hot" and with a side of cole slaw and baked beans.



The chicken was good, but not as spicy as I like it. I would even go as far as to say that "hot" was actually a little sweet. They had two levels of heat above hot, with the hottest being "shut the cluck up". I didn't go for the hottest level just because even though I like things really spicy, I want to still be able to taste what I'm eating.


Hattie B's always has banana pudding, but they were offering a seasonal peach cobbler and we just couldn't resist.



Can I tell you about this peach cobbler? It was warm, it was delicious and it was soooo good with vanilla ice cream.

I have to admit, my chicken was good, but not as spicy as I'd like and also not as juicy. However, the sides were way better than Prince's and the peach cobbler was reeeeeallly good. If I were to put up with that line again, I would probably go for a level above hot. Those sides tho...



Our last stop was Pepperfire, which is in East Nashville. This is a rather new contender in the Nashville Hot Chicken ring. We walked in and only had to wait for one person to order and then we were up. Again, I got a leg quarter "hot" and this time I got to have fried okra and mac and cheese. I loooovvee fried okra. I LOVE IT! I was so excited. The mac and cheese was super creamy and exactly what I look for in mac and cheese.


The chicken was nice and spicy, not quite as spicy as Prince's, but definitely hotter than Hattie B's. The breading was so crispy and delicious. There was only one piece of bread, but it came with several delicious pickles.



Marc got something on the menu that I was very curious about, but not quite brave enough to order. It is called the Applefire. It's 3 hot chicken tenders on top of a deep fried grilled cheese, topped with baked apples. Too much? The truth is I reeeally wanted to get it, but I really wanted to be consistent with what I ordered... for science!


Marc didn't care though. He was trying all different combos and honestly, where the heck are you ever going to find a combo like this? Who would even think to do this? Pepperfire.




Marc's meal was a lot of food. He let me have some of his grilled cheese. It was really great. Even though I had already eaten my food, I managed to find room for that bit that he shared.



Pepperfire was the last stop on our tour, even though there are plenty of other places to try. We wanted to eat all of the hot chicken, but we also wanted BBQ, so we really couldn't fit it all in.




When Marc called me to ask me to go on this vacation with him, I was really surprised. Usually when he calls me up it's for a favor (you know it's true, Marc!). Since I know so many celebrities, he's always asking me to make connections for him so he can have them on his podcast. I'm happy to do it, but it's just like lately, it's all business with us. We are both so preoccupied with working and various projects that we forget to take the time for us. We used to have so much fun together and this trip felt just like old times.

Pepperfire had a nice selection of craft beers, which made Marc pretty happy.



So here are our thoughts on the BEST HOT CHICKEN IN NASHVILLE.


For chicken alone, the best is Prince's. It's really perfect. The chicken was juicy and spicy as hell and the other components of the two pieces of bread and pickles are small but important details. I can see how it's addictive for people.


For sides and dessert, Hattie B's.


For overall best experience, it's Pepperfire.


Pepperfire's chicken was amazing- it was nicely spiced and the breading was AMAZING! The applejack that Marc got was a pretty unique dish that I would go back for. There was hardly any wait at all and plenty of seating (these are important factors when you get hangry like Marc does).


So there you have it! A completely unbiased evaluation of three hot chicken joints in Nashville. Nobody paid us for these reviews, we didn't even get special seating or free food or anything. We probably could've gotten special treatment, but we wanted the same experience that regular people would have.





Note from Famous Adriane's lawyer:



As Famous Adriane's legal counsel, I have advised her not to claim a personal relationship with Marc Maron.

Yes, she went to Nashville, but she was not asked to go by the famous actor, comedian and podcaster.


The opinions about hot chicken reflect only Famous Adriane and NOT Marc Maron. He may not agree with the statements made here and he may not even like hot chicken at all. We really don't know...


This blog is purely a work of fiction and Famous Adriane makes no financial gains as a result.


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