Pepperfire Spiced Chicken, Nashville TN

Nashville is the world’s home of hot fried chicken, and, as we learned from our visit last time to the legendary Prince’s, the city is not kidding at all when they say “hot.” No, sir. However the spice mix is made and however it’s applied to the bird, places like Prince’s or Bolton’s are fully prepared to knock the swagger out of anybody’s walk. But these wouldn’t be worthwhile if all you were getting was a mouth full of lava; there has to be some amazing chicken underneath it.

I believe that Pepperfire Spiced Chicken – they’re “spiced” and not “hot” like the others, stating up front that they’re considerably less lethal – opened in late 2010. We were staying overnight in Nashville with our good friend Tory, and she heard about the place late last year. With more reasonable waits of only fifteen or twenty minutes compared to Prince’s couple of hours on weekends, Pepperfire is a terrific place to swing through and bring some crazy hot lava chicken home.

No, it’s not lethal like Prince’s, but it’s still crazy hot lava chicken. I loved it.

Once we made it to Tory’s, kicked back and let the baby play and shout for a while, we started thinking about supper plans. Tory and Marie had an idea for their dinner that I was sure would bring me a great dessert, and I had an even better idea for an appetizer, about which more in the next entry. Naturally, I had no objection to having my three courses at three different restaurants.

So the ladies waited patiently while I dug into my tenders, which I ordered medium, with fries and baked beans. Even at medium, these still packed an impressive burn, much hotter, I was cautioned, than the typical “hot” of hot wings. The meat was so very juicy, too. I really enjoyed the heck out of this chicken, and I also made certain not to discount the white bread upon which the chicken was served. Having soaked up chicken juice and crazy hot lava, this was the best white bread ever.

This was a really terrific stop. I left with my mouth burning and very happy. While Prince’s is a must-visit just for the experience, I honestly enjoyed the food here even more. It made me hope to come back someday and sample the other, hotter flavors available. If nothing else, the wait’s a lot shorter.

Speaking of waits, the following morning saw us stopping by a restaurant called Sky Blue on our way out of town for some breakfast. We were seated immediately, but the agonizing, hour-plus kitchen backup, followed by only sending out two of our three plates, really cost them our goodwill, but it would be churlish to not note that the resulting pancakes really were quite amazing. Best not to linger over the aggravation; guests with time to spare, which we were most emphatically not, are probably assured a fine breakfast. And on that, we’ll close for now and tell you good people tomorrow about the Nashville favorites that we were able to revisit on the Friday evening, bookending Pepperfire.

Other blog posts about Sky Blue:

Belt Buckle Brunch (Mar. 21 2010)
Nashville Brunch (Mar. 26 2011)

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