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Before I left Nashville, I had a few things planned. First was to eat breakfast at the Pancake Pantry. Second was to make a stop at the local Whole Foods. The third and final stop was at Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish. As far as I can tell, there are two main hot chicken places in Nashville, the towering behemoth that is Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and the lesser known Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish. Since I had thoroughly sampled the offerings at Prince’s on my first pass through Nashville, I decided I should give Bolton’s a try and see how the two compare.
One thing that truly set Bolton’s apart from Prince’s was just how pleasant the owners/operators were. The lady behind the counter was constantly doting on me and the other customers, ensuring that her product was up to standards. Before I left, I asked her why the hot chicken on a stick was so much hotter than the hot leg quarter and she had no idea. Her only explanation was that the leg was pan fried and the stick was deep fried. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that information. I can’t imagine the two frying techniques having such markedly different results when it comes to spiciness.
All culinary confusion aside, I’m going to have to side with Prince’s when it comes to hot chicken, but only the dark meat. At Bolton’s the hot chicken has a much more prominent vinegar flavor, it’s still a fine choice for hot chicken but Prince’s chicken is hotter and with the medium a combination of chicken flavor and heat. That being said, both the chicken on a stick and the hot fish sandwich make Bolton’s a must stop. It’s not often that I’d go out of my way for fish, but I’ll be hard pressed to drive through Nashville and not stop for that gargantuan hot fish sandwich.
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