One of the biggest things on the to-do list for our girls weekend in the Music City was to try the Nashville hot chicken.
Honestly, I didn’t even know Nashville hot chicken was a thing until I saw the KFC commercials for it recently. But we quickly found out it’s a big deal. The city’s convention and visitor’s bureau has a list of places where you can get it, and there’s an interesting backstory to the dish you can read about at Serious Eats.
My friends and I ended up choosing our Nashville hot chicken restaurant based on convenience — what was open on a Sunday evening. I think we were all pleased to find ourselves at Party Fowl downtown.
Even on a Sunday night, Party Fowl was packed with booze-swilling football watchers gazing up at big screens pointed every which way. (Its website claims its the preferred hot chicken of the Tennessee Titans, so there’s that.) No kids menu there, but there were a few little ones sprinkled around the restaurant anyway. And parking was rough — it’s valet only. Even the valet seemed to have a rough go at it.
We started out with a couple of their boozy slushies and the smoked chicken dip. Simple stuff, but absolutely delicious with a big pickle slice on top.
When it comes to the Nashville hot chicken, you can choose from a variety of spice levels there: southern fried, mild, medium, hot or Poultrygeist.
I’m a wuss when it comes to spicy heat, and the server warned about tears at hot or Poultrygeist, so I went with medium. It was plenty hot, especially at the pace I tore into that tasty bird. The Texas toast underneath soaks up all the sauce, so there’s not much relief there. The coleslaw was cooling, but my mouth was still burning when we finished up the meal with banana pudding. It seemed necessary!
THE FARM HOUSE
Earlier in the day, we strolled into The Farm House around noon, seeking lunch. We found Sunday brunch instead, but no one complained.
Someone made the brilliant suggestion to start off with their pastry board, which The Farm House menu says varies each week. This one featured blueberry bread, truly spectacular apple cake, a savory scone and white chocolate pumpkin bread pudding. It’s a lot to tackle, and we couldn’t finish. But it was a worthy endeavor.
For the main course, I stepped way out of my comfort zone. I saw a hash featuring a 62 degree duck egg on the menu and immediately started freaking out. I mean, I really wanted the hash. But what was up with the 62-degree bit?
It turns out that it was cooked sous-vide, meaning it was sealed up in plastic and gently cooked in a water bath at 62 degrees Celsius. So fancy! The toothsome duck egg yolk was thick and plentiful, but didn’t run all over everything. A good choice, especially paired with a mimosa.
We attempted to stay out of chain restaurants during our girls weekend, but we stepped into Bakersfield Nashville on Saturday afternoon unaware. We found out only when grumbling about a lack of good Mexican food around Charlotte, and our waitress let us know there is a location there, too. Yippee!
My friends and I started out with a massive pitcher of sangria rojo, packed with a malbec, tequila, fresh lime, orange juice, agave nectar, Sprite and fruit. No drop was wasted, it was that good.
While we drank, we dug into their chips and queso, which was a little different than most I’ve had. The thin, salty chips struggled to cut through the thick cheesy cap on top of the skillet of queso. It was delicious, just a little hard to get at — especially without silverware. (None was provided, although I take it none is generally needed with cheese dip and tacos.)
Now, in this picture, these tacos look huge. They were actually tiny, although packed just about as full with scrumptious filling as they could get. I tried the fish, short rib and pork belly pastor tacos. All were really good, but I honestly liked the fish taco the best. Shocking, especially when pork belly is involved, but the limey slaw on the fish just made it perfect.
My friend Yavonda had been to Nashville before and had previously eaten at Burger Up on a friend’s recommendation. So for Saturday dinner, we headed to its east Nashville location, pretty close to downtown.
The restaurant locally sources beef from a Franklin, TN, farm, and other local suppliers, noting its dedication to thoughtful consumption. And it was packed — there were people on dates, families with young kids and tons of bearded millennial hipsters in every corner.
As good as the Woodstock burger I ate was — complete with bacon and white cheddar — the best thing at Burger Up by far was the sauces. They make a killer Jack Daniels maple ketchup, which you can purchase by the bottle to take home. I imagine sales are through the roof. Even better was their honey dijon aioli, which I could not stop swirling my fries in. I even mixed the sauces together a little to make a glorious, slightly sweet concoction.
UP NEXT: Girls weekend in Nashville: What we saw
And if you missed the first installment on our trip, click here to catch up.