review: pepperfire hot chicken

by Amy on 13 January 2011

what is hot chicken? a nashville specialty, it is chicken marinated in buttermilk, breaded, sauced using a heavily-spiced cayenne paste, + fried. in nashville, we love our hot chicken – we have great, time-tested hot chicken joints (prince’s, bolton’s, + 400 degrees) + we even host a hot chicken festival in the summer.

pepperfire, a new hot chicken eatery, opened just a few miles from our house + we recently checked it out.  we got two breast quarters, one medium + one hot, (they have a 5-level heat scale: mild, medium, hot, extra-hot, + extra-extra-hot). the meals both came with white bread + pickles (standard accompaniments to hot chicken) + we also got two sides – the fried potato salad + crinkle-cut french fries.

we were really impressed – the chicken was moist, tender, + perfectly cooked on the inside, with a wonderfully crisp skin. the hot chicken seasoning was delicious + well-balanced, although i do think their heat scale is milder than some of the other places around town. i ordered it hot this time, but would probably go for extra-hot (or maybe double-extra hot) in the future. both of the sides were also tasty, especially the fried potato salad – it had a lot more savory flavor + depth than your standard ‘tater salad.

in short, we were very pleased with pepperfire. the chicken was high-quality, the seasonings were delicious, + everything was freshly made + full of flavor.  we will absolutely be back in the near future to try more of their chicken (this time, a bit hotter), + sample the fried peppercheese (their spin on grilled cheese), which has piqued my interest. nashvillians, definitely put pepperfire on your to-try list!

pepperfire spiced chicken
2821 gallatin pike
nashville, tn 37216
phone 615.582.4824
(everything is made fresh, so call in your order about 20 minutes beforehand)

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chef Bek January 13, 2011 at 9:16 am

Amy. That looks awesome – especially that potato salad! I am a potato salad connoisseur. Great find that hubby and I must check out. 😉

2 amy January 13, 2011 at 9:31 am

let me know when you try it out! i was especially impressed with the potato salad because i normally don’t love mayonnaise-based side dishes. the fact that i loved theirs so much is a good indicator of how delicious it was!

3 Vivek January 13, 2011 at 10:20 am

I can’t say I was too impressed with Pepperfire when I tried it out after Thanksgiving. Although the chicken was fried well and moist, there was something off putting to me about their spice mixture that made the chicken taste bitter. Hopefully they’ve changed up their spices a bit, because I’d love to try it out again.

Compared to all the other hot chicken places, I’d agree in that this is the mildest. I am interested in trying out the hotter versions, as I also opted for the hot on my first visit.

4 amy January 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

i did talk to some people who went when it first opened + then more recently, + they all said it had improved greatly. so you should definitely plan a return visit – i can say that there was no bitterness that either of us detected, so maybe they perfected their spice blend? let me know what you think if/when you go back!

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