Hot Chikn Kitchn Brings the Heat in Opening Weekend

Todays News

Pictured: Hot Chickn Kitchn opened its Sarasota location Saturday, offering Nashville hot chicken options in a fast-casual setting. Photo courtesy of Hot Chikn Kitchn.

The budding, Virginia-based chain opened its third location in Sarasota this past weekend, welcoming lines out the door on Saturday. Avoiding Saturday's long lines, we opted to enjoy our Nashville hot chicken on Sunday when crowds had died down to a stead stream of curious lunchtime patrons. It did not disappoint.

I ordered the No. 1 combo, which is a Nashville style chicken sandwich on a tasty, toasted potato bun, with a handful of crunchy pickle slices, and a pile of coleslaw. There are two sauces on the sandwich, starting with the HCK “GOOD” sauce, which is a delightfully dippable remoulade that works as well with the spice-dusted, crispy crinkle-cut French fries as it does with the sandwich. Diners have a choice of four hot sauces that range from vaguely spicy (Base) to mildly spicy (After Burner; my choice), to the Scoville scale-topping (Angry Hot; Medic).

These sauces are the real deal, and not for the faint of tongue. Unless you’re a fan of ghost peppers and Carolina reapers, my advice is to stick with the Base or After Burner, which bursts with habañero flavor and complements rather than overpowering the sandwich.

But this is a chicken joint, so let’s talk about the main event. It’s tender, flavorful, and juicy where you want it to be, and just the right amount of crunch on the breading. The chicken soaks up the sauce perfectly, creating a goopy melange of peppery, remouladey goodness.

Hot Chikn Kitchn opened in the former TrapHouse Seafood and BBQ location near the corner of 41 and Bahia Vista. It’s no secret the plaza has had its share of turnover, but it’s clear the HCK invested heavily in revamping the interior.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a tasty, quick-service lunch close to downtown, you won’t be disappointed.

Hot Chikn Kitchn, 2045 Bahia Vista St, Sarasota, (941) 706-4410, hotchiknkitchn.com

Pictured: Hot Chickn Kitchn opened its Sarasota location Saturday, offering Nashville hot chicken options in a fast-casual setting. Photo courtesy of Hot Chikn Kitchn.

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