The family business that put Nashville Hot Chicken on the map

The New Yorker:

Six years ago, the James Beard Foundation gave the restaurant its America’s Classics award, which honors “timeless” establishments serving “quality food that reflects the character of its community.”

Ira Kaplan, of the indie band Yo La Tengo, heard about Prince’s from Richard Baluyut, of the band Versus. Kaplan has recalled, “We were told it came in ‘mild,’ ‘medium,’ ‘hot,’ and ‘extra-hot,’ but if we’d never been there before we would not be allowed to have extra-hot. We asked if we could at least taste ‘extra-hot sauce.’ What rubes we were—we were informed that there is no sauce.” Kaplan found Prince’s hot chicken “simultaneously delicious and practically inedible.”

People eat at Prince’s because of the chicken but also because of the story behind it.

I had never even heard of, let alone tasted “Hot Chicken” until I moved to Nashville in the early 2000s. A date took me to the “sketchy side” of town and we waited in line for our chicken. After the first bite, this poor little Nova Scotia boy thought his head was going to explode and my tongue melted. Tears streamed down my face.

I’d had the mild version.

I also ate it almost monthly for the entire time I lived in Nashville.