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Welcome to Road to the Eater Awards, in which the Indiana band Houndmouth chronicles the good eating along the Southern leg of their "From the Hills Below the City" tour, culminating at Eater Eve and the Eater Awards. This series is presented by Canon PowerShot, makers of the PowerShot S110 and SX280 cameras that captured all the action.[All photos by Houndmouth]
We rolled into Nashville absolutely starving, knowing that Hattie B's Hot Chicken awaited. We'd all had fried chicken before (c'mon, you can see Louisville's KFC YUM! Center arena from our hometown of New Albany, IN), but this new iteration of hot chicken was one that we had yet to experience.
Upon arriving to Hattie B's, we were greeted by one of the main chefs. He pointed us in the direction of the extensive local beer selection. There were like eight Tennessee brews on draft, which was impressive—we tried to pitch them on bringing in our Houndmouth Ale via New Albanian Brewing Company but to no avail. Local supporting local is tough to beat.
We grabbed a pitcher of Fat Bottom Brewing's Ida Golden Ale. It was fantastic and disappeared quickly. Little did we know how much liquid we'd need when the hot chicken came.
Hattie B's serves their chicken at six levels: Southern (not hot), Mild, Medium, Hot, Damn Hot, and Get The Cluck Out. For some reason, we thought it was a good idea to run the gamut here. Within the band, two members went for the real heat: Shane got Damn Hot and Matt got Get The Cluck Out.
Approximately two bites in, I'm pretty sure Shane and Matt had steam pouring from their ears and beet-red faces. Consider yourself warned. Hot chicken is kind of like the Shitty Beatles in Wayne's World—it's not just a clever name.
On top of the chicken, we devoured some solid french fries and a whole lot of different side items. The dessert menu looked good, but we couldn't even fathom having another bite of food by the end.
All in all, most of us found Hattie B's delicious if/when we weren't writhing in pain. If you know your limits on both heat and portion-size, you'll have an amazing Southern meal. If you don't know your limit, you'll end up like some of us—stuffed and napping in the green room before show time.