Location: 2853 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Recently, I had the Nashville hot chicken sandwich from Porchetta and Co. and was thoroughly unimpressed; it was bland, disappointingly mild, and dripping with flavourless grease. It was a surprisingly mediocre sandwich from an otherwise great restaurant.
Clearly, the problem was not with the dish itself, because I just had the version from Chica’s Chicken, and hot damn it was so good.
The menu here is exceptionally simple; it’s pretty much just bone-in chicken, chicken wings, and a chicken sandwich, along with a variety of sides. I got the quarter chicken (dark, of course) with a side of coleslaw.
There are three heat options: mild, medium, and hot AF. I ordered hot, which prompted the woman behind the counter to warn me that it was indeed very hot. She mentioned Carolina Reaper peppers (currently the hottest pepper in the world) along with another pepper I can’t recall.
It’s so good. The chicken is perfectly cooked, with an amazingly satisfying level of crispiness on its skin and abundantly juicy chicken. And the flavour is explosive; aside from the level of heat, their spice blend is outstanding. It’s some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had.
As for the heat: it’s hot enough to make you sweat and to clear your sinuses, but not so spicy that it feels like something you should be eating on a dare. It’s great.
It comes on a plain slice of bread (de rigueur for this style of chicken), which soaks up all of the amazing grease. It also comes with a side of ranch for dipping, which was a huge upgrade over the typical Hidden Valley; it was creamy, slightly garlicky, and a little bit sweet. It was a delicious compliment to the intensely spicy chicken.
The creamy coleslaw was great, too; I normally prefer vinegary coleslaw, but versions like this make me second guess myself.