Hot Chicken BLD Diner

what: Open Face Hot Chicken Sandwich

cost: $14

Where: B.L.D Diner, 4840 Forest Dr.

I’ve been hot for hot chicken ever since my first trip to Nashville, where the palate-scalding poultry dish can be found everywhere from straight-up dives to fine dining establishments. The buttermilk-marinated fried chicken with that cayenne twang earned Music City institution Prince’s a James Beard America’s Classics Award.

The attraction of hot chicken mimics hot wing lust, but there is also a feeling that hot chicken can fuel the flames of desire that heightens its mystique. Andre Prince Jeffries once told Garden & Gun that hot chicken is an aphrodisiac: “There’s a lady of the evening who brings all of her different suitors here. She’s got to have the chicken before they go home.”

So when I saw that B.L.D, Trenholm Plaza’s bougie new diner, offered hot chicken on its menu, there was no way I was ordering anything else. Served over a slice of Texas toast and impaled with a steak knife, this is a plate of hot chicken well worth lusting after, and it will leave your mouth hot and bothered … in a good way. The fresh and tangy green tomato slaw with banana peppers that comes with it is an inspired touch.

While the kick of BLD’s hot chicken may not inspire a lusty rendezvous, there is no denying that it can get the creative juices flowing. It wouldn’t be the first time. Indie rock gray hairs Yo La Tengo named three songs after the tongue-blazing dish, including the funky instrumental track “Return to Hot Chicken,” that opens their seminal I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One album.

B.L.D. Diner is open Monday through Saturday 7 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

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