Strongsville, OH

If You're in Strongsville, Ohio and Looking for Spicy Chicken, Head to Hot Chicken Takeover

Isla Chiu

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I am a certified spice wimp. When I eat spicy Vietnamese food with my father, he eats his meal without breaking a sweat and says, “This is nothing compared to what you can get from a street vendor in Vietnam. Now that is spicy.” I, on the other hand, have tears falling down my face and am desperately chugging glasses of iced water.

Still, I eat spicy food, although it gives me pain, because it can just be so freaking delicious. It’s the same with ice cream and cheese. Sure, that stuff totally destroys my lactose intolerant self, but that stuff is just so freaking good.

So when Hot Chicken Takeover opened a location in Strongsville, Ohio, I had to try it.

Hot Chicken Takeover has 4 spice levels: cold (which describes the level of spice, not the temperature, which is thankfully hot), warm (described by HCT as “hotter than most mediums”), hot, and the hottest level of them all — holy.

Of course, I immediately disregarded getting the holy chicken. I’m not that much of a masochist. I considered getting the hot option, but I eventually decided to play it safe and got the warm chicken wings.

What a mistake, haha.

The wings were delicious and juicy, but the spice!

For the first few bites, I thought, Oh, this isn’t so bad. But then the heat crept up on me and my tongue was BURNING. I stuffed the white bread into my mouth, hoping that would cool my tongue, but it only helped a little bit.

Then I ate the mac & cheese, which was yummy and well worth the havoc it would later wreak on my digestive system, but it also only helped a little bit with my tongue, which felt like it was on fire.

Thankfully, Hot Chicken Takeover offers free refills of sweet tea, something that I took full advantage of. Because of my burning mouth, I was half tempted to shout, “Screw a cup! Just give me a freaking gallon of sweet tea!” But because I try to not be a jerk to staff at restaurants (or anywhere), I just politely asked for refills.

I confess that the spicy wings brought a few tears to my eyes. I lamented, Why didn’t I get the cold wings?

After 4 cups of sweet tea and a dozen napkins covered with my sweat and sauce, I finally finished the wings. They were delicious, but I thought, Never again. Of course that’s what I always think after eating cheesecake, but have I stopped eating cheesecake? 😏

On another visit, I did try the “cold” chicken breast, and the experience was so much less painful. And the “cold” chicken was still juicy and flavorful. I also got the banana pudding, which was creamy and sweet and just plain yummy.

If you like spicy chicken, I recommend Hot Chicken Takeover. But will I be getting the hot chicken the next time I visit? Probably not unless I’m in the mood to inflict some pain on my poor tongue. I think my wimpy self will stick with the “cold” chicken.

Here is Hot Chicken Takeover’s website. The Strongsville location is at 17830 Royalton Rd #250, Strongsville, OH 44136.

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I write about local eats in the Cleveland area and my struggles of trying to make it as a full-time writer.

Cleveland, OH
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