After watching Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris at the movie theater (a delightful film that might have made me shed a few tears), I was hungry and slightly dehydrated.
Since I was in Crocker Park, I headed to Hot Chicken Takeover, an Ohio chain that offers great Nashville hot chicken.
Hot Chicken Takeover has 4 levels of spice. The first level is "cold," which is non-spicy and seasoned with just a touch of cayenne (but thankfully not cold in temperature!). The second is "warm," which is HCT's medium. The third is Nashville hot. And the fourth is Holy, which is beyond Nashville hot and might make you cuss up a storm.
On a previous visit, I got the "warm" wings. The wings were juicy, flavorful - and way too spicy for my wimpy tongue. I must have chugged a gallon of sweet tea to calm my taste-buds, which were on fire.
Needless to say, I've never tried the proper Nashville hot chicken at HCT or - God forbid - the Holy chicken. I'm sure it's delicious, but I know my limits.
Learning from my previous mistake, I got "cold" tenders, which are a relatively new addition to HCT's menu and were not available on my last visit.
Am I glad that HCT added tenders to their menu because my tenders were delicious. The breading was crispy and flavorful, and the meat inside was juicy and tender. Were they finger-licking levels of good? Yes, madam!
As always, the chicken came with pickles, white bread, and a cup of HCT's house ranch. The ranch was great as usual, but the tenders offered plenty of flavor on their own.
I also got a side of mac and cheese, which is simple but so good. I also got sweet tea, which alas, is no longer free (yet another casualty of inflation, perhaps?). But the sweet tea was only $1, and you get free refills, which is something I definitely utilized.
The Westlake location of Hot Chicken Takeover is located at 242 Main St, Westlake, OH 44145. For other locations, go to their website.