Welcome to Ask Eater, a column from Eater New York where the site’s editors, reporters, and critics answer specific or baffling restaurant requests from readers and friends. A new question and answer will run every Thursday. Have a question for us? Submit your question in this form.
I just got back from my first trip to Nashville — I was there for a friend’s bachelorette party, obviously — and I finally had my first taste of hot fried chicken at Prince’s (the original and best, in my opinion). Let’s just say I became obsessed, making a point to tear off from the bar crawls and boozy brunches to try it twice more. Now that I’m back in NYC, I’m desperate to find a rendition here. Is there anything in New York that even compares? Send help!
— Heat Seeker
Hey Heat Seeker,
Welcome to the cult of hot chicken! It may be super trendy now and available in watered down form at chain KFC, but rest assured, another option exists in New York — and has long before the super spicy style took the country by storm in the last couple of years.
In fact, Peaches HotHouse in Bed-Stuy is so good, I’m surprised more New Yorkers didn’t go nuts for Nashville-style hot chicken years ago, when the restaurant opened in 2010. Owners Craig Samuels and Ben Grossman — also responsible for Brooklyn stalwarts like The Smoke Joint and sister Southern restaurant Peaches — were inspired by Prince’s Hot Chicken, though obviously they use their own recipe.
I doubt anything will be exactly like your experience in Nashville, but HotHouse is super tasty. And if you order the Extra Hot, it will definitely be hot. It’s frankly too much for my weak self; I tend to stick with the regular “hot” level. The restaurant also offers a tight but on-point menu of Southern-inspired appetizer-sized “small plates,” sides, and cocktails that fits in with its Brooklyn location. The fried green tomatoes app, for example, comes with smoked bacon and (LOL) arugula. It’s delicious.
You’ll need to go with a smaller crew than your bachelorette party, though. HotHouse is tiny; write your name on a chalkboard and prepare to wait for a table or bar seat.