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Ottawa chicken sandwiches range from great to foul

Nashville-style chicken sandwiches seem to be on the rise, so I set out to discover the best of the herd

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Holly hot chicken
45 Armstrong St., 613-695-7737, hollyshotchicken.ca
Business Hours: Wednesday-Friday 11 am-8pm, Saturday 11 am-4pm, closed on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays
Price: All Chicken Sandwiches $ 10
Access: Steps to the front door

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Frankie Nashville Hot Chicken
From the location of Lone Star Bar and Grill

Hanley’s Nashville Hot Chicken
From selected locations in Ottawa Gatineau

Renegade chicken
From the location of Jack Astor’s Barand Grill

A few weeks ago, I started an intermittent but lucky regimen of eating chicken sandwiches.

I noticed a surge in fried chicken sandwiches, especially Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches, and I set out to determine the best of the herd.

There are too many chicken sandwiches later, so here is my conclusion.

In rare cases, chicken sandwiches can be sublime. More generally, they are a second-class guilty joy. And sometimes they disappoint you and make you wonder if you sat in your stomach like a bowling ball and shortened your life just to eat something fried and crunchy. ..

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In March, my chicken sandwich project started off well and I visited the newly opened Hollies Hot Chicken in Hintenberg, where the meat press was.

I was late for Holly’s hot chicken party. Since 2018, Holly Raham has been offering the hottest chicken sandwiches in various pop-up locations. Somehow I kept missing those opportunities.

I was impressed by tasting sandwiches in Lahamu’s takeaway only business.

Her sandwich was, frankly, in the same league as Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen sandwich. I confess that this strengthened me during my recent expedition to Toronto. That may undermine my critical credibility, but Popeye sandwiches are not only very tasty, but also very check all the boxes for flavor, texture and moistness. Is consistent with.

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Two of the three Holly sandwiches I’ve tried are great, and the chicken giant slabs are crunchy yet not excessive in appearance, almost comically juicy, but probably just a little out-of-season meat. Was hidden. Although dry chicken was dragged into one outlier sandwich, Lahamu’s work was often clearly satisfactory.

Raham’s classic garnish (buttermilk ranch dressing and bread and butter pickles with homemade iceberg lettuce) successfully completed her sandwich.

Seven flavor profiles are now available here. This is a little more than in March. “Plain Jane” sandwiches hate heat, but pepperheads can be selected from Habanero or ghost pepper spice blended sandwiches. In between, there are two levels of Nashville-style hot chicken. These are usually soaked in Cayenne-based oil and can be punched. I was able to handle an extra hot sandwich, which left a considerable glow in my mouth and made my scalp sweat.

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Extra hot chicken sandwiches from Hollies Hot Chicken for those who dare.
Extra hot chicken sandwiches from Hollies Hot Chicken for those who dare. Photo by Peter Ham / /Post media

Overall, Lahamu chicken sandwiches tasted like high-quality handmade products and were best enjoyed immediately on the stairs outside the store or in a nearby car.

I also tried three new brands of chicken sandwiches that came out during the pandemic. Frankie’s Nashville Hot Chicken is a side hustle at more than 20 Lone Star Texas Grill locations in Ontario, and Renegade Chicken comes out of the Jack Stars Bar and Grill Kitchen. Handy’s Nashville Hot Chicken is a two year old brand located in four locations from Stittsville to Orleans. On Hanley’s website, it calls itself “the cloud kitchen network … affiliated with restaurant operators.”

In general, sandwiches from these brands are difficult to determine, as the quality seems to vary depending on where I visit and how long I return home.

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Launched over a year ago, Frankie’s said on his website that he marinated chicken strips for a day and a half, highlighting the good intentions of “straight from Tennessee.” flavor. “

The Frankie sandwich I brought home was a bit tricky and had three large chicken strips between the breads. The chicken is nicely moist, but a little lacking in salt and even more crispy.

Frankie’s “hot” chicken wasn’t that hot. To be fair, instead of ordering an ominous-named “hot AF (as Frankie)” sandwich, I chicken out.

I remember what chef David Chan once said after eating a hot chicken sandwich in Nashville that was too hot. “This was one of the worst and probably the most painful experiences I’ve ever had in my life,” Chan said in an episode on a Netflix television show. Agree Delicious..

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When the Renegade Chicken was launched in May 2021, it was frank about its origins.

According to a press release, Service Inspired Restaurants (Jack Astor’s parent company) experienced a “major challenge” due to blockade restrictions, leading to lower sales, layoffs, and even restaurant closures.

“It’s incredibly difficult to say the least. Renegade Chicken was born in response to these difficult times, taking advantage of the great talent we were able to maintain at our and existing restaurant locations. “

The Pandemic Pivot website states that the chicken is “bred in Canada, antibiotic-free, sustainable, frozen and marinated for at least 24 hours, then hand-soaked, fried and seasoned. We recommend mixing it with our secret blend. We are also a proud scratch kitchen. “

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Still, despite this accumulation, the Renegade sandwich we brought back (the largest and most expensive in this study) was at best inconsistent. Some of the recent samples from the Renegade’s Landsdown location were fine even if the crunch was very light. But a few weeks ago, the sandwich from the Hunt Club location was a sloppy, over-sourced disappointment with over-salted chicken.

Consistency was also a problem with Hanley’s sandwich we had at Queen St. Fair. There, the Capitol Burger counter also dispenses Hanley’s chicken sandwich. A few weeks ago Sunday night I baked Hanley’s chicken sandwich painfully crispy. On this week’s lunchtime visit, the specimens were much better, with a crispy, thick appearance wrapping around moist, well-seasoned meat.

Eventually, if there is a thirst for chicken sandwiches, I will make a special effort to go to Hollies. There, or of Popeye.


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Ottawa chicken sandwiches range from great to foul

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