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Posted by Michael Stern on Thursday, August 28, 2014 4:35 AM

I cannot say for sure which of the Music City's hot chicken outfits is my favorite for the simple reason that any time I eat at Bolton's, Prince's, Pepperfire, or 400 Degrees, I become so deliriously happy that all sense of measured judgment is long gone. But I guarantee that if you like hot chicken, you will love Hot Stuff.

The chicken is presented too hot to handle. At first squeeze of the crisp, vivid red crust, juices will start oozing out. The crust is crisp and thin, at once comforting and exhilarating. I ate my pieces down to the bone, then consumed all the white bread on which the chicken had sat, seeking every bit of flavor.

As for the other half of the name, fish here is served the traditional Nashville way – as a nominal sandwich on white bread, the fillets crisp-fried and festooned with pickles and onions and bright yellow mustard. It is salty and big-flavored, hot enough to take your breath away. Co-owner Kiki Montgomery suggested house-made sweet tea to deal with the heat. But it does little to actually palliate on-fire taste buds. A thick piece of mocha layer cake, made by local baker Spencer D. Middlebrooks and available by the slice at Hot Stuff's counter, was more effective (and really delicious) relief.
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Posted on Thursday, August 28, 2014

Corn Doughnuts

These hot corn doughnuts were as good as any doughnuts we've ever had.
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Roadfood of the Day: Swiftwater Cafe - Whittier, AK
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Half And Half

A basket of locally caught shrimp and halibut in a delicate panko crust, served crispy and hot.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 5:07 AM

South of Audubon on a country road across from a row of feed silos, the Red Barn is a Roadfood gem that serves breakfast, lunch, and supper and is a gathering place where locals come to chat over coffee between meals. It's a tiny place, about the size of a house trailer with a third of its interior occupied by the kitchen. There are four tables, two with seats for six, so it is common, especially at lunch, for different parties to share space with one another. Nearly everyone who eats at the Red Barn knows everyone else. But as strangers, we felt completely welcome and at ease.

We found this place while on the tenderloin trail, and sure enough, the breaded pork tenderloin here is ravishing. It is wider than its bun, but not ridiculously so, and it is thick enough to be really juicy inside its snug, savory crust. When we visited, it was mid-August, so the standard battery of pickles and onions was supplemented by a couple of lovely slices of fresh garden tomato. The larder also was well-stocked with rhubarb, and the rhubarb crisp we had for dessert, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, was a dessert to remember.
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Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chicken Pie

Can't say we've seen a more irresistable-looking dish than these homemade chicken pies.
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Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014

Caramel Pecan Roll

Chef Omer told us that he learned the recipe for his luxurious caramel rolls from his father. In a city full of excellent caramel rolls, this is the one to eat if you are having only one.
Rate this place Reviews (1) Learn more about Hell's Kitchen...
Digest: Pizza a Casa
Posted by Michael Stern on Sunday, August 24, 2014 1:11 PM

Steve and Julia Rushmore recently hosted an amazing pizza party, starring (pictured above) Jennifer and Mark Bello and their assistant, Jenn, of New York's Pizza a Casa pizza-making school. I thought I knew how to make pizza at home, but got a whole new perspective on every aspect of it from Mark, giving me new inspiration to make more pizza at home. After watching Mark's incredibly entertaining demonstration of exactly how to do it, invited guests competed to see who made the best.

Roadfood of the Day: Maverick's - Roseville, MN
Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2014

A nicely dressed roast beef sandwich, with barbecue sauce, horseradish sauce, and pickle chips adorning the velvet-tender roast beef
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Posted on Saturday, August 23, 2014

Malt

Note the lumpiness of the chocolate malt that has just been spooned from its silver beaker by the waitress who presented it. She forgot to bring us a straw, but that was OK. A spoon is a much more useful utensil for eating/drinking this ultra-thick concoction.
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Posted on Friday, August 22, 2014

Caramel Roll

While not outrageously large, this caramel roll is one of the finest there is, a delirious indulgence in sweet, nutty, buttery, crisp-edged pastry pleasure.
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