Pepperfire is a different take on Nashville hot chicken. Prince's Hot Chicken Shack is the gold standard and, while Pepperfire would probably lose a head-to-head matchup, it does bring certainly qualities to the table which make it very worthwhile.
First, the chicken. When it first opened, Pepperfire's heat was not on the same level as the more seasoned Nashville hot chicken joints. However, they have upped the Scoville numbers in recent months. For my money, it's very good chicken. Not revolutionary like Prince's, but very good quality.
The big upside here is a) a varied menu, and b) dependability. Pepperfire is constantly experimenting with new and different hot chicken offerings. The latest at the moment include hot chicken and waffles and the Applefire, which is hot chicken, waffles, and baked apples. They have also experimented with a hot chicken salad, which is to say a green salad topped with hot chicken, which I've not been fortunate enough to catch.
But the biggest improvement is the dependability. You can order by phone or online and, generally, your order is ready in a prompt and consistent fashion. I've waited an hour-and-a-half at Prince's on a Saturday, and have never had such an experience with Pepperfire.
Ultimately, Pepperfire is a more user-friendly version of hot chicken. There are interesting menu options, dependable service, and very good chicken. It's not Prince's but, sometimes, that can be a good thing.
"The very sight of Nashville hot chicken makes my mouth water. There really is nothing like it anywhere else, and Pepperfire's is among the very best. Pictured here is an X-hot breast quarter, ready to sound taste-buds reveille."
"The tarmac around Pepperfire is for parking your car while you wait for chicken to fry."
"The fast food operation that used to occupy Pepperfire's building offered drive-through service. "