hattieHattie B’s Nashville hot fried chicken sandwich, topped with slaw and with a side of baked beans. (Photo by Baili Bigham)Baili Grace Bigham - Head Entertainment Columnist

As a native Alabamian, I understand how essential soul food is for the heart.

In the South, we take our fried chicken seriously. Hattie B’s is Nashville’s gift to Birmingham. Ever since it opened June 1, it has had a full house. The restaurant, located in Lakeview across from Jack Brown’s and Oasis, is the only Hattie B’s outside of Tennessee.

I made my way into Hattie B’s for a late lunch one afternoon, so there (thankfully) was no long line. With a big smile, a server took my order and was happy to help with all my questions, being that it was my first time in and my indecisiveness is hard to mask. 

Hattie B’s specialty chicken can be served Southern (no heat), mild, hot, hot damn, and “Shut the Cluck Up.” In addition to the sandwich, there are wings, tenders and plates to choose from. The chicken sandwich comes in your choice of heat with a layer of slaw, signature comeback sauce and, of course, a 5 oz. hand breaded chicken breast sandwiched between a freshly baked bun. Don’t forget to pick your side, too!

Personally, I decided to go with the chicken sandwich — hot, because it’s not spicy unless I’m sweating — and a side of baked beans.

The wait seemed longer than it should have been. As it took almost 20 minutes for my food to be brought out, I was ready to take down some chicken. When my food finally did hit the table, my server was quite apologetic and was willing to accommodate me however I needed. Of course, I was simply pleased to finally eat but he wanted to right the restaurant's wrong by giving me a complimentary banana pudding.

If you’re currently hungry, I suggest you take caution reading further. My entree was as delicious as it was beautiful. I made sure each bite had all the ingredients so I could taste every seasoning because let me tell you — there is plenty. While the hot sauce had a kick, the comeback sauce and the slaw played well together to dilute the heat with a sweet flavor, so it wasn’t overbearing. The baked beans were nothing out of the ordinary but, to be fair, I could hardly give them a shot after the large serving of chicken I had to conquer. 

As for the dessert, let me be the one to say: the proof actually is in the pudding. With a hearty serving size, this classic treat came topped with vanilla wafers and slices of angel cake. This dessert was enough for me to forget any sort of wait, especially one that was only a measly 20 minutes. 

Not sure if I should brag more on the smiling service or food that is equal parts satisfying and tantalizing. Walk over to Hattie B’s with your sweetie and try it out for yourself!  
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