admin / March 30, 2022
This article was originally published on Niagara Frontiers Publications online newspaper.
Michael Carro, property owner of The Garden, said the fried chicken joint taps into a style of Americana-forward cuisine that is unlike anything else currently offered in the airstream food trailers.
Champ’s will be replacing the spot of Boca Latin Kitchen, a Venezuelan street food pop-up that closed its doors March 20. It’s not goodbye forever though, as customers can still visit Mr. Pollo Pensacola at 6404 N. Ninth Ave. to snag a meal from the same owners.
Carro anticipates the new hot chicken spot will be primarily known for its chicken tenders, but the menu will also offer related items like juicy chicken breast sandwiches and meaty wings. Other sides will also be available to pair with the meal, such as drinks and slaw.
Champ's Nashville Hot Chicken will offer fried chicken items, such as chicken fingers, sandwiches and wings. Provided by Champ's Nashville Hot Chicken.
After conducting a “full-blown taste test” of the vendor before signing the business on for a three-year lease, Carro said the quality of the product is apparent in its “simple, straight-forward menu.”
The four different degrees of heat of the chicken also set the business apart, according to Carro, with flavors such as original, Nashville hot, extra hot and Reaper’s Rush for customers to choose from. Even for heat lovers like himself, the Reaper’s Rush is not to be messed with. In fact, it’s so hot you need to sign a consent form to order it, Carro said.
“The top level … it was uncomfortable,” Carro joked. “I did it and I regretted it. I think anybody who likes a little bit of heat is going to love this.”
Champ’s owner, Dennis Hoeppner, said his hot chicken is not just a novelty item, but ensured to be authentic. He recently moved from Nashville, Tennessee, to Pensacola, bringing his recipes with him.
Hoeppner said he has worked in restaurants all throughout Nashville, but Pensacola’s Champs will be the first restaurant he owns under the name.
The Garden on Palafox + Main will welcome Champ's Nashville Hot chicken to it's dining April 1. Tony Gibersonfirstname.lastname@example.org
It can seem impossible to make it down Broadway in downtown Nashville without seeing storefront signs all claiming to have the best hot chicken in town. However, there is a noticeable difference in taste when you have the real thing in front of you, and Hoeppner said he is excited to bring that to Pensacola.
“It (Nashville hot chicken) has blown up there,” Hoeppner said. “It’s an art, it really is. We’re looking forward to it.”
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