I recently spent a week in Nashville to attend a training class. The trip lasted five days and I tried a new and different restaurant each night. Having asked for recommendations from my Nashville friends on Facebook, I intended to work my way down their list of favorite lunch & dinner spots on Monday night. A combination of bad timing, even worse weather, and a bit of luck prevented me from trying either of the first two recommended restaurants. Instead, I found myself pulling over to the side of the road and playing a little Urbanspoon bingo. Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish was the most popular choice by far in the area of East Nashville I’d wandered into, with a rating of well over 90% and over 100 people voting. I decided to give it a shot, and I’m glad I did.
Bolton’s doesn’t look like much from the outside, or on the inside, for that matter. Located on the side of a busy street with very little parking, it would be easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it. The dining area is very small, which makes me think they probably do as much or more take-out business than dine-in. I followed the instructions and knocked on the pink door to let the cook know I was ready to place my order. I couldn’t decide if I wanted chicken or fish, so I ordered both; the spicy chicken dinner with green beans and macaronic & cheese, and a spicy grouper sandwich.
The chicken was amazing, and I’m not ashamed to admit it was almost too hot for me to handle. I remember wondering what the two slices of white bread were for when I opened the container, but as soon as I took my first bite of the chicken I understood how I’d be using the bread. I really like spicy food; I don’t hesitate to ask for my Thai food to be “Thai hot.” That’s how hot Bolton’s chicken was, but the heat wasn’t just there to be overpowering. The heat was a star of the dish, but it wasn’t the star – the crisply fried chicken was. The sides were good as well, but I only tried a couple bites of each so I would have plenty of room left for the fish.
The grouper sandwich was good as well. The fish itself was excellent, but I discovered that while I love spicy food, and I love fish sandwiches, I must not love spicy fish sandwiches. I’m also not especially fond of mustard, which probably contributed to my lack of excitement for the sandwich. I could have ordered the fish without spice, and next time I would do so and ask for mayo instead of mustard, and I know I would like it much more.
I liked Bolton’s, and I’d gladly eat there again.