I’ve been binge watching Friday Night Lights over the last couple of weeks. It’s soooo good. If you haven’t watched it, remedy that as soon as possible. I love so many things about it: Coach and Tami’s marriage, the way Tami says “hon”, Tim Riggins, Julie’s real struggle to get what being an adult is all about…
I finished the last couple episodes earlier today while reading the paper. I’m not afraid, and surely not alone, to admit I cried several times throughout the series and these last few episodes were no different this morning.
The last few episodes also made me really pumped about the idea of community. You watch what Coach Taylor does to East Dillon, the way he creates something to rally around and support, they way they come out and root for the Lions and tell me you don’t want to be a part of something. Inspired by that feeling I took a little lunchtime field trip to Hot Chicken Takeover.
This place has had a bit of press – when they first launched and then with their kickstarter campaign. Jeni of Jeni’s Ice Cream has tweeted about them even. I watched their Kickstarter video a couple weeks ago and put it on my list of things to get around to. That time came once I was all riled up by the last episode of Friday Night Lights – I wanted to go out and be part of the community. So I got Hot Chicken for lunch.
The place is exactly as described in the articles and Kickstarter video. It is a walk up window with a long line and a few tents with community picnic tables.
I was cautioned by reviews that they are not messing around when they say “hot.” I started off with “cold” which just means no heat from spice, it’s still hot, fresh fried chicken. People in line are chatting, the owner comes around asking if anyone is there the first time and thanking people who are wearing Hot Chicken Takeover shirts that indicated they’ve donated to the Kickstarter. The neighborhood this is in is very “transitional”. One of my favorite breakfast places is just down the street, but there’s not much else here yet. The two houses across the street from HCT are boarded up. One of their hallmarks is that they hire the “harder to employ” individuals. Everyone there was awesome. And I got the dose of community I wanted.
It was really, really good. It’s a perfect meal, even the way pickle juice soaks into a bit of the chicken breading, the ranch dressing that came from no bottle, and yes, really good mac and cheese. I also happen to love non-mayo based cole slaws, so this light and vinegar-y one was perfect – and I can tell myself that was the right amount of vegetables for lunch. So, thanks Hot Chicken Takeover for giving me what I needed today.