For Monday’s 111º scorcher I decided to kick it up a notch further with some Nashville Hot Chicken. A while ago I saw Flame-N-Chickz pop up, as I was scrolling Yelp or something, and already had a pretty good guess at what this place was. You’re probably aware of the huge boom of Nashville Hot chicken that’s been going on for at least a couple years now. Even the fast food joints have made a bit of a competition of it. Nash & Proper was my first introduction to this type of chicken, and around mid-2020 I noticed a new joint open on Sunrise in Citrus Heights called The Angry Chicken (now changed to Angry Chickz, I assume for trademark reasons). It quickly became a favorite of mine. Between then and now I’ve noticed a handful of virtually identical chicken shops opening up all over the Sacramento area. The only difference seems to be what they name themselves. The menus and execution are extremely similar. As far as I can tell It’s sort of an Adelberto’s/Carolina’s/Roberto’s/Etc. situation.
I headed over here just after noon. It’s located on Foothills @ Baseline in the Bel Air shopping center. Before I even approached, I could tell the inside was very spartan from the glimpses I caught through the windows. Of the other places I’ve been to, they do tend to be on the bare-bones side, but this one took that to an extreme. The space is divided into two sides. The dining side is about 2/3s the space. The remaining 1/3 is a gigantic, mostly bare counter with the register (actually now that I look at my photos closer I see there is a single table on this side by the window). The red and white color scheme is in line with the others I’ve been to, although most of those others had some kind of art painted on at least one of the walls. A geometric design with red lines on the back wall passes for it here, I suppose.
I was immediately greeted by two workers near the counter when I entered. During my visit they were mostly in the back, but would pop out to check things out and clean tables here and there. Other than the 1-2 other customers at the time, I nearly had the place to myself.
Stepping up the the menu I quickly realized I already knew it well. The main difference on this one is that they don’t seem to have Mac & cheese, which all the others do. Another difference, at the other locations you can get loaded fries or Mac and cheese, which basically adds a chopped up tender and some of the special sauce (and pickles, etc depending on location. One loaded mac & cheese bowl I enjoyed had literally every ingredient they offer in it). These do seem to vary a bit from one location to the other. The main combos are just three possible form factors of 2 pieces of chicken with fries – 2 sliders($14.99), a slider and a tender($13.99), or 2 tenders($12.99). For heat level you can choose from No Spice, Mild, Medium, Hot, Extremely Hot, & Flamin (waiver required). Regarding the waiver, it sounds kind of funny but at another location they definitely do it. I once overheard a woman ordering for her party and she had to call someone over because they needed him to sign it. From across the dining room he backed the heat down one notch instead.
I picked out the #2, both seasoned Hot, and a fountain drink ($2.50).
In about 10 minutes I heard my number and collected my food, which was prepped in a to go container. They don’t seem to have an “in-store” setup with trays/baskets. I’ve noticed this a lot more since the pandemic. I grabbed a fork for the tender, checked to see what condiments were included in the box (1 cup of Chickz Sauce) and was off to my table.
I got started with the fries, which were warm and could have been a lot crispier. Crinkle-cut fries tend to be bland and hard to do right. Roostarz (another one of these type of places in Rancho Cordova) has found a way to make them crisp and golden to perfection. The spice on them was very noticeable (mostly in how easily it turned my fingers red) but heat-wise they are nothing next to the chicken. As with most places the fries have room for improvement, but I don’t come for the fries.
The chicken was great, as has universally been my experience at each and every one of these places I’ve been. It has a crisp, thin to medium thin batter that is not very greasy. Generous cayenne pepper seasoning give the tenders a bold red color. The chicken is always juicy and tender within. As for the heat, I tend to order whatever value has 1 or 2 more above it, which has been a safe bet so far. It’s quite hot, and usually gets my nose a tiny bit runny by the time I’m done. I dipped the tender in the Chickz sauce, which is the same mayo-type sauce they have everywhere. It really tempers the heat well and is tasty, though I’ve never quite figured out what the flavor is. The slider comes with a little bit of this sauce, which together with the slaw and pickles does good work to mediate the heat. On my next visit to this location I might bump it up to Extremely Hot to see how intense that is.
While the space is a bit empty feeling here, they certainly have the chicken on point. I’m glad we have one here now. It’s not always easy finding a really satisfying place that can scratch that heat-seeking craving.