Photo by Daniel Walker

Eat This Now!

Head to 24 Hot Chicken and Waffles for a Spicy Fix

The new Plano spot is serving 24 hours a day.

I’ll never forget the first time I had Nashville hot chicken. This was several years ago on a trip to Nashville with some friends, before KFC picked up on the idea, and before the “hot chicken” trend swept across the nation (I say this not to prove my hipster-ness when if comes to hot chicken, but simply because I had no prior experience with this dish). My friends and I walked into the renowned Prince’s Hot Chicken, eager to partake in this regional specialty.

Honestly, Prince’s was punishing. Their hot chicken (like that of nearly all other hot chicken joints in the area) comes in varying levels of spice. I selected the “medium,” my friend went one notch higher with “hot.” I believe there’s, like, three other levels of heat above hot, the final being something like “licking the surface of the sun.” The point is, it was hot. Painfully hot. In my opinion, too hot to enjoy. And frankly, the underlying chicken wasn’t anything special, either. I got through my cayenne-laced “medium,” but my friend with the “hot” was in tears.

I’ve never eaten hot chicken like Prince’s again, a full-blown pepper attack on the tongue. And I never need to do it again. That’s not to say I haven’t had Nashville hot chicken since. I’ve actually had many versions that I enjoy much better than that first experience. In Texas, I’m particularly fond of Tumble 22 in Austin. But here in Dallas, I also enjoy the unconventional version coming from Rapscallion, and Street’s does a nice hot chicken sandwich, as well.

A new hot chicken joint has recently sprung up in Plano (1885 Dallas Parkway), completely dedicating themselves to this popular dish. I got myself into 24 Hot Chicken and Waffle Bar to see what they were frying up.

The menu is fairly simple, comprised of chicken in different forms and waffles, with a few available sides. You’ll find hot chicken and waffles with maple syrup, straight-up fried chicken in quarter, half, or whole bird, wings, and popcorn chicken. Varying heat levels are available.

I chose the standard half chicken, opting for the middle-tier “#24HOT” spice level, with potato salad and fries. The chicken came out pleasantly juicy and flavorful, and the spice level was actually fairly mild, and I would have probably leveled-up in retrospect. The chicken skin or spiced crust was a bit too crumbly, however, and these textural issues made for quite a messy meal. The sides are standard fare, unlikely to be made in-house, and the fries appeared to be frozen and then topped with the restaurant’s own spice blend.

They’ve decided to run 24 hours a day. I’m not sure how many people crave spicy chicken at 3 a.m., but perhaps it’s a thing the people of Plano like to do. If that’s you, or you’re just dedicated to trying all the hot chicken available in DFW, now you’ve got another place to add to your list.

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