So, this is the legend…
Back in the 1930s, a Nashville woman whose name is sadly lost to history discovered that her boyfriend – a known womaniser by the name of Thornton Prince III – was cheating on her.
As a punishment, she decided to mix in an unholy amount of cayenne pepper into the batter for his fried chicken in the hope of painfully torching his tastebuds. It didn’t go exactly to plan. Not only did he not hate it, he actually loved it. In fact, he built a hugely popular restaurant around it. It’s still around today, and hot chicken has since become a Nashville culinary landmark, gradually spreading in popularity across the US. So yeah, that one backfired so badly it reverberated through the generations…
…and now it’s in Hoxton Square.
Welcome to Louie’s.
You’ll find it underneath the equally all-American Red Dog Saloon in Hoxton Square, whose owners know a thing or two about Southern US-style gorging. It’s a dark, dive bar-esque space filled with leather booth seating, colourful wall murals, and the kind of low lighting that would make it the perfect venue for, well, an affair.
The menu stays as close to the authentic Nashville experience as possible, offering chicken and only chicken. The most important decision you need to make is how hot you want it: the scale ranges from ‘mellow’ to ‘hell’, the latter of which is basically a crispy-coated war crime. They’re serving everything from a trio of wings to an entire (jointed) chicken, and you can also get the fiery fowl packed into a coleslaw-loaded ‘sammich’, or thrown on top of a waffle with butter & maple syrup.
To help douse the flames set by all this culinary arson there are liquor-laced milkshakes, and classic Southern US-style cocktails including a rum punch and some house-made Lynchburg Lemonade (it involves bourbon). And if those cocktails sound like they’d go well in a punch bowl to share with everyone at your table, then we have good news: you can get them as a punch bowl to share with everyone at your table.
Finally, to finish you off, there’s an ever-changing ‘pie of the day’ for dessert. Just don’t get too attached to what you get on any given day…
…you’ll only end up cheating on it.
NOTE: Louie’s is open daily, 12pm-10.30pm (midnight Sat). You can find out more, and make a booking, at their website right HERE.
Underneath the Red Dog Saloon | 37 Hoxton Square, N1 6NN
Want more of the best? Check out our guide to the best restaurants in every London neighbourhood.