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    Eat & Swig

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    The golden brown crust echoed when I took a bite, and my inhibitions disappeared. Fried chicken has always relaxed me. It takes me home. But this wasn’t regular ol’ fried chicken. Before I got too mellow, a sharp spice hit my tongue just right and sent me into a happy dance. Who knew something so hot could taste so good? Apparently, Louie’s Hot Chicken and Barbecue on Poplar Level.

    In five minutes, I got three big tenders and two big sides for only $9. With that speed and price, Louie’s is a perfect summer food spot. If you are not in a rush, sit down at one of the many picnic tables out front and take in the sights of Camp Taylor Park across the street. Let the sound of children playing and the smell of smoking barbecue remind you of the simpler times.

    Oh, have I not told you about the barbecue yet? You can buy some tender pulled pork and brisket by the pound, or slap it between brioche buns. Pair it with the baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad or corn on the cob to complete your Southern feast. Louie’s can fulfill all your nostalgic food needs. It’s basically your grandma’s kitchen, but without the family ridicule about your career choices.

    Jon Mitchell, Justin Schoenbaechler and Chris Eftekhar decided to open Louie’s after spending six years perfecting their Nashville hot chicken recipe. The three friends added barbecue to the menu to break the mold on typical hot chicken places. “Our menu isn’t big. We only have four main dishes,” Mitchell says. “But we do them well.”

    Louie's is located at 4222 Poplar Level Road and is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

    Cover photo: Jon Mitchell, Chris Eftekhar and Justin Schoenbaechler, courtesy Facebook.

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