Friday, May 20 2022

Nate's Nashville <a class=Hot Chicken opened in Paso Robles in April 2022 and serves chicken dishes in a range of spice levels.” title=”Nate’s Nashville Hot Chicken opened in Paso Robles in April 2022 and serves chicken dishes in a range of spice levels.” loading=”lazy”/>

Nate’s Nashville Hot Chicken opened in Paso Robles in April 2022 and serves chicken dishes in a range of spice levels.

A new fast-casual restaurant has arrived in Paso Robles — and its five-tiered spice level is a siren song for heat-loving diners.

Nate’s Nashville Hot Chicken is a fast casual restaurant where spices are the main attraction.


This story is a subscriber exclusive

“What we wanted to do was just create hot chicken that was just phenomenal,” owner Roger Sharp said.

The menu includes breakfast sandwiches, chicken tenderloins, chicken sandwiches, chicken wings, chicken and waffles, and three types of hot dogs. Side dishes include mac and cheese, fries, and coleslaw.

The restaurant also serves Stubborn sodas and four flavors of milkshake: strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and caramel.

IMG_4525 (1).JPEG
Mac and cheese is one of the most popular side dishes at Nate’s Nashville Hot Chicken, the restaurant said. Photo courtesy of Roger Sharp

Nate’s Nashville Hot Chicken goes from ‘naked’ to ‘scary’

Nate’s main attraction is the chicken tenders, which are cooked to order and can be served at five spice levels, Sharp said.

Chicken can be ‘naked’, meaning prepared with few spices, and it’s a favorite on the kids’ menu.

For palates craving a kick, the spice level on a hot chicken goes from “medium” to “hot” to “very hot” and finally “scary hot”.

The most popular spice level among Nate’s customers is “medium” — “it’s not a crazy burn, it’s a nice burn,” Sharp says.

About 30% of customers order “hot” or “very hot” chicken, while only about 5% opt for “scary hot”, he said.

image2.jpeg
Nate’s Nashville Hot Chicken opened in Paso Robles, California in April 2022. Photo courtesy of Roger Sharp

The so-called “scary hot” chicken is aptly named. The chicken is prepared with a breading loaded with spices and is finished with a chilli oil made from Carolina Grim Reaperthe hottest pepper in the world, said Sharp.

The chicken is finished with the restaurant’s signature Kick-it-UP sauce.

“You can almost put it on your shoe and it tastes great,” Sharp said of the sauce.

Although Sharp loves spicy foods, he says he doesn’t get past the word “hot” anymore because “it’s just too unsettling,” he said.

He recommends diners pair their hot chicken dish with a milkshake to help cool things down.

The Paso Robles restaurant took four years to build

Sharp, which also owns Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ and town of tortillas in Paso Robles, said about four years ago that he was looking for a new concept for his space on 24th Street across from the California Mid-State Fairgrounds.

The space where Nate’s Nashville Hot Chicken is now occupied by Good Ol’ Burgers, which Sharp started when he was 26, according to earlier Tribune coverage.

IMG_0529.jpg
Nate’s Nashville Hot Chicken is located at 1145 24th Street in Paso Robles, California. This is the third restaurant owner that Roger Sharp has launched at this location. Sara Kassabian [email protected]

Good Ol’ Burgers closed in 2019 and Sharp opened Crazy Asian Express, which offered an American take on Asian fast food dishes, such as Chinese Peking Duck and BBQ Pork.

But this place didn’t really take off as he hoped, so he was looking for something new.

Over the past few years, Nashville-style hot chicken restaurants have started opening everywhere. In May 2019, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times wrote an article titled “Nashville Hot Chicken is taking over Los Angeles.

“I always eat spicy food and travel all over the country,” Sharp said. “And that’s something that really caught my attention.”

What followed was a seemingly endless tour of hot chicken restaurants, he said.

“I think I’ve tried every hot chicken restaurant on the planet,” Sharp said. “I’m just trying to get those flavors and create something special.”

He spent the next few years battling the COVID-19 pandemic, trying recipes and working on the space, which opened in April 2022.

“I’m super happy with the end result in quality and taste,” said Sharp.

Sharp said he hopes to open other Nate locations in San Luis Obispo County in the near future. Nate’s will also have a booth at the Mid-State Fair.

Nate’s Nashville Hot Chicken is located at 1145 24th St. in Paso Robles, across from the Fairgrounds, and is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

image0.jpeg
Chicken and waffle is one of the dishes offered at Nate’s Nashville Hot Chicken in Paso Robles. Photo courtesy of Roger Sharp

This story was originally published May 11, 2022 5:00 a.m.

San Luis Obispo Tribune related stories

Previous

Mother awaiting heart transplant shares her story

Next

Alligator stalks the sidewalk and shocks customers at a popular fast food chain

Check Also