Hot Chicken Strips & Our New Favorite Ice Cream

I haven’t wanted to eat chicken strips since I got pregnant.

This week, chicken strips sounded good again. After our tax appointment, we stopped by nearby Nashville Co-op’s newish brick-and-morter location that opened mid-September. Previously, I had seen one of their food trucks parked at Thomas Liquors on Fridays.  The neighborhood air smelled fried and delightful like the State Fair. There were always a lot of people placing orders.

Reading this Minnesota Monthly profile of Nashville Co-op, I learned the owners Arif and Kamal Mohamed had operated the Alimama’s Sambusas, a food truck I visited back when we worked downtown.

The menu is extremely concise– strips or a sandwich? Texas toast and/or fries. And finally, how hot do you want it, on a scale from 1-4? We chose the third – Growlin’, for I heard the Cluckin’ Hot was actually Cluckin Hot. You know when you order “extra hot” in the upper Midwest.

Jake was in and out in no time with our food. You can place your order online for pick-up, but we just stopped by.

The first thing I noticed was how heavy each box was – Jake ordered a chicken sandwich and I ordered strips with Texas toast.

Each box contained a lot of crispy french fries, plenty of dipping sauce, pickles, coleslaw, and chicken. This chicken isn’t dripping with the Nashville-style hot oil we’ve had before – but dipped in butter and coated in seasoning.

Meals cost between $12-13 dollars. The chicken sandwich is sizable and the chicken strip meals come with three huge strips. Between the heat, chicken and sides, this box lasted me for three meals. Jake described the chicken sandwich as one of the best he’s ever had.

For us, the Growlin’ is our ideal “eating” heat level – not severe enough to taste, but hot enough to cause some sweating and discomfort. Still, I found myself returning to the fridge time and again for another bite of hot chicken.

This Spokesman-Recorder spotlight mentions how the owners were inspired to start their business after tasting Nashville hot chicken in LA – they found similarities between the hot chicken spices and Ethiopian spices they grew-up with and combined them.

I love the creamy dipping sauce – it’s much more flavorful than a typical honey mustard or ranch. I couldn’t figure out what seasonings I was tasting. At first it reminded me of Old Bay, but I now wonder if it’s a hint of berbere.

The Nashville Co-op hype is real and well-deserved. The chicken is frickin good. I already want more. We’ll include it in our regular St. Paul rotation.

And A Really Good Ice Cream

To end on a sweet note, I wanted to share our new favorite ice cream. Sweet Science’s Salted Caramel.

Sweet Science is a local St. Paul company that makes their ice creams and sorbets with local, organic ingredients. Flavors range from classic to creative and seasonal.

Ice cream’s always been Jake’s favorite treat – but, since becoming pregnant, I’ve wanted to eat ice cream all of the time.

From time to time we’ve tried pints of more expensive ice creams – many of them tasted just ok. That is until we tried Sweet Science. At $10-11 a pint, it’s one of the most pricey ice creams. If it’s within your budget, it’s worth it.

The salted caramel ice cream has an ultra creamy, soft texture, almost as if it’s part ice cream and part caramel sauce. The salt level is just right. I like to enjoy a few spoonful (or more) before bedtime.

You can order pints, ice cream cups, sandwiches, and tacos directly on their website for pick-up which is what we plan to do next.

2 Comments

  1. Katy F

    Yum to all! ☺️

  2. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

    Looks like I need to come up and visit you so I can share some chicken and ice cream with you! Both sound delicious!

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