Fremont Diner's Nashville Hot Chicken Is Totally Worth the Food Miles
Chewing our first bite of Fremont Diner's Nashville Hot Chicken ($10.50), we were already mentally calculating how long it would take to drive back to Sonoma the next day to get our fix. Three pieces of Fulton Valley Farms bird were dredged in a blend of corn flour, wheat flower, and cayenne before landing in the deep fryer. We assumed the bird was simply tossed with hot sauce after emerging form the oil: We should have known that instant addictions are seldom so simple.
Alex Hochman That's not some bottled hot sauce tossed with Fremont Diner's hot chicken.
After initially declining to reveal his secret, chef/owner Chad Harris finally disclosed that the chicken is painted with a "paste" of house-rendered lard and cayenne. It's one of the crispiest fried chickens we've ever gnawed our way through; also the messiest, due to a double dry-cleaning threat of juices squirting from the flesh and spicy fat just kind of dripping, well, everywhere.
The cayenne brings the heat but never to the point that you need to stop eating, and we didn't. A mellow, creamy macaroni and cheese (made with Vella Daisy cheddar) rides sidecar, along with caraway-studded pickle chips that are to fried chicken what ginger is to sushi.
Alex Hochman Fremont closes at 3 in the afternoon. Which means work is out of the question.
Fremont Diner is only open until 3 p.m., meaning you might have to skip out on work to get some (you don't want to deal with weekend traffic anyway). Just don't rat us out for being your enabler.
Fremont Diner: 2660 Fremont (at S. Central), Sonoma, 707-938-7370.