Nashville Reviews: Red’s 615 Kitchen

On the latest edition of Nashville Reviews, "Big Natural" Stoney Keeley offers up his thoughts on the fantastic food truck, Red's 615 Kitchen.

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Alright – by now, y’all know I have been on that food truck grind for a little over two weeks now. Just trying to stay out and about and helping local businesses. Plus, shit – it just gives me something to do and something to look forward to. Checking the map over at BestFoodTrucks.com every day and seeing what’s nearby has become part of my daily ritual. Last week, I was over the moon to see that Red’s 615 Kitchen was parked across the street from me.

Red’s popped up on my Instagram feed some time last summer with a photo of some ungodly hot chicken sandwich loaded with pimento cheese. Fun fact about “Big Natural” Stoney Keeley: I’m a sucker for a good burger with pimento cheese on it. So, when I saw that hot chicken sandwich, I committed the name Red’s to memory. I haven’t been good about keeping up with the food trucks ever since I quit working downtown, so it took me a while to find a fair/festival that both Red’s and myself were at.

That day finally happened late last summer when my girlfriend and I attended the Tomato Art Festival. I saw them post that they were parked up there and immediately sought out on a quest to find them. We walked every square inch of that festival, and never found ’em.

I was beginning to think that Red’s was going to be my white whale. Time marched on, the fall and the holidays came, I went out less and less, and eventually, I conceded. But, at last, my dreams came true when I checked BestFoodTrucks’ map last week.

I had to try that monstrous sandwich I first saw nearly a year ago on Instagram. But, I also wanted to try out their plain ol’ hot chicken dish, thinkin’ I’d get ’em into our catalog of Nashville hot chicken ratings, too.

Check out Red’s 615 Kitchen here. Let’s dive in.

Pics

Look at this juicy tendie just POPPIN’ with spice and flavor!

Ratings

Food: 7/10 – Just an all around high quality meal – that sandwich was as impactful as it looks – the hot chicken itself is phenomenal (more on that below), but I love a good rich pimento cheese, and it really helped to ground out some of the punch of the hot chicken. I’m not sure exactly what ‘comeback sauce’ is…some type of tangy sauce, but I liked it. With the pickles, it made for a surprisingly smooth eat with a universe of flavor packed into it.

I’m not usually a big fry guy, but the way these were seasoned and cooked were about as perfect as they get in my book – a nice pop of flavor and salt, some crispy, some a little soft. The nice subtle aftertaste of oil signifying they were made FRESH.

Value: 7/10 – It’s not every day you come across one of the best meals in the city and don’t spend at least $50. Some of the food trucks these days have gotten outrageous, but I found Red’s to be a great value when considering the quality of the meal you get. It was only around $25, before tip, for two quality entrees. You ain’t gonna get away spending that anywhere downtown. Damn good bang for your buck.

Overall: 7/10 – A solid, straight up, and well above average ‘7’ for Red’s 615 Kitchen. How a menu can be simple and diverse at the same time is impressive – even if Nashville hot chicken isn’t your thing, Red’s boasts chicken and waffles, a catfish sandwich, and a BLFGT (bacon, lettuce, fried green tomatoes) that I can’t wait to try in the future. I dare say this has become my favorite food truck in Nashville, and one of my favorite all around meals in town.

Now, let’s dive into what I really like talking about…

The rare double rating

So, we typically have our shit divvied up into ‘overall reviews and ratings’ and ‘Nashville hot chicken ratings’ – but on rare occasion, we get the opportunity to do both with one restaurant. Red’s 615 Kitchen is such a restaurant, so we’re crossin’ both off the to-do list today.

Flavor: 8.5/10 – It didn’t pack quite the bold, straight up heat flavor as some other hot chicken institutions, but it did well to stand out, and that’s why I like it so much. It’s a different flavor than the straight cayenne deluge of other hot chicken dishes. I dare say it had a sweet hint to it. That made for a really unique flavor and that’s hard to accomplish in Nashville.

Texture: 7.4/10 – The chicken itself was thick and juicy. You’d bite into a tender and the juices would seep out, mix with the flavors, and amplify everything. It had the right amount of crisp to it as well. Damn near perfect quality cut.

Heat: 7/10 – First things first, I do the ‘hot’ flavor for every hot chicken review I do. The heat was subtle…almost undetectable at first, but once it hit you, hot DAMN did it you. That’s just the way I like it – not overbearing from the start and not so painful that you don’t enjoy it. I want some flavor followed up with some after-burn. That said, I could’ve gone a little hotter and been alright.

Fixins: 6/10 – 3 pickles to 2 tenders is THE winning ratio when it comes to hot chicken. I liked the fries a lot too, but you can also get pimento mac n’ cheese (which sounds lovely), mustard potato salad, and cole slaw off the ‘sides’ menu.

Overall: 7.23/10 – The best part of it all? I didn’t even feel like my stomach was going to explode from the inside out. That’s the sacrifice you usually make when eating Nashville hot chicken. All in all, the flavor and the quality of chicken are among the best in the city.

CURRENT NASHVILLE RESTAURANT RANKINGS

  1. Butcher & Bee (8.5/10)
  2. Nectar: Urban Cantina (8.44/10)
  3. Von Elrod’s (8.17/10)
  4. Catch 22 (Mount Juliet) (7.125/10)
  5. Red’s 615 Kitchen (7/10)

*Keep in mind, we’re just starting out. This list is only 25 deep at this point. Stay tuned as we continue to build our anthology of Nashville reviews.

CURRENT NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN POWER RANKINGS

  1. Hurt’s Hot Chicken (8.53/10)
  2. Red’s 615 Kitchen (7.23/10)
  3. Scoreboard (6.62/10)
  4. Riverfront Tavern (6.25/10)
  5. Helen’s Hot Chicken (5.75/10)

Important qualifier: I’ve literally only reviewed seven places around town. Don’t @ me with the “where’s Hattie B’s? Where’s Bolton’s? Where’s Prince’s?” I KNOW – we’re working on getting out to the heavyweights in the Nashville hot chicken scene this year. This portfolio has to start somewhere, and right now, it’s starting east of town because that’s the easiest for me to get to. *shrugs*

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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