06/24/15 11:20am

Meat Hook’s Hot Chicken Will Knock Your Socks Off

At first glance it looks like a chicken burger on steroids.

At first glance it looks like a chicken burger on steroids.

As the self-proclaimed culinary king of Queens I’ve made something of a cottage industry of hating on Brooklyn, particularly the legions of kombucha-swilling beard-sporting gastrohipsters. The notable exceptions to my Kings County antipathy are old-school spots like Bamonte’s and its slightly more new-fangled neighbor, The Meat Hook. It’s taken me a good six months to visit the butcher shop’s nearby sandwich satellite. Yesterday Chef Dave and I stopped by after braving what seemed like hours of traffic.

Chef Dave opted for the meat loaf and I went with the hot chicken. I’ve never tried Nashville hot chicken, so I was eager to try Meat Hook Sandwich’s spin on it. I expected hot sauce slathered fried bird piled high on a bun. What came to the table was indeed a tall sandwich, but was far more orderly than I expected.

A peek inside the Meat Hook’s hot chicken patty.

A peek inside the Meat Hook’s hot chicken patty.

“I don’t even know what to make of this,” I said pointing to the inch-thick burnished patty. Topped with slaw and sauce it looked a mutant chicken burger. One bite revealed it to be a delicious mutant indeed. With its crunchy exterior and juicy dark meat innards, the discus of poultry reminded me of chicken shwarma. That is if chicken shwarma was brined in hot sauce topped with slaw, Polynesian barbecue sauce, and pickled celery.

So there you have it, a spicy chicken sandwich that eats like a tribute to Nashville, Jerusalem, and Buffalo, N.Y., by way of Billyburg. The shwarma connection is purely coincidental, Brent Young one of the shop’s owner told me. Chicken thighs are formed into a roulade with meat glue, then poached. Each disk is finally fried. It might seem like a lot of work for a chicken sandwich, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from team Meat Hook.

Meat Hook Sandwich Shop, 495 Lorimer St., Williamsburg, 718-302-4665

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One Comment