Cravings Restaurants Video

The BRICK: Howlin’ Ray’s New Deep Fried Nashville Hot Grilled Cheese

It’s expected to be caught in a three-hour line when you’re visiting Howlin’ Ray’s — the spot that put Nashville hot chicken on the Los Angeles map. If you haven’t already been to the fried chicken hotspot, the never-ending crowd is a clear indicator that this place knows how to do hot chicken proper. Paired with an ambrosial dish like their newest Nashville Hot Grilled Cheese aptly named “The Brick,” Howlin’ Ray’s may have discovered the recipe to double their wait time — and we’re totally fine with that.

Now, when we say it’s a next-level version of grilled cheese, that’s not something to be taken lightly.

Photo: Marc Kharrat | Foodbeast

The Brick first begins as a double sliced grilled cheese sandwich, which is then battered and deep fried until its crunch can be heard from neighboring Little Tokyo. It is then seasoned the exact same way the restaurant’s famous hot chicken is, with patrons able to choose the level of heat they want for their sandwich.

If lactose intolerant folks ever had to pick a moment to pop a Lactaid pill, it’d be for this.

Howlin’ Ray’s also offers a secret-menu variation of their cheese fries, as if all that cheesiness wasn’t enough to entice you. Guests can actually ask the restaurant to load your fries with hearty chunks of Nashville hot chicken, coleslaw, pickles, and a shower of their special “Comeback Sauce.”

Grilled cheese and hot chicken aficionados may want to set an afternoon aside to sink their teeth into The Brick. Regardless of wait times, Howlin’ Ray’s is definitely an experience you don’t want to rush — especially with the debut of that glorious new sandwich. Just make sure to come with clear calendars and empty stomachs. You’ll leave happy, albeit with a well-earned layer of perspiration.

Cravings Features Restaurants

Here’s Where These Pro Chefs Like To Eat After A Late-Night Shift

We’ve all had that late-night work shift that seems like it carries on for days. You know, the one where you end up so exhausted, that the thought of cooking dinner is simply not an option. When that happens, I have two go-to late night options.

The first is an In-N-Out Double Double with extra grilled onions, extra spread, and extra crispy fries. A tried and true fast food order. The second, if I’m too lazy to drive to In-N-Out, is breakfast at any 24-hour diner chain that serves eggs, bacon, and pancakes. I’m sure I’ve mentioned my love of breakfast at least once in these past six years.

That’s what a food writer’s go-to late night eats is. But have you ever wondered what professional chefs like to indulge in after a long dinner shift?

These nine amazing chefs from around the country share with us their favorite late night go-to’s.

Jason Fullilove (Barbara Jean| Los Angeles, CA)

Photo: Peter Pham

“In Mid-City, my go-to late night spot was El Carmen — great tequila and mezcal selection and tacos,” says chef Jason Fullilove of Barbara Jean LA. “If I feel like balling out I will take my staff to Pizzeria Mozza.”

Chef Fullilove also shares one of his go-to spots when he’s not on the clock.

“I live in Palms, a bit west of Culver City. I like to hit up Boardwalk 11, they have great burgers and will do them lettuce wrapped if you’re trying to cut weight!”

Eric Renz (Clinton Hall | New York, NY)

Photo: Andrew Werner

Chef Renz of NYC’s creative gastropub Clinton Hall says he always caps his nights at West Village’s Waverly Diner. There, he likes to order the Waverly Melt Sandwich which he pairs with a vanilla egg cream soda.

“The cheesy, greasy sandwich and the the slightly carbonated sweet egg cream always makes me feel genuine happiness after a night out.”

Tony Galzin (Nicky’s Coal Fired | Nashville, TN)


Photo: Danielle Atkins

Nicky’s Coal Fired is probably best known for their pizzas and pasta. Being around pies all day, chef Tony Galzin probably wants to end the night with something a bit different. His preference: fried buffalo wings.

 “They can’t be breaded or boneless though, and I’ll only eat them with traditional buffalo sauce. M.L. Rose in Nashville has the best buffalo wings in my opinion!”

Louis Tikaram (EP & LP | Los Angeles, CA)

Chef Louis Tikaram

Photo: Richard Guinto

EP & LP Asian restaurant and rooftop bar combines Thai cuisine with overtones of Chinese, Fijian, and Vietnamese fusion. The popular Los Angeles restaurant and rooftop bar is run by Australian native Louis Tikaram.

“My favorite late-night spot to take the EP crew post service is Ruen Pair in Thai Town,” the executive chef shares. “Its multi-region Thai menu is spicy, funky, and perfect with a cold beer after a busy week in the kitchen.”

Nick Korbee (Egg Shop | New York, NY)


Photo: Egg Shop

Chef Nick Korbee of Egg Shop in NYC is a man of two cities. Balancing his time between New York City and Los Angeles, Korbee has two late-night loves that he frequents.

“When in L.A., I can’t resist a late night danger dog. I’m not talking about a tourist trap spicy sausage. I’m referring to the bacon-wrapped version, grilled over a trash can on a steel plate.”

While in New York, however, he likes to indulge himself with a large slice of Sicilian pizza topped with tons of chili flakes.

Jeff Axline (Bobby Hotel | Nashville, TN)


Photo: The Bobby Hotel

You’ll find Chef Jeff Axline of the new Bobby Hotel, in Nashville located in Boutique Row, hunting down some spuds after a long shift.

“Any diner with good old-fashioned seasoned curly fries are my late-night staple,” says the executive chef of the boutique hotel’s Bobby’s Tavern. It’s as simple as that.

James Reamy (Meatzilla | Los Angeles, CA)


Photo: James Reamy

Chef James Reamy, known for slinging pizza-topped burgers to the hungry masses in Downtown Los Angeles, says that when he’s off from work super late and looking for cheap comfort food and alcohol, his favorite spot is Nodaji in Rowland Heights.

“It’s nothing special, you won’t see Jonathan Gold chillin’ there or kids who have Eater favorited on their web browser — how I usually like it.”

Reamy says he was introduced to Nodaji by a friend a few years ago and instantly fell in love with the place.

“It’s just a good low-key spot that serves casual Korean/Japanese food late and soju even later to the local community,” Reamy tells FOODBEAST. “They have these trashy bulgogi fries — crinkle cut, canned nacho cheese, you know the drill — that were actually the inspiration for the bulgogi fries I put on the menu at Meatzilla!”

Esther Choi (mŏkbar | New York, NY)


Photo: mŏkbar

Chef Esther Choi of NYC’s mŏkbar specializes in Korean cuisine with a modern approach. When she’s ready to unwind after a long shift or some drinks, however, she says not much holds a candle to Chinese food.

“Let’s be honest, nothing soaks up late night booze like Chinese food.”

Choi says that her favorite late-night spot is Wo Hop City in Chinatown.

Chef Dave Anoia  (DiAnoia’s Eatery | Pittsburgh, PA)


Photo: Hannah Schneider Creative

DiAnoia’s Eatery is an Italian restaurant in Pittsburgh that’s an Italian deli and cafe during the day and a full-on restaurant at night. Chef Dave Anoia, who’s also the owner of DiAnoia’s, likes to treat himself to a little fast food when he closes his doors for the evening.

“My go-to order is the Cheesy Gordita Crunch,” says Anoia who likes to hit up Taco Bell’s drive-thru. “It’s my ultimate guilty pleasure.”

Cravings Culture Recipes Video

How To Make Nashville Hot Chicken At Home [WATCH]

There’s something about Nashville Hot Chicken we can’t put our finger on. The salty crunch from the skin, the flesh that oozes with juice the moment you bite down, and the sweat-inducing heat that wakes your very soul up with excitement.

With only a handful of reputable spots that actually make the mouthwatering style of chicken in our area, it’s pretty difficult to get our Hot Chicken fix without having to stand hours in line.

Luckily, YouTuber’s HellthyJunkFood decided to show us how to make Nashville Hot Chicken from the convenience of your own kitchen. With some help from fellow YouTubers Dudes N Space, the duo set out to create this hot ticket piece of poultry.

While they decided to do chicken breast tenders for some reason, we assume the process is exactly the same for bone-in chicken pieces.

Check out their recipe in the video above. Not gonna lie, this looks pretty damn good. Going to have to follow this recipe to the “T” to see if it tastes as good, too.

Fast Food

It Seems Like Every Fast Food Chain Is Doing HOT CHICKEN, Here’s Carl’s Jr.’s Take


Carl’s Jr. just introduced a new sandwich based off Nashville, Tennessee’s wildly popular Hot Chicken style.

The new Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich features a breaded chicken filet that’s tossed in Nashville Hot Sauce, topped with Swiss cheese, pickles, and served on two pieces of Texas Toast.

Initial thoughts, as a photographer, I hate how this thing looked as I snapped photos of it. I know fast food burgers aren’t supposed to look exactly like their promotional counterparts, but for some reason Carl’s burgers almost never look that photogenic…regardless of how delicious some taste.

Messy presentation aside, the burger we got was missing one crucial element.


Yep, ours was missing an entire piece of Texas toast. I’m partially to blame for simply opening the box and assuming there was a second bun under the initial one. Everything looked kosher from the birds eye.

According to fellow Foodbeast Elie, the sandwich itself was pretty damn tasty.

The sandwich is priced at $6.36 a la carte, though prices may vary depending on location. Not sure if the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich is only available at select test spots or if Carl’s is doing a soft release.

Celebrity Grub

According To Anthony Bourdain, Here’s The Most Underrated U.S. ‘Foodie’ Cities

Anthony Bourdain travels the world for a living, eating in parts unknown, and having no reservations when experiencing different cultures. It’s safe to say the man knows his way around this planet, and has been to a few good food spots.

Bourdain answered fan questions during an iAMA on Reddit Tuesday, and when asked what he thought were the most “unexpected foodie cities” in the US, the TV host had no problem listing several places, including Los Angeles, believe it or not.

His list of cities included:

  • Nashville, TN
  • Asheville, NC
  • Charleston, SC
  • Seattle, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Los Angeles, CA

You’ll hardly ever see Los Angeles in a list of underrated things, but Bourdain swore that aside from the melting pot of ethnic food everyone in the city is accustomed to, the quality of restaurants has really stepped up over the last decade.

“I think Los Angeles is wildly underrated,” Bourdain said. “…man, some of the restaurants that have been opening in the last 10 years are really, really good.”

While the chef also mentioned Nashville as one of the food havens, later in the Q&A, he said that eating the extra hot chicken in Nashville was one of the most terrifying things he’s ever experienced.

“…immediately after eating Nashville Hot Chicken, that was truly, truly terrifying,” Bourdain recalled. “And if you’re considering going to Nashville, by the way, please notice that Nashvillians themselves don’t eat the extra-hot fried chicken. They know better. Unless you’ve got three or four days to spend in a bathroom, I really advise against that.”

We also learned that in his younger days, Bourdain used to accept drinks from everyone and anyone at bars. As you can imagine, at 60 years old, with a 9-year-old daughter, he had to cut that out.

“Fans would come up to me and offer me shots of tequila and I would actually drink them,” he said. “I am still here and alive today because I don’t do that anymore.”

Now we have a new set of go-to US food destinations, straight from the opinion of one of the most well-traveled food authorities this world has to offer.

Check out his full quote below:

“Nashville, TN; Asheville, NC; Minneapolis, for a very long time had really good food and a lot of great chefs. I think Los Angeles is wildly underrated; it was famous for years and appreciated for its strip mall food, it’s Korean and Mexican and Latino food. But man, some of the restaurants that have been opening in the last 10 years are really really good. Everybody knows Seattle and Portland are great.

But yeah, off the top of my head, I’m kinda looking at the South. Charleston, NC [sic], another one. But it’s hard to say that these places are underrated. I mean, people are finding out how good they are. There’s never been a better time to eat in America, honestly.”