BLUE POINT, New York -- The coronavirus pandemic has had businesses and restaurant owners shut their doors for good. Many have had to put their dreams aside and wait the pandemic out, however, one Long Island business decided to take a chance and open, earlier this month.
What started as a restaurant dream during quarantine became a reality with 'Hot Chicken Mama', a drive-thru/ to-go style restaurant bringing Nashville-style spicy chicken to Blue Point.
"Opening up a business during a pandemic was super scary," said Nick Petro, Owner. "We were confident in our product and what we were doing we really believed in it. It was scary but we were super confident in it."
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The quarantine inspiration soon took to life, after recipes were tweaked with the right amount of spice and the drive-thru concept was constructed.
"Outside of Nashville, it's really hard to find authentic Nashville hot chicken," said Petro. "It's a southern-style fried chicken dish. Our chicken is then dipped in a hit chili oil then hit with a dry rub spice and that is what gives it its distinctive flavor."
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Petro is no stranger to the restaurant industry and he drew inspiration from taking a trip to Nashville with his co-owners and executive chef Steve Esposito.
Not too soon after the new Long Island chicken hot-spot opened up, hungry customers were lining up in the cold to get a bite from their menu.
"It was really humbling in that people were going far out of their way to be here to see what we've poured all this work into," said Esposito. "People are lining up for our food and it's beautiful."
One of their top-selling items is 'The Sando' which has white meat, purple slaw, pickles, comeback sauce, served on a potato bun, served with crinkle-cut fries.
You can even test your level of spice tolerance which their different levels of heat. Petro recommends starting out with the 'easy' option that has barely has any heat and then working your way up from there.
"I feel like it's just such a savory sandwich, said Josh Hunt, a customer. "You know fried chicken is just so good, it's just comfort food."
Petro is looking forward to bringing Long Island an upscale fried chicken option with a fast-food like atmosphere.
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Hot Chicken Mama brings Nashville-inspired chicken sandwich to Long Island