Saturday, May 7, 2016

Hops Chicken - Ponce City Market - Atlanta Georgia

You can find Hop's Chicken at 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta 30308 in the Ponce City Market in the "food court" (that may be a bit of a stretch as all the restaurants in this court are of higher-quality than what you would typically find at a regular shopping mall). Parking is for PCM is in the lot to the right of the building when facing it from Ponce, in the internal courtyard (good luck there) or in the underground deck. Parking is fairly expensive and really unwarranted - my biggest complaint of PCM - with a very tight and messed-up parking deck to boot. You may be better off parking somewhere it's free to park and walking to the market.

I met some of my Yelper friend's at Ponce City Market to sample some of the restaurants' offerings - this was hosted by Tuong Vi P ( - the idea is that we would all order a few items and meat to dine together. I went with Praveen R and Miles and hit Hop's Chicken - this is a "bucket of chicken" place that offers up homemade sides and "Nashville style Hot Chicken." We also sampled the double-burger from H&F and a few other items and sat together at one of the long-tall tables upstairs.

Hop's Chicken is a fast-casual chicken stand where you order at the counter and when your food is ready they call out. The primary menu is a board to the right of the ordering window - they have a simple menu that's pretty much chicken cut-up into pieces, biscuits, a few sides and sauces. They also serve some local craft beer which always makes things better. I enjoyed a can of Terrapin Hi-5 while waiting for my food to arrive.

The food is served in paper containers bagged in a cute Hop's Chicken bag. We wanted to try the Nashville style Hot Chicken so ordered a whole chicken - and were told it would be about 20 minutes. It was actually more like 30-45 - it took quite a long time to get our bucket and yes, served in a white bucket much like the classic KFC. For sides we ordered the Mac&Cheese, Cole Slaw and Limas&Corn (some type of succotash wantabee).

The verdict - the chicken was a bit soggy from the "hot" application and I must say that it wasn't quite what you would get in one of the classic Nashville locations. That being said, it was still quite tasty if a bit greasy. Just good spicy fried chicken (a bit more like a hot chicken wing with breading). The sides were all so-so and could use some pumping up, but the star of this show is the chicken. While I didn't think it was true "Nashville Hot" it was still good in it's own right - I give it 4 stars. I think it will taste terrific on a biscuit and I hope they offer it up that way (wasn't offered at this date). I do think that the wait was unreasonable, the price a bit expensive and the sides mediocre so cranking down my rating to 3/5 stars.

-- John

(also posted to Yelp)
Hop's Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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