The Budlong Hot Chicken


Article by Jennifer Mackenchery

Photography by Jennifer Mackenchery

It’s not often I decide that picking up a Nashville-style hot chicken sandwich in the middle of a Wednesday is a great idea.

I was slightly nervous about the plans of productivity I had for the afternoon; eating a fried chicken sandwich for lunch doesn’t exactly lend itself to the ideal state of mind for completing to-do lists afterward. Really anything involving a heavy poultry meal can be a gamble.

The Sandwich Experience at The Budlong Hot Chicken

But once I took a bite of my hot chicken sandwich from The Budlong Hot Chicken, a newly opened fried chicken spot in Denver’s Wash Park, all worries of the future fled from my mind. I didn’t care anymore. The hot chicken took over.

The chicken was hot and crispy and the perfect level of spice. On the sandwich, Comeback Sauce and coleslaw added more heat and a little sweetness all at once. I can't forget to mention the pickles, one of the most important facets of the fried chicken sandwich.

They were undeniably up to pickle par. I washed my first bite down with a salt-and-pepper crinkle-cut french fry, which was still just-out-of-the-fryer hot by the time I got home. It was time for the mac and cheese. I just wanted a bite, I thought, when I had ordered that second side up at the counter. As it turns out, just a bite just wasn’t possible. The mac was creamy and cheesy, and I had to finish it all.

Budlong's Menu: Simple but Substantial

At The Budlong, the menu is short and simple, which is perfect for someone like me, who is profoundly impaired when it comes to making decisions.

You can get chicken sandwiches at varying spice levels (I chose Hot, though next time I may venture up to X-Hot), chicken plates, chicken tenders or a salad.

A couple of classic sides, including fries, mac, coleslaw, collard greens, and biscuits will round off your order. That's all there is to it. My sandwich came out in no time, and it was packaged in a great little takeout box that probably excited me more than it should. 

I’ll certainly be back to Wash Park’s The Budlong for more hot chicken, though next time with better planning centered around an afternoon with a Nashville-style food coma.

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