I finally got to try two places I'd had on my "I've got to try that food" bucket list at the North Market, Hot Chicken Takeover and Destination Donuts. I suggest you venture out to try something new this week, too.


Hot Chicken Takeover

Well, they got the name right when they came up with it-this place has taken over as the "destination dining spot" in central Ohio for now, in my opinion. Originally what started as a Kickstarter campaign with an East Side locale, this place has been selling out of its chicken at its new North Market spot. It's located upstairs to the left of the landing. It's got a great, country style no-frills vibe with red and white checkered tablecloths over picnic tables and its logo on a couple of repurposed wood pallets-something I'll call "picnic chic" decor.

The menu is pretty simple, but still offers lots of options. You pick wings, drumsticks, dark or white meat, boneless or a sandwich. You can opt for chicken only or a meal. A meal includes ma's slaw, ma's mac, 2 slices of white breat and pickles. For the young ones, there's Lil' Chick, which is a kid portion of non-spice chicken and a side. For the really hungry, there's the Whole Bird, 2 white pieces, 2 dark pieces and 2 wings. The chicken comes in a variety of "heat" choices from cold, which is just seasoned with a pinch of cayenne, the warm, the hot and the holy. You can add on more chicken, ma's mac or waffles. Ma's sweet tea and house ranch dressing are free. They also have free maple syrup in case you get the waffles.

I got the boneless meal, which costs $12 with warm heat. It was a little spicier than I'm used to, but was good. I liked the pickles and left the bread behind. It's nice to have the option to turn it into a sandwich, but the piece was so big, I had half and saved the rest for later. I also go the free sweet tea and house ranch. I really like the house ranch-it reminds me of the thin, flavorful ranch they serve with tortilla chips in Texas. I'm not a sweet tea person, but its good and goes with the rest of the theme. I found the slaw to be really good and tangy and the chicken was still moist and flavorful as a leftover meal. The mac is OK, but I'm a cheese person and hard to please in this area. (Yes-over the budget-but you do have to make exceptions and gas is cheap, so I'm saving money there and that's my excuse!)

Although there's often a line, it moves pretty quickly and orders come out quickly, too. The only problem is that if it's busy, you may not find a seat inside. Also, it's been selling out, so there's that problem, too. (Not to fear-there are many great dining choices at the North Market) The "Head Fryer," (aka owner) Joe DeLoss was talking with patrons waiting in line and handing out menus during my visit. This is a nice added touch.

My co-worker, Dennis Laycock, said he was also at Hot Chicken Takeover this past Saturday and Miss B's banana pudding was "phenomenal." It's $2.50 and an "extra" on the menu.

Although they were just letting people know about the new location and information via Facebook and twitter, they now have a website. Learn more about HTC and plan your visit http://www.hotchickentakeover.com/


Destination Donuts

I spotted these as I was making my way to Hot Chicken Takeover. The donuts are set up at a stand by the steps with extra donuts kept in trays under the stairs. I tried the sample, but opted for the chocolate ones and then tried one I would not normally get, too. I got the chocolate bacon, nutella (chocolate and peanut flavors) and salty smoked butterscotch donuts. Luckily, I ran into some friends at Hot Chicken Takeover and they took some of the donuts off my hands. They were all good, but the nutella one was my favorite. The donuts cost $3, but are large and a meal in themselves. Learn more about Destination Donuts and Heather Morris the "Donut Queen" here http://www.destinationdonuts.com/