Heat Rising

by Chris Johnson

There is little debate as to the availability of great food in Frisco. With such a diverse offering, crossing virtually every culinary genre, what addition could possibly “spice up” the dining scene (see what I did there?). A restaurant poll would undoubtedly reveal the obvious: there are many burger and chicken tender options in our city. It might also conclude there’s little appetite for another.

Enter Crimson Coward Nashville Chicken, on the northeast corner of Gaylord and Preston. A recent restaurant participant in Frisco Uncorked, Crimson Coward recently opened its doors to enter the already crowded chicken tender scene in Frisco.
“Bold” you say? Talk to anyone who has experienced Crimson Coward or works in their kitchen, and they’ll say, “Not as bold as the heat!”
 Some of the greatest single-course meals often include two diverse sets of culinary criteria: textures including smooth and crunchy, and temperatures including cold and hot. Think about it. Theoretically, this is why tacos are so popular. And, chips and queso? Add some sour cream and you have “something to write home about.” Apply this theory to other foods, particularly hot chicken, and you have the potential for an outstanding experience. Keep it fresh and mix the flavors right, and you could find yourself with something worth craving week after week – like Crimson Coward.
Serving “the freshest Nashville Hot Chicken in the DFW area,” Crimson Coward’s Frisco coop is their first restaurant located in Texas. After meeting celebrated Nashville chefs and exploring the most incredible eateries and hot chicken joints in Nashville, principals decided to refine the techniques, recipes and a brand that became Crimson Coward. Now the fruit of their vision and labor can be enjoyed in Frisco.

 Unveiling the Heat

As the name implies, Crimson Coward’s Hot Chicken has a distinct spicy flavor. And, the five spice tiers range from non-existent (“Country”) to extremely hot (“BURRRRN, BABY, BURN”), depending on your preference. So, there truly is “something for everyone.” A word of advice–this is your warning; you will not be asked to sign a waiver later. Take the levels of Crimson Coward heat seriously. If you are a die-hard super spicey food eater–go for it. However, consider, perhaps only for your first visit, ordering a heat level below what you think you would enjoy and prefer. You can prove your full Scoville worthiness on your second visit (because you will visit again).
In addition to tenders, the Crimson Coward menu includes chicken wings, fries, a Crimson onion, chicken and waffles as well as sides of mac and cheese, coleslaw, potato salad and fried pickles.

 The Crimson Experience

Entering their restaurant location, orders are placed at the counter just inside the door (or order in advance at crimsoncoward.com). Visitors receive a kind greeting while they review the menu on the wall. (If you are prone to indecisiveness under pressure, consider reviewing the menu online). Meals are cooked-to-order … meaning, not only are the details of your meal decided and prepared individually, but your chicken is cooked after your order (no advance cooking or heat lamps). This requires a bit of extra time to receive your chicken following your order, but it’s well worth the wait.
While waiting, consider Crimson Coward’s chicken is premium, reputably sourced, all-natural, non-GMO and free of hormones and antibiotics. This is also a convenient time to get your choice beverage from the self-serve drink station. 
Before you know it, your order is ready. Tenders are served in a foldable box, on a slice of bread, plentifully garnished with pickles and a dipping container of Crimson sauce.

 Unleashing Flavor

Upon your first bite, you’ll note that these tenders are fresh! Each tender has been hand-cut into large but irregular pieces and has a light crunch on the outside while being hot and juicy on the inside. Depending on the heat of your order, you will notice the distinct Crimson Coward spice– your heat level will be unmistakable. A deep dip of your tender in Crimson sauce prompts the magic to unfold. You will enjoy the culinary pleasure of the smooth, cool Crimson sauce along with the crunch and heat of the chicken (both radiant heat and heat from the seasoning). You will also realize how Crimson Coward can enter a somewhat crowded chicken tender market and excel.
Crimson Coward offers a flavor and spice profile that is truly unique. This, coupled with the quality and freshness as well as the coating and texture of their tenders, explains how Frisco will be enjoying Crimson Coward chicken for years to come.
Now, a word on the sides. The heat of Crimson Coward’s chicken may best be complemented by the coolness of fresh coleslaw, and for this, they deliver quite well. Many restaurants serve coleslaw. However, few serve anything but “ordinary” slaw, drenched in cream dressing (often too saturated)–the kind you can purchase at the deli in your local grocery store. There’s nothing wrong with it … but “it is what it is.” Crimson Coward’s coleslaw is thinly sliced cabbage seasoned with a house-made vinaigrette and garnished with fresh cilantro, making it “a cut above.” The fact that it is not drenched in a creamy dressing allows the cabbage to retain a bit of crunch, which adds to the appeal profile.

Frisco STYLE Magazine dining reviews are not scheduled with or paid for by the featured restaurant. All reviews are completed for the purpose of helping readers learn about and enjoy local dining options. Is there an area restaurant that you’d like us to review? Email us at info@friscostyle.com.
Chris Johnson is the owner and publisher of Frisco STYLE Magazine.
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