Once upon a time, my coworker asked if I wanted to accompany her to “this little chicken place” close by where she wanted to pick up some lunch. To which I responded, “Little chicken place? What is that supposed to mean?” She then replied, “They sell chicken nuggets!” My eyes lit up when I realized there was a whole place devoted to chicken nuggets near my office. But I guess, what else would you expect in New York City?
Turns out The Nugget Spot has more than just CHICKEN nuggets. You can also get pork, catfish, polenta, and mozzarella “nuggs” here. Much like Pommes Frites, another place devoted to one particular kind of food, there are lots of sauce varieties you can get too. For sweet sauces, there’s honey mustard, mambo sauce (which I think is like sweet & sour sauce), and crunk sauce (which is spiced butterscotch). For spicy ones, there’s wasabi mayo, homemade heat, and spicy tomato. And for savory kinds, there’s Smokin’ J’s BBQ Sauce, Shh sauce, O.G. Ranch, Tudie’s Bleu Cheese, Nacho Queso, and Shady Gravy. From those crazy names, I think you can tell that this place definitely loves playing around with funky labels. I mean even their side options have kooky names, like cool slaw for yup, you guessed it, cole slaw, and hustle sprouts for none other than brussel sprouts.
But, back to the main attraction…the nuggets! At a place that sells only nuggets, you can’t expect the menu options to be boring. For chicken nuggets, there’s the Southern Belle, which has special seasoned flour, the Cap’n Crunk, which has a Captain Crunch coating, Cheez Lousie, which has a cheese cracker crust, and Twisted, which has a pretzel crust. Then there’s the Grove, a pork nugget with coconut crust; The Noodler, a catfish nugget with puffed rice crust; Po Po, which is the polenta nugget with roasted tomatoes and basil; and the Mozzarella Nuggs which has cheese coated in Italian breadcrumbs. Crazy right?
I got a lunch meal which came with nuggets (I chose Cheeze Louise), a side (I picked the Cool Slaw), and a drink for $10. They tell you that you get 8 to 10 pieces (5 oz) per order and you also get one free sauce–I went with O.G. Ranch. They advertise that, “Yes, It’s real chicken and pork!” and you can definitely tell. The meat was tender and juicy, and tasted, well, REAL. The cole slaw had a tangy dressing that I’ve never had before on slaw. My friend let me try her order which was chicken nuggets sauced in buffalo sauce, or what I think they call Homemade Heat. After biting into one of those, it dawned on me that these nuggets seemed more like boneless chicken wings than the chicken nuggets with mystery meat from various fast food places everyone is used to. This isn’t a bad thing. These are how nuggets SHOULD be. A healthier, meatier chicken bite.
The Nugget Spot also sells beer, which is pretty funny and random, and some interesting desserts (like deep fried, pretzel coated, chocolate chip cookie dough balls…how did I miss those when I was there?!?). You can also order big orders/trays which I’m thinking would be perfect for a Super Bowl party. It goes without saying that if you love nuggets, you have to check this place out. Meanwhile those Grove nuggets are calling my name…
Cheez Louise with O.G. Ranch, cool slaw
230 E 14th St.
New York, NY 10003