Bokbox Has Nashvillians Clucking
If you were to ask me a few years ago about my favorite brunch in Nashville, without hesitation I would have said Public House at the illustrious Urban Cowboy (last seen here). I spent numerous Sundays posted up at the bar (before they decided to take away the bar stools) eating the most glorious tomato sandwiches crafted by chef Tom Bayless. Thinking about the amount of money that I spent on tomato sandwiches and Rosé Palomas is almost cringe-worthy but it was the only way to defeat the Sunday Scaries.
Brunches turned into cocktails and snacks in the evening and before I knew it, I was there at least twice a week (which is quite a feat given that I live a solid 12 miles away). Even though my blonde hair, lack of tattoos, and J.Crew wardrobe stuck out among the hipsters, I didn’t care. I was there to eat all the things.
I’ll never forget the last Sunday I went there for brunch. As soon as I walked in, I noticed that something was different. Hipsters weren’t lounging on the oversized pleather couch and the courtyard was almost empty. What the hell was going on? Walking up to the bar, I was greeted by the bartenders and then I saw it. A new menu.
Before I could catch myself, I said: “What is this?”
The bartender replied, “it’s a new menu.”
“But, why?” I asked.
He danced around the issue for a few minutes but finally told me that Tom was no longer at Public House. <Insert hysteria here> I was crushed. While I tried to cobble together a few things from the menu, it just wasn’t right. If I am being 100% honest with you all, I haven’t frequented Public House as I used to. It’s just not the same.
Realizing that I sound like a complete fangirl, you have to understand that I have followed Tom Bayless for quite some time. My first encounter with Bayless was at Catbird Seat when it initially opened and since he has spent time at Bastion and Public House (all my favorites). His departure from Public House left a gaping hole in my restaurant rotation.
Fast forward many months and I heard rumblings that Bayless was starting his own venture. So naturally, I began stalking his Instagram like any enthusiastic food lover. Finally, Bokbox emerged and I knew then that peace had been restored to the Nashville dining scene.
Farfetched? Maybe. But once you have his coal-roasted chicken, you be the judge and then tell me I am wrong.
Tom Bayless and his partner Dauer Ellis, of Rolf and Daughter and Folk, reentered the Nashville dining scene serving some of the most flavorful coal-roasted chicken Nashville has ever seen. Yes, even better than what Bayless was serving up at Public House. Fact.
These two culinary geniuses are serving coal-roasted chicken boxes from the Otaku Ramen walk-up window Monday through Friday from 11:00 am-3:00 pm or until they run out. Given Bayless’ cult following, they have been selling out on the regular. If you can’t escape work and are desperately seeking savory goodness, you can place your Bokbox order directly through Postmates. Thank God for technology, right?
Bokbox offers diners two options: 1/2 a bird which gives you three solid pieces of chicken for $10.00 or you can go all in and choose a side, which changes daily, and one dipping sauce for $16.00.
I arrived at 11:30 am on the day of their grand opening and I was one of the first to arrive. Given the modest menu, you would think that it would be a quick order, but no, I had questions. After all was said and done, I ended up with Fingerling Sweet Potatoes drizzled in hot honey and not one but two sauces: Bok sauce and the Aji Verde.
Given how much food I ordered, I had made my mind up that this would be enough for two meals. I mean what girl sits down at lunch and eats a half chicken by herself.
This girl. This girl does.
Once we got our boxes, I was overwhelmed by every single bite. Perhaps you’re a purist and want to experience the chicken as it is, but I’ll let you in on a little secret, those rolls make for the perfect chicken sandwich. Just add sauce.
Of the two sauces that I tried, the Aji Verde was by far my favorite and will be my default as I explore more of the menu.
Everyone should experience the greatness that is Bokbox. Place your order through Postmates or visit the walk-up window in East Nashville. Regardless, prepare your palate for some of the juiciest, crispy-skinned coal-fired chicken around.
Until Next Time!