Byrd & Barrel Nugz & Tots

Many moons ago, I wrote about Byrd & Barrel. And, since the time of publishing, I've returned a number of times. Unexplainably, it wasn't until three weeks ago that I finally decided that I should try the chicken 'nugz'. Even though the staff, friends, and other reviews specifically lauded the buttermilk fried nugz, I did not heed their guidance. I was foolish. I've been back to Byrd three times in the last three weeks and had the nugz each time. You order them in sets of 5, and for me, 5 was plenty. You can choose between dark and white meat, and I'm pretty sure the dark meat are just deboned chicken thighs—meaning each nug is significantly larger than the nuggets you're probably familiar with.

It's hard to make any sort of fried chicken dish that I don't like, but I think it's fair to say that my relationship with these nugz is more than platonic. I have a crush on them. They're just so damn alluring. That crunchy, heavily seasoned exterior...the juicy chicken inside...their formidable size. I'm not sure you can ask for more in a chicken nugget. On the boneless fried chicken front, these slide up just behind the Sportman's Park chicken strips for me (which will likely never be topped due to nostalgia, if I'm honest).

This is probably blasphemous, but I was never into tater tots, nor hashbrowns (and no latkes, either!). Onion rings and French fries were more my speed. These spiced tots are something, though. I wouldn't have even gotten them if I wasn't pressured into it by the server, and thank god for her. They're spiced with what tasted like a hotter version of the nugz rub, and served with a cooling house ranch dressing.


My recommendation: get the sweet chili honey or the BBQ sauce. Both have a mild sweetness to them that balances out the spice. Or, if you're feeling fatty, get the provel cheese whiz.