The Hottest Dish in St. Louis Is at ... Captain D's?

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Hot fish. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CAPTAIN D'S
  • Photo courtesy of Captain D's
  • Hot fish.

Right now, the hottest place in St. Louis is Rick Lewis' Southern — which recently scored a hat trick with rave reviews from the St. Louis Magazine, the Post-Dispatch, and the RFT. And that makes the hottest dish in town Nashville-style "hot chicken," a searingly spiced serving of fried chicken. It's not just hot — it's also hot.

See also: Southern Is Every Bit as Good as the Hype

But you don't have to wait in line at Southern to get a taste of how they do it in Nashville. Turns out another local restaurant is offering a take on the Nashville-style experience for just — get this — $4.99.

We're talking about Captain D's, the self-described "fast-casual seafood restaurant" that has locations on South Grand, in St. Ann and in St. Charles, among others. Turns out Captain D's is headquartered in Nashville — and, as the company explains in a press release, that just seemed like the ultimate opportunity:

“As a Nashville-based brand, it made sense for us to create a Nashville Hot Fish dish after the iconic Nashville Hot Chicken,” said Jason Henderson, head chef and vice president of product innovation at D’s. “We’ve been developing this recipe for quite some time and are so excited for its long awaited debut.”

From October 19 through the end of the year, guests in Nashville, Jacksonville and St. Louis have a chance to “Get Fired Up” and taste D’s special blend of ingredients inspired by spicy local flavors paired with their Southern-Style White Fish. The Nashville Hot Fish will be featured as part of a $4.99 Full Meal Deal that includes one whole filet of Nashville Hot Fish topped with pickles, two sides and two hush puppies.

“Captain D’s has been a seafood leader and innovator for the past 46 years, and as such, it was time for us to give back to our Nashville Heritage and create a new recipe that reflects one of Nashville’s most famous food items,” added Jonathan Muhtar, chief marketing officer at Captain D’s. “We are confident that our guests will love our twist on this famous spicy dish.”

Unfortunately, the Hot Fish is not available a la carte, so if you're wanting some Nashville-style heat, you'd best be prepared to scrape together $5.

But that's just about the only fly in the Captain D's ointment. It's worth noting, too, that the chain has eight locations in the St. Louis area. So even if this Hot Fish thing becomes a, well, thing, you've got plenty of options to sate your craving beyond standing in line the way the masses do at Southern. Just don't forget to add some apple pie bites for the road.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

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