Beyond Words
(Marshall’s column from July 2012 issue of Nashville Arts Magazine)

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your physical urges defy all logic? You’re thinking, I can’t believe I’m doing this! yet you continue doing it?

Well, that’s exactly what happened to me late last Saturday night. I was sitting at my computer minding my own business when all of a sudden I got a jones for some hot chicken. Not just any hot chicken, but Prince‘s hot chicken.

At 2:25 a.m., I jumped up from my computer and announced to my husband, “I’ve got to have some Prince’s hot chicken right now. You want to drive out there with me?”

“Nope.”

“Aren’t you scared for me to drive out there by myself?”

“Nope.”

“Okay, then. I’ll see you later.”

I first ate at Prince’s in 1968, back when it was located in a house on Charlotte Avenue. I was a sophmore at Vanderbilt. A bunch of us had gone there late on a Saturday night because we’d been told the grease and white bread would “put the hurt on any potential hangover.” I remember asking for a cup of coffee and being told they didn’t have coffee.

“Well then, could I have a Coke on ice?”

“We don’t have ice, but you’re welcome to use the machine,” said the man, as he nodded toward the Coke machine.
Prince’s is now located in a strip mall off Dickerson Road out beyond Trinity Lane. But other than the address, not much has changed. The Prince family still runs things; orders still have to be placed in person at the counter (even the mayor has to show up and place his order); a fried chicken breast with wing is still served on white bread with a couple of sour pickle slices held in place by a toothpick; and orders still come plain, mild, medium, or hot. (Mild is plenty hot for most palates.) Oh, and best of all—considering my recent after-hours urge—they still serve until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.