Want a free hot chicken meal every week for a whole year? Then you’d better get your camping gear ready and get in line today at Joella’s Hot Chicken at Middletown Commons (13401 Shelbyville Rd., Suite 101), site of what was most recently a Boombozz Pizza & Taphouse.

The first 100 People in line when the place opens Wednesday at 8 a.m. will get vouchers for those meals. And even if you’re not among the first 100, they’ll be giving out hot chicken samples and free swag that morning.

Speaking of vouching, I can vouch for the chicken: I love it. Of the five actual heat levels, the hottest I can take is hot, and I don’t ever see myself stepping up to inferno, a.k.a. “fire in the da hole” because you can take the phrase literally. Both ways.

I’m a longtime fan of Boombozz, so it’s hard to say whether Joella’s is my favorite of the two concepts. Of the many concepts owner Tony Palombino has tried, these are doubtless my two faves. As this is Joella’s No. 3 (one is in Lexington), this is Palombino’s fastest growing concept. Three other outlets are scheduled for Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

For those of you who may grouse by saying Joella’s isn’t authentic by Nashville hot chicken standards, I’d agree. But I don’t care, frankly, because this is just plain good. You want authentic, try Royal’s Hot Chicken in NuLu. It, too, is very good. Sides at both places are also excellent. Two different concepts, but two great places.

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