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New: Hen House Serves Drool-Worthy Nashville Hot Chicken Out of The Dome

Food & Drink, Food & Drink News

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Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on January 14, 2022
Hen House / Photo courtesy of Hen House2

In the world of restaurant concepts, just about everything gets ground down underneath the unforgiving wheels of time. The Olde English steakhouses of the 60s and 70s (see: Scotch and Sirloin) became the Irish-themed pubs of the 90s (D’arcy McGee’s), which are now the brick oven pizza spots of today.

But there is one concept that keeps crawling, cockroach-like, in the face of passing trends: the townie bar-restaurant. In Tonawanda, an iconic townie bar located on Main Street is The Dome Stadium (which is neither a dome, nor a stadium). Many a Tonawandan has chanted, drunkenly, at one point or another: “Dome before home!”

The Dome has mostly resisted the passage of time. There’s still the bar-on-one-side, dining-room-on-the-other layout. But it has occasionally received an update and the newest update is Hen House – a Nashville hot chicken concept operating out of the Dome’s kitchen.

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Hen House / Photo courtesy of Hen House
Buffalo Mac at Hen House / Photo courtesy of Hen House

“The Dome has had a bunch of different owners over the years, but it’s always been the last stop of the night,” mused Hen House owner Sal Andolina, in a recent phone call with us. “There was a chef in the kitchen before me, and they were going for more of a sit-down restaurant concept, but the crowd was still looking for a late night, divvy-type vibe.”

Of course they were.

Thankfully, Hen House doesn’t exist solely to serve grease bombs to drunks rehashing the epic 2000 T-NT game. Open for lunch and dinner, Hen House is serving spicy chicken and good comfort food with just the right balance of seasoning.

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The Sicilian at Hen House / Photo courtesy of Hen House
Loaded Fries at Hen House / Photo Courtesy of Hen House
Hen House / Photo x Brett Llenos Smith for Step Out Buffalo
Hen House / Photo x Brett Llenos Smith for Step Out Buffalo2
Churros at Hen House / Photo courtesy of Hen House

“It took a while to get the spices and the hot seasoning just right,” Andolina said.

In our recent lunch takeout order, the Hot Hen chicken sandwich had a pair of fiery fried chicken tenders complemented by a good amount of pickle chips, which cut through the fat and harmonized with the heat. The sandwich was also topped with coleslaw, which added just the right amount of sweetness and texture.

Featuring mac-n-cheese, chopped chicken, shredded cheddar-jack and bacon, The Mac Wrap was like a meal in every bite. It probably sounds like a stoner’s dream, and it is.

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Hen House / Photo courtesy of Hen House3
Hen House / Photo x Brett Llenos Smith for Step Out Buffalo3

Food is available for pickup or through delivery apps. The Hen House also has a companion food truck that is slated to appear at all the usual food truck events throughout 2022. But the ultimate Hen House experience is at the brick-and-mortar location in Tonawanda. If you are heading to The Dome before home, a pit stop at the Hen House will do your night a world of good.

Hours at time of publishing (subject to change): Wednesday 11 a.m. – 1 a.m., Thursday to Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.,  Sunday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Monday 4 p.m. – 1 a.m., Tuesday CLOSED

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Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/brett-smith/" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for the Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.
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