Clyde’s Hot Chicken, Fullerton CA

In Anaheim & Fullerton

The recent influx of chicken sandwich restaurants in Orange County has been pretty damn amazing. Finally, the fowl revolution is wrenching power away from that dirty colonel and his 11 herbs and spices. Among the worthy champions of chicken sandwiches is Clyde’s Hot Chicken in Fullerton, one of the newer entries into OC growing food scene. Nashville Hot Chicken has been trying to find a foothold in these parts for awhile, with Howlin’ Ray’s in Los Angeles spearheading the SoCal scene with lines that run around the block. Luckily for us, Clyde’s doesn’t have that long of a wait and the food comes out pretty fast.

Clyde's Hot Chicken Sign

The sole focus of Clyde’s Hot Chicken is (obviously) chicken, so if you come here looking for a cheeseburger, you’re out of luck. Rest assured, what it lacks in variety, it makes up in flavor. On a side note, the little flag on the sandwich says “naked” on it, meaning that there is almost no heat on it, I ordered the “original”. I don’t know if they put the wrong little flag on it, but the chicken sandwich certainly didn’t taste like it was naked. In fact, I would argue that it tasted like it had a respectable business casual shirt of spice on. So I’m going to assume that it was the “original” level of heat.

Clyde’s Original Sandwich

Clyde's Original Hot Chicken sandwich ingredients list

Bread

When it comes to the hot chicken sandwich, few buns stand up to the mess and spice that the saucy hot chicken sandwich provides. This is where Brioche usually excels, It’s pretty buttery to the touch while simultaneously being dry in the middle. The soft and thick textures soak up the hot sauce without getting too soggy and provide just a little bit of fattiness to the peppery flavors. This is a napkin heavy sandwich, so prepare yourself.

Sauce

Clyde’s hot chicken has several levels of spice that you can choose. It’s nice because I don’t care much for the firey punishment that a lot of my friends do in their food. I chose the “Clyde’s Original” level of heat which was just spicy enough to keep me on my toes. The chicken’s spicy coating was nicely balanced with the cool and sweet dressing of the coleslaw. I know some of you enjoy the brimstone-esque intestinal punishment of the highest level of heat (called 1930), so feel free to try it and let me know how it goes. Wash your hands afterwords.

Filling

What can one say about spicy fried chicken that hasn’t already been said? The batter was just thick enough to stay a little crispy while smothered in Clyde’s signature hot sauce. The crisp and cool slaw was integral in keeping the balance of the spice, while the pickles added some much needed acid. It’s not a complicated sandwich, but it happens to be very potent in it’s flavors.

Price

For $9, you can get Clyde’s hot chicken sandwich, a side, and a drink. For what you’re getting, it’s a freakin’ steal. The portion is going to get you full and you’ll be in hot pepper heaven. If you’re feeling particularly generous and decadent, swap out the fries for a waffle. It’s still a steal. If you’re not feeling the sandwich part (why the hell are you here?) check out their chicken strips basket. They still come with white bread and pickles, but it’s technically not in sandwich form. 3 strips with a side and drink is also $9.

It’s nice to see more chicken restaurants finding their way into Orange County. The Hot Chicken craze may just be a phase, but it’s certainly nice to be able to find something different from the standard fried chicken restaurants Orange County used to be filled with. Take a moment to try Clyde’s, you’ll enjoy it, and if you don’t, you didn’t pay much for your meal.

-Vy

[Click on thumbnail for sample menu]

Clyde’s Hot Chicken

513 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92832

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