Somehow, in all the years of Food Snob history, Cheers – one of Concord’s most popular eateries – had never been reviewed. We made sure to change that for this Outdoor Dining Issue, and it ended up being a fantastic decision.
In honor of the theme of this issue, we set out to grab a bite somewhere where we could sit outside, and that classy patio at Cheers was begging to be visited. On a relatively comfortable 80-degree day, lunch on the patio seemed like a perfect idea.
In the mood for something light and easy, this Food Snob immediately went to the sandwich section of the menu, after deciding that nothing on the specials menu was quite right for this occasion. After much hemming and hawing – there isn’t a bad-sounding item on Cheers’s menu – I decided on the Nashville Chicken, which is a fried chicken breast with spicy Nashville spices, superfood slaw and pickles on a brioche bun. I ordered mine with a side of fries.
When the sandwich came out, my eyes lit up and my mouth started to hydrate itself. I saw golden, crispy chicken and colorful coleslaw peeking out from under the artisinal-looking bun, and I couldn’t wait to start making it all disappear.
The first bite was exceptional – extremely tender, juicy chicken mixed with crunchy dill pickle slices and that light, crisp superfood slaw, all wrapped up in a fluffy brioche bun. Folks, this is what living is all about.
If you’re not familiar with Nashville chicken at all, the whole deal is that it’s supposed to be super spicy. I, for one, love a good spicy chicken – I measure the spice level by how many napkins I use to wipe my forehead.
The version at Cheers, though, is a notch or two below what a true Southerner would consider legit Nashville heat. That’s just fine, though. After all, this is New Hampshire, not the South.
What the Cheers offering lacks in heat it more than makes up for in overall flavor and eating experience. This chicken breast was as tender as you’ll ever have, and the batter was very light yet still crispy enough to deliver that signature fried chicken texture. The pickles and slaw really added another level of crunchy coolness, making this very easy to down quickly, which is not often the case with the super-hot variety. This is still a spicy piece of chicken, but it won’t knock your socks off or have you asking the waitress for another round of napkins and milk.
As for the fries, they were fine. The standard fries at Cheers are sort of like thinner steak fries, and they’re very crispy. Mine didn’t taste like anything special, but I still ate them all without complaining one bit.
In the end, there was nothing but crumbs and a drop or two of spicy chicken juice on my plate. That was another strength of this meal – despite having juicy chicken and coleslaw on a brioche bun, this sandwich stayed together nicely the whole way through, barely leaking anything at all. That’s important when you have to go back to work right after.
If you have $12.99 kicking around, go spend it on the Nashville Chicken sandwich at Cheers.