I ate half a hot chicken sandwich at Brew Bird and cried
I might have overestimated my pain tolerance when I told the friendly cashier at Brew Bird that I wanted the “Hot as cluck,” with a beer and no other drink. She gave me a water glass, probably out of pity for what was about to happen.
I sat down and didn’t wait long until my sandwich from hell was set in front of me. I grabbed it with the false confidence of a dead man and chowed down. All I can say is as I write this, my mouth and face are still smoking.
The rich layer of spicy and zingy sauce is undoubtedly too hot for my Scandinavian heritage because I could hear my ancestors scream while I ate it. That might be too hyperbolic but it does say on the menu “not meant for Scandinavians.”
The sandwich is very good despite the hellfire. The chicken is juicy and warm and if it wasn’t burning me I could have eaten the whole thing. The sandwich also has a great layer of white BBQ sauce and homemade pickles. Even the bun was delicious and toasted.
In many ways I wish I had gotten something else so that I could have enjoyed it without dying, that’s not their fault though. Shelby Terstriep a co-owner of Brew Bird said she doesn’t eat the chicken personally calling it an eight out of 10 for heat tolerance. “Definitely have something to drink with it,” Terstriep said.
There are only a select few costumers that come into Brew Bird for the hot chicken and Terstriep said she estimates around 10 percent of costumers get the “Hot as cluck” sandwich.
Brew bird has a lot of fried chicken and sauce options and all of the sides are comfort-based. I had the sweet potato fries and I defiantly cannot complain, they were very good. Its cooler also has a great beer selection. I had a lemonade beer from Fargo Brewing called the “Kenny” which was delicious.
The price was also very approachable for a great local place that makes everything in the house.
Brew bird is a relatively new restaurant, opening just a year ago. Terstriep co-owns Brew Bird alongside her brother Alex Belquist and his wife Brit. Belquist is an NDSU Alumni and Ex Bison Football player.
After just opening Brew Bird experienced the pandemic alongside all small businesses. “Its defiantly been a whirlwind.” Terstriep said.“I told my kids this is a lesson in entrepreneurship.”
Terstriep added, the pandemic forced the business to adapt to implementing better take out, and curbside options.
Brew Bird is no stranger to getting creative, the menu is fully gluten-free thanks to inventive recipes from the chefs.
These flower-less recipes don’t hinder the normal eaters’ experience while allowing a group of people to enjoy the food who wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
“A lot of people who are gluten-free aren’t able to enjoy fried foods… because it all would normally have batter in it,” Terstriep said. “That’s been pretty fun to see people who haven’t been able to eat out comfortable, without worrying to be able to have those sorts of things.”
There is only one Brew Bird but Terstriep said they are building a restaurant kitty-corner to Fargo Brewing Company called 701 which will feature food from the Midwest.
“That place is going to be really a homage to our heritage, so kind of a spin on the Midwest nostalgia,” Terstriep said. The new place will include a rooftop, patio and “great craft cocktails” according to Terstriep.
Brew Bird is also hiring and Terstriep said the tips are good.