Great Moments in Melt History – “The Red Hot Story of Firecracker Chicken.”
July is a red, white and blue kind of month, and this month marks the tenth anniversary of Melt Bar and Grilled’s Firecracker Chicken.
“Firecracker Chicken was first introduced in July 2009,” says Matt Fish, owner and founder of Melt Bar and Grilled, “And it is one of the oldest feature sandwiches at Melt. We started offering features on a regular basis in March 2009 and Firecracker Chicken has been offered each July since then, so it is ten years old. Man, time flies!”
And like many ten-year-olds, it has gone through a few changes.
“Firecracker Chicken was originally blackened with our diablo spice mix,” says Fish, “But we have increased the flavor and texture of the sandwich by switching to deep-fried chicken tossed in a diablo spice sauce. All of the other components have stayed consistently delicious. The original idea was to create a spicy and cooling sandwich for the hot month of July and Firecracker Chicken has stayed true to that idea.”
One of the reasons Firecracker Chicken has remained so popular is that is has been available in vegetarian and vegan versions since the beginning. “We had our famous Fried Tofu wings available in 2009,” explains Fish, “And the fried tofu is the protein substitute on the Firecracker Chicken.”
In addition to being a great sandwich, Firecracker Chicken is also a great poster.
“The John G. ‘Captain America’ chicken first appeared on the poster in 2013. That was the year Hollywood invaded Cleveland for the filming of the Captain America movie. There was a big news story about how they closed the Shoreway for filming which created a traffic nightmare. John used that as inspiration and created the poster and the Ohio-themed character.”
Several years later, John G introduced other characters, such as Wonder Women-esque and Thor-esque chickens.
Which character does Fish think would win in a chicken fight?
“The Thor character does look like a badass so my money would be on him,” he says.
Firecracker Chicken is available all summer long at Melt Bar and Grilled.