The Nugget Spot opened its doors earlier this month, offering visitors juicy poultry, vegetable, seafood or dessert in fried, nugget shapes.
Jason Hairston, the owner and chef of The Nugget Spot, was born and raised in New York City. Hairston, who was exposed to a variety of cultures while working in kitchens, said the restaurant will soon offer exotic combinations like jerk with mumbo sauce or General Tso-style crusts.
“We just experiment and find something that works,” Hairston said. “And when it does, you know. It’s just like magic.”
The Nugget Spot also offers fried pork, fish and brussel sprouts. Each delectable batch comes with one house-made sauce selection ranges from $5 to $7. Extra sauces are 75 cents each. The restaurant also has a variety of sides available, such as nacho mac ‘n’ cheese and mixed greens ($3).
“The nuggets taste authentic in the sense that they don’t taste like they are full of chemicals or preservatives,” CAS sophomore Sanjana Sinha said. “They taste fresh and are pretty filling.”
The restaurant’s variety of sauces are great as well. The SHHHH sauce is a combination of creamy, smoky and savory flavors that pairs well with any nugget. The Smokin’ J’s BBQ sauce, Hairston’s personal favorite, is perfect with a southern fried chicken nugget.
“The southern fried chicken nugget has been the most popular so far,” Hairston said.
A typical basket consists of eight to 10 nuggets, and each serving of nuggets is made fresh to order.
“People seem to expect their orders right away,” Hairston said. “They’re not sitting around all day, waiting for people to buy them. They’re meant to be enjoyed right then.”
Even though it has only been open for two weeks, a strong customer base has already formed. Hairston said some customers return to the restaurant constantly, some even come two or three times a day.
Of course, dealing with the pressures of running a fast-growing eatery on his own is no easy task. But Hairston said he understands the reality of the situation. He said his desire is to perfect and fine tune the operation, and then take in a higher customer volume.
There will also be new items soon to coincide with Thanksgiving, including turkey meat with cranberry sauce and a butternut squash side. Hairston is also working on providing a discount for NYU students.
The Nugget Spot is located at 230 E. 14th St., between Second and Third avenues.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 22 print edition. Christina Chung is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.