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This Shaw Standby Is Selling Turkish Hot Chicken Tacos Outside

Hazel’s new patio menu experiments with Middle Eastern and Mexican mash-ups

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Hazel patio food
A selection of tacos and snacks from Hazel’s patio.
Hazel [official]

Another eyebrow-raising riff on hot chicken has rolled into town, but it’s a far departure from Nashville-style. Hazel, Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s recently Turkish-leaning restaurant in Shaw, introduced a new patio menu last Friday that includes “urfa hot” chicken as one of several Middle Eastern fillings going into tacos ($4 to $6.50). The Middle Eastern-Mexican pop-up is called Hazelito.

The lineup includes chicken tacos spiced with Turkish urfa peppers and slathered with garlicky toum; smoked lamb with sumac onions and Syrian Aleppo pepper aioli; and pork with pippelchuma — a chile-garlic mix popular in Libya — along with pickled onions and a spicy green zhug condiment. Vegetarians can opt for roasted beet tacos with yogurt and harissa or za’atar man’ouche, a Lebanese flatbread covered in a dried herb blend and topped with cucumber, onions, and mint.

In what seems like a declaration that frosé is passé, Hazelito is serving a frozen “freisling” margarita. There’s also a low-proof session Negroni.

Za’atar man’ouche flatbread.
Hazel [official]
Vegetarians can try roasted beet tacos, left.
Hazel [official]
A “freisling” Margarita.
Hazel [official]

The Hazelito menu is available outside or at the bar on Tuesday through Sunday nights. It’s also offered during the window between brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday.

Hazelito menu by on Scribd

Last December, Hazel executive chef Robert Curtis implemented a wholesale revamp of the acclaimed restaurant’s menu, shifting from the Southeast Asian-influenced style of predecessor Rob Rubba to a vegetable-heavy, Turkish-inflected approach.

Rubba is part of the team behind Oyster, Oyster, a sustainability-driven restaurant that’s expected to open in the City Market at O building in Shaw this summer. He was one of several chefs previewing their next projects at the recent New Kitchens on the Block event in Edgewood.

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