First Look

First Look: Lucky's Brings Hot Chicken to East Dallas

Lucky's sits on Gaston Avenue.
Lucky's sits on Gaston Avenue. Steven Monacelli
Dallas has no shortage of fried chicken, but the Nashville hot chicken trend continues to grow.

Lucky’s Hot Chicken is the latest entrant onto the already crowded field, offering wings, tenders, and sandwiches in five varieties of the extra-spicy Nashville style. Lucky’s also offers sides and desserts along with beer on tap to be enjoyed indoors or at one of the tables on the front patio.

The large windows and vaulted ceiling provide a fitting frame for the old-school interior ambiance of the historic building. A bold red and white color theme, deployed in checkered patterns, recalls 1950s diner nostalgia, as well as an explicit nod to Hattie B’s in Nashville — the popular hot chicken joint with similar branding.

Opening day hype created long lines, but the Lucky’s staff seemed well prepared. Despite starting outside the door, the line moved swiftly, and the food came out within a reasonable time.

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The tender plate from Lucky's.
Steven Monacelli
Tenders, wings and sandwiches all can be made to order in any of the five heat levels. We ordered a four tender plate that comes with a choice of one heat level, one choice of side, white bread and pickles. We opted for medium heat (Damn Lucky) and the seasoned fries, as well as an additional side of the mildly spicy Comeback sauce.

The chicken itself came out hot, crunchy and wonderfully juicy. Medium heat proved to be a bit more buttery and mild than expected, particularly when compared to some other local hot chicken competitors. But that might make Lucky’s more palatable for those who are interested in chicken with a kick but don’t want to feel the heat the next day. For experienced hot chicken veterans, opt for a higher heat level.

The tenders and wings plates come piled on top of white bread, which sops up the extra spice blend, a Nashville hot chicken tradition. The seasoned fries were excellently crispy crinkle cuts tossed in a delicious spice blend that paired well with the smokey Comeback sauce.

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Inside the new East Dallas restaurant.
Steven Monacelli
The spacious interior and ample outdoor seating allowed us to kick back and wash it all down with a cold draft Shiner Bock.

Overall, it was a delicious and pleasant experience, but it’s unclear whether Lucky’s will stand out in an already crowded field. Vandelay Hospitality Group (East Hampton Sandwich Co., Drake’s Hollywood, Hudson House) is the group behind this particular one in Old East Dallas, while Tennessee native Josh Bonee is the chef.

Given the great number of hot chicken establishments that have been able to coexist in Nashville and offer slightly different takes on the spicy bird, perhaps Dallas has yet to reach the saturation point. The differences between the spice blends can be subtle, and everyone’s palate is different, so the only way for you to know what you prefer is to give it a shot for yourself.

Lucky’s Hot Chicken, 4505 Gaston Ave. (Old East Dallas). Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday.
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Steven Monacelli has been contributing to the Dallas Observer since 2020. He regularly covers local social movements and occasionally writes about food.
Contact: Steven Monacelli