A chicken sandwich from Yummy Meats Deli (Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)

A chicken sandwich from Yummy Meats Deli (Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)

Here’s a Szechuan-style take on Nashville hot fried chicken

Why a literal hole-in-the-wall chicken joint is worth the trip to Renton.

Renton has a secret. Well, I don’t know if it is a secret, but everytime I go, I feel as if I have been let in on something special that others don’t know about.

This location is not in a secret spot. It’s in Downtown Renton for all to see and walk by. It is a humble place — it does not look like much more than a parking lot with an open door with a pop-up awning and a foldable table with a service bell.

I do not know what is on the inside of that door, but I know some of the best hot fried chicken in King County comes out of it.

Yummy Meats & Deli on 509 South 3rd Street in Downtown Renton has a unique Szechuan-style take on Nashville hot chicken, and I cannot stay away.

Although I have been trying for months to speak with the folks behind this fried poultry innovation to ask them about what specifically makes this chicken so special, my requests for an interview have been politely declined by the very kind and accommodating woman who diligently fulfills orders from their parking lot door.

Despite my multiple rejections, I still return for the chicken. I eat it in the parking lot, sweat creeping down my face from the punishing smoky heat of their spice blend. I am not ashamed.

The blend of spices that cover the crispy breading of their chicken resembles that of a traditional piece of Nashville hot chicken but includes notes of Chinese five spice that give it a sweet, savory, smoky and complex flavor.

When ordering chicken there, one can choose from a scale to determine how hot and spicy they would like their chicken. I experimented with this, first choosing medium, followed by hot, then finally trying “X-Hot” before promising myself that I would never do that to myself again.

That is not to say that the “X-Hot” was not delicious — I just believe there is wisdom in knowing your limits and when you have flown too close to the sun.

At Yummy Meats & Deli, you can have your chicken your way. You can have tenders accompanied by delicious sauces made in-house. You can get a chicken tender sandwich with a refreshing coleslaw, or you can get a chicken sandwich with a piece of chicken on it that is literally as large as the container it comes in.

I unknowingly ordered the latter option upon my first visit and was surprised, impressed and entertained by the fact that the bun of the sandwich looked as if the chicken was wearing a comically-small hat.

Don’t ask me how to eat a sandwich like that. I did not know how either, but I ate it just the same and you will have to as well.

The menu at Yummy Meats & Deli is not limited to breaded chicken. It also includes plenty of interesting roasted duck dishes, roasted pork belly, noodles, and rice dishes.

Have I tried any of those, you ask? Well, no, but that’s only because when I arrive, I am there for the chicken and the chicken alone. I know it, they know it, that’s just how it is.

However, I encourage those in Renton and those from outside of town to stop by and try what they got to offer — just not before you try the chicken.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
News of market volatility has felt like a pinball machine lately | Guest column

Webster’s dictionary defines the word volatility as “characterized by or subject to… Continue reading

Kinwell clinic lobby in Renton (Courtesy of Kinwell Medical Group)
Kinwell Medical Group opens new clinic at The Landing in Renton

Kinwell clinics offer in-person and telehealth visits, online appointment scheduling, and they tout reduced wait times.

A chicken sandwich from Yummy Meats Deli (Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)
Here’s a Szechuan-style take on Nashville hot fried chicken

Why a literal hole-in-the-wall chicken joint is worth the trip to Renton.

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Volatility and disciplined planning in 2022’s stock market | Guest column

The stock market in January experienced significantly increased volatility. In the first… Continue reading

Menchie’s location in Federal Way. (Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)
Investigation: Menchie’s locations failed to pay workers, stole tips

Multiple King County locations involved, including Federal Way, Bellevue and two Renton shops.

Snoqualmie Casino. Courtesy photo
Kirkland-based company sues to challenge ‘tribal gaming monopoly’ in Washington

Company called the state’s policy an “erroneous application of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
The forces behind our current COVID-induced inflation | Guest column

Recent inflation numbers have been quite high and at levels not seen… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
The ‘year end’ elements of financial planning | Guest column

With the end of the year fast approaching, we remind clients that… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
How financial planners address plan uncertainty | Guest column

One of the key challenges we face as financial planners is dealing… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Is cryptocurrency really an investment? | Guest column

Undoubtedly you have heard about the new form of money known as… Continue reading

Stock photo
Grocery store workers have right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons

National Labor Relations Board ruling against ban by Kroger-owned QFC, Fred Meyer

Big Island Poke in Renton (courtesy of The Intentionalist Facebook page)
Small-business advocacy group wants you to try minority-owned businesses and put it on their tab

The Intentionalist is opening up $400 tabs for folks to use this weekend at select businesses.