Wooboi Chicken’s Chef Talks Secret Menu, Spiciest Nashville Hot Chicken Waiver

One month after Wooboi Chicken’s opening, Chef Minwoo says that the Herndon eatery still has lines out of the door in the late morning and even one diner who came down from New Jersey for a taste of the Nashville Hot Chicken.

After pop-up locations around Maryland and Virginia last summer, Wooboi Chicken officially opened a brick-and-mortar spot in early February at 139 Spring Street, Suite 1.

The chicken is free-range, does not contain antibiotics and is fried in peanut oil, according to its website. For customers with peanut allergies, Wooboi Chicken has a separate fryer that uses canola oil instead.

The concept is based on Nashville Hot Chicken, which has its roots in a woman’s attempt to get back at her cheating man by serving him a super spicy chicken.

Minwoo told Reston Now that he has thrown in his own twists, including D.C. mumbo sauce made from pineapples, distilled wine, vinegar, tomato paste; Japanese-influenced brine; and a unique breading that Minoo calls a “fusion of fine dining and generic KFC and Popeyes.”

The chicken eatery offers six different levels of heat depending on how hot customers like their chicken — the code red and code blue options are the hottest and require an extra warning: a “waiver” on a chalkboard-painted wall where diners have signed their names.

Minwoo estimates that about 10 percent of the customers try either the red or the blue option, and about 5 percent of those “brave people” successfully finish their food. (If you’re not a spice person, don’t go above a level two, Minwoo says.)

This Reston Now reporter chickened out and tried one of the milder items from the secret menu instead — the Merkaroni Salad. (Town of Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel took to Twitter to share her excitement about having a secret menu item named after herself.)

Other secret menu items to ask for include The Kracken, which is a double chicken sandwich inspired by Paul from Weird Brothers Coffee, and the Choi Fries, which are fries with D.C. mumbo sauce, chicken, cheddar cheese and mustard.

The secret menu isn’t the only surprise. The recipes change a little bit every day, Minwoo adds.

“I’m just going to try to make the best chicken sandwich I can.”

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