Blackbird's Hot Chicken Donut Sandwich Almost Destroyed Me

If you don’t know what Blackbird is, it’s the best damn vegan pizzeria in Philadelphia. They have incredible wings and cheesesteaks too.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can move on to the star of this story: the new hot chicken sandwich.

The sandwich is one of two new additions to the Blackbird menu, the other of which being the bbq “pulled pork”. Both of these sandwiches come on a plain Dottie’s donut. If you don’t know what Dottie’s Donuts is, it’s the best damn vegan donuttery in Philadelphia.

I live a 20-minute walk from one of the Blackbird locations, so there was honestly no excuse for me not to try this new creation. I walked down with my friend one Saturday afternoon. We both ordered the hot chicken and root beer wings to split, then sat in the back.

The sandwich has a definite wow-factor to it, as I imagine anything with a donut for buns would. The “chicken” is their homemade crispy fried seitan, and the sandwich also includes habanero buffalo sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and garlic dill mayo.

I usually get along with spicy. Spicy and I are, usually, friends. And this is how the first few bites of my sandwich were. However, as I continued eating, I realized that I was up against a force much stronger than I had anticipated. There was not enough garlic dill mayo for my little white girl mouth, and I ended up taking some of the cucumber ranch sauce from the wings and putting it on my sandwich to neutralize the habanero. When I ran out of that, I resorted to ketchup. Blasphemy! I also drank a lot of water, which helped.

By the time I had finished my sandwich, my eyes were filled with tears. And not because I was disappointed in myself, even though I felt like a total wimp. It’s worth noting that my friend handled his much better. What happened to me? Was I getting soft? Did my sandwich have more-than-usual habanero buffalo sauce on it? I can’t say for sure, but I predict a rematch in the coming months.

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Danielle Kocher