Humdingers opened in Brentwood in March, a sister restaurant to two Humdingers in the Memphis area. The new joint is located in the strip across from Kroger at 330 Franklin Road — taking over the former Fred Astaire Dance Studio space and turning the modest strip into an almost uninterrupted lineup of restaurants (including Five Guys, Peter’s Sushi & Thai, and Chile Burrito).
Humdingers isn’t a franchise; it’s a restaurant concept dreamed up by a group of Memphians to put a healthy and moderately priced spin on fish and chicken. The chicken has a kick of its own: It’s inspired by piri-piri chicken traditional to South Africa. Humdingers sells its own line of sauces and spice rubs formulated with the piri-piri chili pepper.
According to Sunshine Post, the catering manager at Humdingers in Brentwood (her husband Trey Post is the general manager), there’s no MSG in the seasonings.
The menu features the aforementioned piri-piri chicken in various levels of spiciness, plus five or six different grilled fish, crispy fish-and-chips, crabcakes, shrimp skewers and more. Fish and chicken can be ordered as a platter with sides, as a sandwich, in a salad or in tacos.
In the Humdingers setup, customers order at the counter, then their meal is brought to their table. The decor is colorful, with an open kitchen providing diners entertainment (or reassurance). Post says they hope to eventually secure licenses to serve beer and wine.
Post adds that catering has already proven pretty popular, especially in corporate or party settings where relatively healthy menu choices are a plus.
Humdingers Grilled Fish & Piri-Piri Chicken is at 330 Franklin Road, Suite 906D, in Brentwood. The phone number is 835-3201. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
A version of this story appeared in my Food Biz column in today's print edition of The City Paper and online in the Nashville Post.