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New Pop-Up Turns Dungeons & Dragons-Themed Fried Chicken Sandwiches From Fantasy to Reality

Roll your dice right and you can score one of Fiery Talon’s katsu-inspired dishes

Amanda Turner holding up a Fiery Talon sandwich
Amanda Turner holding up a Fiery Talon sandwich
Belicia (bel) Luevano

A new fried chicken sandwich pop-up with Dungeons & Dragons vibes is opening in Austin, from chef Amanda Turner and Daniel Ohly. The Fiery Talon’s first pop-up will take place at Rainey Street food truck Bummer Burrito on Monday, April 19, with in-person orders.

Fiery Talon’s fried chicken will be brined, breaded with panko, and dipped into a Sichuan-style chili oil. “It’s got a nice heat, great unctuous texture,” explains Ohly, noting that it’s their “ode to the chicken katsu.”

The namesake sandwich pairs the fried chicken with dilled cabbage, pickles, and a dry mustard-curry aioli between slices of shokupan (milk bread) made by Sour Duck Market head baker Frida Silva-Carreira. There’s also the Phoenix version. where the fried chicken is dipped into a scorpion pepper oil, resulting in a sandwich similar to Nashville hot chicken.

The pop-up came about because Turner, Ohly, and their group of service industry-related friends have been playing role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons for the past five years. “Given our proclivity for food and beverage,” Ohly tells Eater, “there are generally pretty big tangents that lead into descriptions of taverns,” where they would envision the eateries.

In their games, the Fiery Talon was, as Ohly describes it, “an in-game phoenix-worshipping cult that had popped up a handful of fried chicken sandwich restaurants across our D&D world.” Often, the group would check into the cult to see what they were serving.

Turner and Ohly started talking about launching a pop-up stemming from the game before the pandemic. Eventually, they were able to figure out how exactly they wanted to run the food service, thanks to a visit to East Austin fantasy immersive experience the Tiny Minotaur in October that “kinda broke our brains open.” It paved the way for Fiery Talon: “The way they were able to make something that was so cool,” Ohly says, “and so firmly in the nerd-sphere was truly inspiring.”

Launching the pop-up with the Bummer Burrito/Little Brother/Better Half teams was easy, since they were friends already. When co-owner Matthew Bolick was looking for potential pop-ups for the Rainey Street space, he asked Turner and “she knew it was time to move forward on the Fiery Talon,” explains Ohly.

There will be future Fiery Talon pop-ups, pending the right locations and partners. “We want to make sure when we do it, we do it right,” says Ohly. Turner is in the middle of opening a new restaurant (further details are not available at this time, though, in 2018, she mentioned in the New York Times that she wanted to open her own Japanese restaurant).

Turner has worked in the Austin culinary industry for over a decade. She was on staff at Japanese restaurant Uchi and Thai truck East Side King, and was part of the opening teams of Japanese restaurant Uchiko and New Texan restaurant Odd Duck. She was part of the original team of Italian restaurant Juniper, where she was promoted from sous chef to executive chef. More recently, she was the chef de cuisine of Hill Country brewery and restaurant Jester King, where she heralded the bread program. As part of the Ment’or grant program in 2018, she worked in acclaimed Tokyo restaurants DEN and Ryugin.

Ohly, who is managing Fiery Talon’s operations, spent the past 12 years working at various bars, restaurants, and breweries.

Fiery Talon’s sandwiches will cost $12 apiece, and $2 of each sale will go towards racial justice nonprofit Austin Justice Coalition. The pop-up runs from 6 through 9 p.m. or until everything is sold out.

Bummer Burrito

89 Rainey Street, , TX 78701 (512) 305-3133 Visit Website

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