my first meal at farmerbrown was about a year and a half ago. second was tonight.
i can't remember fully what i ate last time, but i don't think i'll be going back. tonight we had the shrimp poppers, which were quite tasty. little round fried fritters with creole remoulade. and the fried okra was pretty good, too, but it's easy to please me with okra. then we split shrimp and grits, fried chicken, and short ribs. the shrimp and grits were the best of the last three, and i enjoyed the richness of the grits. but i thought the shrimp were slightly overcooked. the fried chicken? it was good. i ate a wing and part of the thigh, and it was good, but the mac n cheese was veering towards kraft, and the greens were underseasoned and sort of blah. i spiked them with quite a bit of the green chile sauce tableside. the short ribs were a bit spare in meat to bone ratio, and i couldn't help thinking that a properly made korean braised short rib dish is one of my favorite things to eat on the planet...and it's not that i don't love other approaches, but this felt like a simple crockpot deal without much flavor. although it was super tender, i will say that.
no one at my table loved anything except for dessert. or i should say, the pecan pie i split with a friend. it was nutty and rich and sweet but just the right amount just this shy of being too much. the nuts weren't bitter and old, and the filling was great. but then the apple cobbler emerged, and this...just didn't work. the apple slices were too firm, undercooked. the flavors of lemon, sugar, and cinnamon were all distinct, and hadn't melded together at all. it tasted as if it needed another hour in the oven.
i really feel that my first meal here was much, much better. although farmerbrown is a bargain in these times (or seems like one!), i don't see a reason to return unless things change quite a bit.
oh and i should add that all three mains arrived at the table lukewarm to warm. and grits, for one, need to be piping hot.