On Saturday a friend and I stopped by The Front Porch for an early dinner. We chose TFP because they don't accept reservations for a small party--though I've been here before and prefer Range as my neighborhood go-to restaurant, it was 6 p.m. on a Saturday and we were both too hungry to wait.
We split a special appetizer of fried okra, a single order of fried chicken, and a side dish of brussels sprouts. Though hungry, we wanted to maintain our girlish figures, and as most of the menu items were fairly heavy or fried, splitting (fried chicken!) seemed a reasonable compromise.
The fried okra, which arrived with a spicy mayonnaise-y dipping sauce, was good, but after a couple of bites my palate tired of the flavor. I was glad we split this. Our fried chicken arrived alongside black eyed peas and grits. The chicken was good, but not the best I've ever had. To me, the crust is too thin--I don't like that it shatters into dust at each bite. I enjoyed the grits, a perfect portion compared to the too-rich crab, butter and grit porridge I tried here.
The sprouts arrived after the chicken was cleared, which was unplanned but ended up being perfect. Roasted and coated in a molasses-chili sauce, this was the best sprout preparation I've ever had. Neither my friend nor I noticed this dish, but the server convinced us to order it, and we're glad she did. The sprouts would have been the perfect ending to our meal...had we not seen the red velvet cake ordered by the table next to us.
"One bite," we said.
"One bite," we swore to the server, who urged us to try the cake. My friend took one bite of the moist, rich cake and dollop of ginger cream and said, "We're screwed. It's over." It was a battle of the forks to scrape the last crumbs off the plate.
Casual, friendly service matches with the decor. I hate the word "funky," but it's appropriate for this space, with rocking chairs hanging from the ceiling and car backseats as benches along the wall.
$60 and 3,000 calories later, we had a lovely meal, and I would certainly return.
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