An unexpected change in plans Friday night led me to the Linwood Grill.
We were planning to have dinner at the always excellent Brown Sugar Cafe, on Jersey Street. Got there at 6:20 thinking we'd be ok and would be able to get in without too much of a wait....but...alas..I underestimated the continued popularity of this place, and with an hour + wait, we decided to venture to one of the other restaurants in that area.
My companion wanted to try the Linwood Grill. I had been there before, maybe 2-3 years ago? Remembered that the food was ok back then, but nothing to write home about.
Well, though I am not writing home..I am writing here...And happy to report that the meal was outstanding.
We started out with an appetizer of the baby back ribs..served in an absolutely delicious bbq sauce just slightly flavored with coconut. An unusual twist that was such a hit. The meat was tender, literally falling off the bones..the sauce just the right mix of sweet and spicy with that coconut flavor...mmm.
Then onto the entrees. I got the deep fried chicken breasts with mashed potatoes. This is a standard on the menu and a dish that the waitress said was always very popular. With good reason! The mashed potatoes were so velvety smooth...very very whipped..(and I am sure had lotsa butter and milk) the consistency almost similar to grits..and I loved 'em. There were peas mixed in...very good. The chicken was cooked perfectly; very good cuts of breasts, tender..and the batter; light yet crispy; once again, an excellent choice.
My companion got a nightly special - so I am not certain how often this is an option - but it was outstanding. Grilled littleneck clams mixed with sausage and corn and some type of carb - rice? potato? I can't remember now...just remember how good it was...a hint of smokiness and very fresh clams made it.
The best thing about this place? We got chose three very different selections - and they were each spectacular in their own right. Sometimes you go to a bbq joint and they do the sauce pretty good, but everything else is just alright. You might think of ordering a clam dish in a bbq place but then would think twice, thinking you wanna stick with what they do well. Not so here. Everything was excellent - as you can see, I can't say enough about the good meal we had.
I am not sure if there is a new chef here, or if we just had a particularly good meal...but am interested to see what other hounds might have to say.
The only drawback - the draft beer list leaves a bit to be desired. Would have loved to enjoy some type of seasonal beer with my ribs...but had to settle for just plain ole Sam Adams...hey, I know, it could be worse, but to make the meal perfect - well....a few more options on draft would be nice.