We had a fun trip to Red Eyed Pig tonight; it's just a few minutes from the Arnold Arboretum.
While BBQ is the main deal here, we came specifically to try the chicken mentioned on the concurrent CH Fried Chicken thread.
We had both of the chicken options, Smoked , and Smoked and Fried, sold as half birds or whole. We were both very impressed by the moistness of the birds.The meat at the joints is still light pink, perfectly cooked. The smoke was there ( much milder than what we produce ourselves but just fine as is.) After sampling both types of chicken, I would stick with the Smoked next time, and not repeat the 'smoked fried.' The frying is a simple buttermilk bath and flour coating and it just doesn't add anything to the experience, imo. Maybe if herbs/spices/citrus played a part, i'd feel differently.
Much to our surprise, equal to the smoked chicken experience if not even better, the unexpected highlight of our dinner at Red Eyed Pig- were the sides.
All that we tasted were top notch in flavor, freshness, quality. Creamed cheesy spinach was the surprise of surprises. Fresh baby spinach, bright dark green, swaddled in a luscious parmesan cream. It needed no seasoning or even my 'always' spinach condiment of lemon juice. We bought extra to bring home and supplement with more spinach (it was a bit heavy on the sauce) and use for omelet and pasta dishes. Potato salad was bright with mustard and maybe vinegar, and roasted onions; cole slaw was uniquely seasoned with some latin spices, Sour cream and chive mashed potatoes were coarse and perfectly flavor balanced. Hushpuppies were light and crunchy and the special 'Doughnuts' (absolutely no reason for that name) were the same hushpuppy batter but with alot of pork belly and some hot green chiles added, and then drizzled with garlic aioli and queso fresco (overkill for us; we preferred the luscious orange maple bacon butter.) I could munch these forever.
All in all, a real success. Prices for everything were reasonable and portions generous; the chicken price includes 2 sides with a 1/2 chicken($10 for 1/2; about $16 for whole.) I was really pleased to see all their environment- conscious packaging (this IS basically a take-out place; only 5 seats at a window counter.)
Terrific comfort food, artisinally/uniquely made. Thx so much to CH evex3 for mentioning this place that we, otherwise,never would have known! You lucky West Roxbury/JP area hounds!
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