A friend and I headed over to Amy Ruth's for dinner tonight. It was our first trip there, which is a pity considering it is just a few blocks east of school. We definitely enjoyed it.
Any meal beginning with warm cornbread is definitely off to a good start, in my book. This was a moist and not overly sweet rendition, very nice. I had the fried chicken and waffles ($8.50). Nicely spiced, crunchy exterior, wonderfully moist and juicy inside, this was some seriously tasty fried chicken. It was the first time I'd tried chicken and waffles, but definitely won't be the last. I loved the contrast: crunchy chicken vs. soft waffle, the spicy kick of hot sauce vs. the smooth sweetness of butter and syrup, the hot vs. the cool. Just delicious.
My friend had honey-dipped fried chicken ($12.95) which looked quite delicious and wonderfully messy. A blank white plate left with only a small pool of honey by meal's end confirmed my initial assessments. Not knowing beforehand what either grits or gravy were, he enjoyed his sides of cheesy grits and mashed potatoes with gravy nonetheless.
For dessert, we both opted for red velvet cake ($4). This was where my confusion began. Every other red velvet cake I've ever had has been a much deeper RED color. This particular cake, though, had a very dark brown color to it. My first taste impression...kind of a chocolate-y flavor. At first I thought maybe they'd just made a mistake and accidentally brought out chocolate layer cake instead of red-velvet cake, but since my friend actually ordered dessert a few minutes after I did, and they brought him a slice of the same cake I had, I figured it unlikely that they would've made the same mistake twice. Yet, the icing was certainly cream cheese icing. There were a few nuts stuck in the icing in places. Seemed consistent enough with my idea of red velvet cake. But the looks, the taste! Were my eyes playing tricks on me? Maybe. Were my taste buds going crazy? Perhaps. But if something both looks like chocolate cake and tastes like chocolate cake (which I don't really care for, and would never order, by the way), I have a hard time being convinced otherwise.
Since our waitress was nowhere to be found (a recurring theme throughout the meal), I asked the gentleman setting out some menus at an adjacent table about it. I asked if their red velvet cake was always so dark, as this was much darker than what I was used to. He replied that of course it's dark, since "that's exactly what it is. Red velvet IS a chocolate cake with some red food coloring added". Huh? Chocolate red velvet cake? Did I miss something? Being a Texan transplant, I am definietley no expert on southern cuisine. Can anyone shed some light on this for me and clear up my confusion? Do you think I was served chocolate layer cake by mistake? Is Amy Ruth's red velvet cake just a darker version than most others? Have I been eating some kind of mutant red velvet cake my whole life? Has the whole world gone mad???!!! :) Ok, it's not THAT serious. But does anybody know something that might clear up my confusion? Any insight would be appreciated. Mille grazie.