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Hubster and I made our way to Revival today. He grew up in the south and pines for grits and soul food, but mostly grits, on the regular. It's no secret that we have a huge soul food shortage in the Twin Cities and he normally hates going to restaurants that don't take reservations because he hates waiting, but for fried chicken and grits, he was game today. :)
We got to Revival around 4:30. There was already a line of people waiting and this continued the whole while we were there (until about 6:30). If you've been to the former Corner Table, you know how tiny the space is. I will tell you that going as a pair is the way to go. People with groups of 3 or 4 had to wait far longer as there are only about 4 four-tops and the chances of 2 two-tops vacating at the same time is small. Going with a larger group, I think would be nearly impossible. We had to wait about a 1/2 hour before we were seated. That said, the staff was very friendly, suggested drinks from the bar, etc.
On to the food! There were a lot of good options, but my southern-raised Hubster wanted to practically do an around-the-world of sides, so we skipped appetizers and went straight to chicken and sides. We got the following: Tennessee hot chicken, southern fried chicken, hush puppies, collard greens, white cheddar grits, and mac and cheese. Hubster LOVES spicy foods and has a heat tolerance like no one I've ever met. He's not happy unless eye sweat is involved. Let me tell you - Tennessee hot chicken induces eye sweat. This is in no way Minnesota hot! Hubster loved it! I took one tiny bite and had to drink half a glass of water. So if you have a low heat tolerance, don't get the Tennessee hot. The southern fried chicken has a little black pepper spice to it, but it's subtle and really well done. All the chicken had a great crunch, but was incredibly moist. The sauces - a Carolina vinegar and a sweet potato sauce - were great too, but we're chicken purists and mostly enjoyed the chicken sans sauce. We also made sure to order extra chicken so we'd have some to bring home.
As far as the sides were concerned, we were quite pleased. Hubster isn't terribly discerning about most things, but man - if you get grits wrong, you're going to hear about it. He LOVED these grits and I have to agree. They were creamy, buttery, cheesy goodness! The hush puppies had a nice outer crunch with the softest, sweetest cornbread. They're also served with a flavorful remoulade sauce. The collard greens were good, although my least favorite of the sides. It's really through no fault of their own though - I just don't like greens as much as I like carbs. :) And finally, the mac and cheese was deliciously cheesy with a nice crunch on top. We really were impressed and would definitely return based on this.
Unfortunately, we should have stopped our meal there, but I had seen pictures of beautiful pies on Revival's Facebook page. Pie is like a siren song for me, so I inquired. They only had one flavor - sweet potato with pecan and molasses. I was really hoping for banana cream or lemon or even chocolate silk, but for the Hubster, the sound of sweet potato pie made his eyes get as big as saucers. I inquired if they had any other dessert items. Nope. Pie was it. So, we decided to get one piece, ala mode with vanilla malted ice cream to share. It came out looking lovely, but one fork into the pie and we had the gruesome discovery that the pie crust was like trying to get through shoe leather. I'm not even sure a Ginsu knife could have made it through. This, truly, was THE toughest pie crust I've ever tried cutting into. Hubster actually bent the tines of his fork it was so tough! The sweet potato filling was nice and not overly sweet, but this should have never been served. Honestly, they should be using Pillsbury pie crusts instead of whatever they're doing. Or better yet - hook up with Stockholm Pie Company and have them make their pies. The pie was an epic fail. Pie crust is a basic thing. I shouldn't feel like I'm ripping flesh to get through it. If we had started the meal with the pie, I don't think we would have ordered another thing. It was a real bummer, because the rest of the meal and the service were really quite good.
So my advice - 1) go with another person so you get a 2-top, 2) order Tennessee hot at your own risk but definitely DO get chicken, 3) get the grits, 4) don't order the pie.
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