OK, it might not be the most hotly-contested category, but it’s a tasty one. I met up with intrepid gastronaut J to check out the Plough and Stars Sunday Night Chicken and Fish Fry and we were not disappointed. And believe me, we’ve tried our share of fried chicken.
Arriving at the Plough towards the end of a set by Frank Drake and the Aristocrats (did I mention that the Plough might also offer the best country music of any Irish bar in Cambridge?), we settled in to a booth amid an atmosphere of pubby conviviality. The chicken and fish menu was straightforward, with a handful of combos and sides. We each had a three-piece dinner with cheddar grits, collard greens and cornbread. I washed mine down with a Magners.
The chicken was juicy and the crust crispy and well-seasoned. Our worst fear – blandness – was totally unfounded. The cornbread was sweet, the collards smoky, and the cheese grits, well, cheesy. Everything in its place. Perhaps not the healthiest dinner of the week, but most food groups were present and all were satisfying.
As we left, the Frank Morey Band was just getting started. The Plough crowd showed no sign of any care in the world, blissfully disinterested in the looming shadow of Monday morning. If Brigadoon were every Sunday night and came with southern cooking and country swing, I think it would be something like this.
Hey I looked at the regular dinner menu; I was not aware that Flatbread & Tapenade were an Irish staple – the things you learn! 😉
I prefer a crispier, thicker batter for fried chicken (a la Popeye’s) ; it looks a little on the skimpy side in your picture; was it, in fact?
Greg, I’m with you. I think the Popeyes crust is definitely better than the Plough and Stars – which was in fact a little skimpy as you put it. But the flavor was all there! And in that regard it certainly rivals popeyes.
Indeed, this was not a luxurious buttermilky (or whatever it is that holds Popeyes crust together) affair that retains its shape after being peeled from the chicken, this was a thin layer, almost a rub, heavy on the salt and spices but light on the batter.