At a birthday dinner at The Country Cat, we started with the soft doughy House Potato Bread and Butter. Country Cat is one of those restaurants that charges for bread service, so this was $2. The Animal of the Week during our visit was proclaimed by the menu as “LAMB”, and when we tried the Grilled peaches with Lamb Bacon as a shared appetizer, almost all was forgiven for the bread charge. Those Grilled Peaches were the best dish of the evening.
My entree was the fried chicken this restaurant is supposedly known for, in dinner form of the Cast-Iron Skillet Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, though I switched out the standard side of Mashed Potatoes & Sausage Gravy for Creamy South Carolina Grits instead. The chicken is fried quite a bit which gives a lot of great crunch to the outside while keeping a moist inside, but I didn’t detect a lot of seasoning to go along with the crispy (but at some places slightly tough) skin. But, I give them credit in that it was not greasy chicken, and I loved that it was boneless. The grits were ok, but I was definitely missing the fact that there was no vegetable included- it seems there is room for it on the plate. Bizarrely, from the yelp photos it looks like their version for brunch is a better plating of the chicken than during dinner, including both greens and pecan bacon spoonbread. It seems at one point in the past this dinner dish used to come with collard greens and a biscuit, evidently they since have changed their minds (though you can add these yourselves by adding an additional appetizer of the $2 biscuit and specifying that other $6 side instead of mashed potatoes and gravy).
I fortunately was able to procure part of F’s side order of Creamed Corn with Toasted Pecans & Fried Sage Leaves, a nice assembled bit of texture in that side dish with the buttery bursts from the corn and the crunch of pecan bits. The other entree, Summer Vegetable Pie with Tomatoes & Goat Cheese, was more disappointment as it turned out less like a pot pie and instead to just mostly be a quiche, thus has a lot more egg than you might be expecting from that menu description.
I’m not sure what it means that as we meandered over and enjoyed the many varied beer taps and pool table at Roscoe’s next door after dinner, that my eye would occasionally wander to look longingly at the fried chicken strips I saw also served there (although they also serve sushi rolls… what?), just across the street from Country Cat. I really wanted to like the place- I suppose maybe just like bbq, depending on your previous experience you have cultivated certain taste expectations for fried chicken- and this didn’t quite meet what I had hoped for. At the end of the day, it was those grilled peaches that are what stuck with me.