There’s a quick and sure way to any southerner’s heart. It includes placing a plate of fried chicken topped with gravy and butter-filled sides in front of them.
That’s just what stole this southerner’s heart when I recently dined for lunch at Harold’s Restaurant & Tap Room.
The restaurant on the second floor features a patio where patrons can gaze out onto 19th Street. Dining on the patio was my second-best choice of the lunch hour, the first being the meal, because the weather wasn’t humid and a light breeze kept me cool.
I started out with an order of Bread & Provisions, which came with homemade curry bread, pimento cheese, butter and pickles.
Three slices of bread came on each side of a plate, with the provisions divided in the middle. A golden-brown color skimmed a few of the faces of the bread, and air pockets in the dough made a swirl-like pattern.
The curry bread was crunchy, and hard on the outside, but was not overcooked or stale. The bread made a perfect base on which to spread the butter or cheese.
The pickles were dark green with a yellow tinge and sweet. The butter was thick and creamy.
My main dish, the Fried Chicken & Mash, was recommended by the server because it’s one of the more popular items on the menu. Later, that proved true when a couple at a nearby table ordered the same thing.
The Fried Chicken & Mash came with a buttermilk fried-chicken breast, mashed potatoes, sausage gravy and a side of Brussels sprouts.
Freshly fried chicken smothered in sausage gravy was set in front of me not long after I ordered and instantly the aroma wafted up my nasal passage. Suddenly, I was even hungrier than I was before.
The chicken was so tender I could use the side of my fork to cut into it. Only a slight hint of sausage came from the gravy, which was the perfect consistency. Not too thick, not too watery. The gravy emphasized the juicy chicken.
A scoop of mashed potatoes rested beside the chicken. They were almost whipped, with small chunks of potato in every bite. Garlic and butter reigned in the mix, which I always like.
What also seemed to be butter-infused were the Brussels sprouts. Only spots of green remained on the vegetable as they turn brown when cooked, and some were crispy. They were buttery, buttery, buttery and I loved it. The typical bitter taste of the sprouts was there, but only barely.
There is one thing I could complain about: I already want more fried chicken.
Harold’s Restaurant & Tap Room
Address: 350 W. 19th St.
Hours: 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Tuesday–Wednesday, 11 a.m.–2 a.m. Thursday–Friday, 10 a.m.–2 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Sunday
Healthy options: Yes
Star of the show: Fried chicken