3.5 stars. Good Southern eats are alive in SF thanks to The Front Porch (which Rocks BTW heheh). We had a great sampling of their bucket of chicken, collards, mashed potatoes and gravy, boiled peanuts, and fried okra and fried pickles.
We walked past a few rocking chairs on the front porch into the rather dark interiors of this restaurant. We were promptly seated (thanks to Open Table for the highly recommended reservations) and were promptly served from there on out by a very friendly and efficient waitress.
The taste verdict: the food ranged from just OK to excellent.
Boiled Peanuts: a large appetizer that you really have to like in order to appreciate. Boiled peanuts are not particularly attractive, rather dark and grey served steaming hot in a paper bag. If you can't get past the look or texture, then this is not for you. I liked them OK, but this was not something I'll re-order.
Fried Okra: I think these were too overdone to be perfect. They got stringy at the ends and there was not a great contrast between the insides and the crunchy outsides. I did like the dipping sauce that was provided.
Fried Pickles: Interesting and overall successful with the dipping sauce. Not soggy or particularly flavored one way or another.
THE Fried Chicken: A set of very juicy pieces thickly breaded with a very crunchy corn meal coating. Not particularly spicy (OK not spicy at all) and some may fault the chicken for being bland, but I really enjoyed it. This is not Popeye's style spicy chicken; if that's what you expecting, go elsewhere. But (Front Porch) that would be a really nice idea to provide a spicy version of this already great chicken.
The mashed potatoes were perfection but not many of the our table liked the collards, which was judged to be too sour.
Deserts were off the hook! The brioche bread pudding was like tiramisu meets carrot cake meets cinnamon bread pudding. The banana cream pie was cleverly presented and very delicious. "Just like homemade" was often heard.
This came out to about $40 per couple, so this was moderate to high for this style of food. I did very much like the service and the food. But the darkness and the rather high prices for the food (which was uneven in quality) brought the value down some.
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