This is another revisit that I feel I need to update after going back after my first post. My son and I were both excited to try the chicken at the North End again because it was just so darn good that first time. We were with my in-laws too, so we got to try a few new things as well.
We had the salmon dip starter ($8) again, which we really enjoyed the first time. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling it as much this time—I realized later it was because I didn’t have the lemon wedges to squeeze on top that I had pilfered from the oysters last time. I would potentially get this again, but it needs the lemon to jazz it up. The thick cut house potato chips are great though—super crisp and well seasoned.
We also tried the pimento cheese spread with Johnnycakes and green tomato chow chow ($7). The portions for these starters are generous. The cheese spread was a big hit with my kids as were the Johnnycakes. Unfortunately, there aren’t really enough Johnnycakes to go along with the cheese. We used some of the potato chips when we ran out. The cheese spread is pretty mild, even borderline bland, but the Johnnycakes were tender and I appreciated the little bit of acid from the tomatoes. Again, this was a dish my kids really liked.
So I was psyched for ordering my perfect combo based on figuring out what I thought were the best things. I got the half chicken with two sides ($15). I had the fries and the mac and cheese. Sadly, the chicken really let me down this time. It was very dry and had none of that amazing juiciness that it had the first time. I guess it’s just a matter of luck and hopefully this time was the aberration rather than the first time. Luckily they give you all those different BBQ sauces to try with it. I decided after trying them all again that my favorite is the “classic” because it has a nice kick of vinegar to it, but still has the thickness of a good sauce (but not so thick that it’s gloppy). The mac and cheese was consistent with the first time—it’s good and I like the addition of the rib jam to jazz it up a bit. Nothing that knocks your socks off, but solid mac. I love the fries—they are hand cut fries and are coated in smoked bone marrow butter and topped with some sliced jalapenos. And even though they are coated in butter, they somehow stay sort of firm. The bone marrow flavor gives them an extra richness. I would say top to bottom, these fries are one of the best things on the menu.
A couple of us got the cornbread as well—it is also a favorite with my kids. It has a big hunk of maple Bourbon butter on top adding to its sweetness. Again, I like it for dessert.
So there you go, I think the sides have stayed fairly consistent and I feel like I know which ones to order. I’m sad that the chicken was disappointing (my daughter had the sliced turkey, which she also described as dry). I didn’t love the pulled pork the first time so I am not sure whether I will be motivated to go back when I don’t feel confident that I can find meat that I will really like.
The North End
1250 E. 86th Street