Beasley’s Chicken and Honey succeeded in creating an ambience full of old southern backyard charm. However, they could have left the flies outside. Yesterday my foodie friend and I went to their Raleigh,NC location to see what all the hype was about. The eatery has a 4.4 rating on Yelp and Google, so we were excited. Soon as you walk in you see the chalkboard menu, steel stools, and distressed wood tables. Yet, we were greeted by an overworked waitress and an unkept dirty table. Did I mention it was only 4pm in the afternoon?
It took around 5-10 minutes for the dirty area to be wiped and swept before we could be seated. Once seated I asked for a menu to make my selection. I was then advised that they didn’t have menus and you must make your selections directly from the chalkboard menu. Although the chalkboard menu was aesthetically pleasing it made the experience a bit more difficult due to its distance from my table and the people who chose to stand to make their selections. As my friend and I stared at the menu, we came to a decision an ordered mimosa’s and three appetizers.
As we waited, the flies started to swarm. They continued to fly around us and the establishment the entire eating experience. As I sipped and swatted, I realized my mimosa was delicious. It was bubbly with a slim slice of orange for garnish in a tall wine glass. The champagne was not overpowering and the orange juice was freshly squeezed. We made some small talk and then our three appetizers came.
We had Pecan Smoked Wings with Alabama Sauce, Fried Shrimp with a Smokey Tomato Romulade, and Crispy Cheese Grit Fries with Chow Chow and Malt Aioli. The Pecan Smoked Wings had a nutty smokey flavor that allowed you to think they had been cooked low and slow for hours. The pecan smoke really penetrated the meat and it’s flavor really shined through.
The Shrimp with Romulade was typical. It had no extra something. It was basic fried shrimp. I wish there was some other seasoning on them to make them stand out but it wasn’t. The romulade sauce was very aggressive . If you decide to get this item only use a small amount to compliment the shrimp.
Lastly we tried the Grit Fries with Chow Chow. These fries were an utter and complete fail. Grits on their own are bland without seasoning. In my opinion, they are a blank slate and that is why they compliment so many other dishes. When I bit into the grit fry the overall flavor was lost. The menu description of the Grit Fries implied there was cheese inside, yet I didn’t taste any. They should have seasoned these grits so they could have had some real presence on the plate.
It needed something much more than its breadcrumb coating to bring this dish to a happy place. If I attempted this dish I would have use this same technique with season and made them chili cheese fries. That would have been awesome!
After the apps, we ordered our main meal. I ordered Quarter Fried Chicken and my friend ordered a Chicken Biscuit. These meals did not come with sides. Everything in the place is a la carte. I got biscuits with honey and potatoes with gravy as a side. My friend got Ashe Co. Pimento Mac-N-Cheese Custard and Cider Braised Greens.
The chicken was very juicy and crunchy. Upon the chicken’s golden fried exterior, there was a slow drizzle of warm honey. That was a very nice touch, however it lacked the seasoning. The overall theme flaw to this restaurant is lack of seasoning. The chicken was pretty, but bland. My friend and I shared sides so we could taste different items. The potatoes were a bit lumpy and the gravy was very thick. The biscuit was flaky, buttery, and crumbly. The braised greens were a fail. They were so dry with a sharp and off vinegar flavor. The macaroni and cheese was creamy and simple.
As we ate, the flies constantly attacked us. Before I could ask about it, a man sat a candle on our table. I thought it was for the bug issue. So I politely asked “Is this for the bugs?” and he replied “We try to kill them all before opening but sometimes we aren’t successful.” Umm, no sir! How about we invest in some kind of bug zapper in front of the door so the people frequenting the restaurant can truly enjoy their meal?
After about 30 minutes the metal stools they chose for seating started to hurt my behind. The chairs had no padding which didn’t allow the customer to be comfortable for very long. Also the temperature in the eatery became very hot. People were wiping their sweat while inside and no one turned up the A/C. Thankfully by that time we were begging for the check because we could no longer take the conditions.
My Final Thoughts…
Finally, my overall review of this place is if you don’t feel like cooking and want to spend a little extra money for basic food then visit. However, don’t stay and eat. Take your order to go. The comfort of your driver’s seat and cool air condition will create the perfect atmosphere for your meal. I believe the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices are more exciting than this. Buy a bucket and save some cash.Also the restaurant was a bit over priced for the items on the menu and the level of cooking.
There was nothing innovative or anything that made me say I need to go back for any item. I will not be returning but I always advise others to make their own choices about food. Give it a shot and tell me what you think about Beasley’s Chicken and Honey. If you chose to eat in, don’t forget your fly swatter. Trust me, you’ll need it. Comment down below if there are any places you want me to try and review.
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