I'm pretty lucky to live within walking distance to Hungry Mother and its sister restaurant, State Park. State Park has more of a sports bar vibe with more casual food and beers, but you can still look for great Southern food here from the James Beard Award winning chef Barry Maiden. Instead of the refined dishes at Hungry Mother, think sandwiches, fried chicken, and the likes.
Try the Snappy's Famous Pork Chop Sandwich (chili, cole slaw, tomato, mustard, $12)
For those who are not familiar, this refers to Snappy Lunch in Mt Airy, North Carolina. The diner is famous for their pork chop sandwich where the boneless pork chop is covered in a sweet milk batter - yes, very much reminiscent of french toast. Think french toast stuffed with pork chop, then made into a sandwich with chili and cole slaw... The pork chop itself is ridiculously tender! A wondrously messy sandwich worth digging into.
Another surprise for me was the Memphis BBQ Spaghetti (pork shoulder, sarvecchio cheese, garlic bread, $12)
Who knew spaghetti would work so well with BBQ sauce? It's just a bit saltier than bolognese, with a subtle kick. Bold and sweet, served with fluffy, buttery garlic bread. This has become another favorite of mine.
Appetizers may include buffalo sweetbreads, hushpuppies, or baked Anson Mills grits with tasso ham.
The combination of wine, allspice, and ginger beer makes me think of mulled wine. Cold, carbonated mulled wine! State Park is open pretty late at night and has now started serving lunch on weekdays. It's a great place for me to hang out with friends since the food is great yet not too fussy for the friends who are not as much of a foodie, yet foodies will be happy to find intriguing dishes like the bbq spaghetti.
1 Kendall Square
Cambridge, MA 02139