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BRC's New Menu

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Although I love its oysters and burgers, I got sick of BRC Gastropub about three months ago. (Yes, I acknowledge that some of you disliked this place sooner rather than later, but count me among those who enjoyed consistently good service and food.)

It wasn't because BRC doesn't take reservations (though that still annoys me) or because it doesn't have a full bar (I should be drinking more wine and fewer cocktails anyway). Rather, I stopped going to BRC because I had tried almost everything on the menu. Like, twice. A horrible problem, I know, and certainly an indication that I needed to branch out.

But the new chef and the new menu revived my interest in BRC, and a few nights ago, my friend Maggie and I tried some of their new offerings. Many of the popular items, like the cheddar and bacon biscuits, the rotating varieties of macaroni and cheese, the boudin balls, and the mussels remain on the menu. Recent appetizer additions include the Triple Crispy Wings and the Globe Artichoke Roast. I ordered the latter, and although it was labor-intensive, this dish was out-of-this-world. The artichoke arrived halved and piping hot, its leaves still slightly slick with a flavorful marinade. Roasted to perfection, the artichoke really only needed a few squeezes of lemon, but the side of garlicky remoulade added to the decadence. I could live off such vegetables if it didn't take me so damn long to eat them.

The entree section of the menu has also considerably expanded: meat and game of various breeds, sizes and cuts is now available (quail, pork chops, a 7.5 oz filet mignon, a 14 oz ribeye), as are "long platters" (e.g., the half-rack pork spare rib platter, vegetables with Carolina grits) and new sandwiches like the Alabama Catfish and the Chicken Biscuits. I ended up ordering the latter because it's dressed with BRC's awesome bacon & jalapeno jam and uses BRC's wonderful cheddar bacon biscuits as its bread.

This sandwich, as its name might imply, is actually two sandwiches, which meant I got to eat TWO biscuits, which meant FOUR biscuit halves. The biscuits are certainly very fine by themselves, but when used to support a deep-fried chicken breast dressed with American cheese, white gravy, and that sweet bacon relish, they make for a transcendentally delicious and enjoyably sloppy concoction. "Eat this with your hands...we dare you," the menu taunted. Well, I did, and I dripped gravy and jam all over my white skirt. I didn't care! The only thing I might change about this sandwich is the cheese: something punchier would pair better with the fried fowl.

I give BRC an A- for the new menu items and look forward to trying more of them. Now, they just need to jump on the OpenTable bandwagon so I can do so without waiting 20 to 30 minutes on a weeknight.

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