Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Restaurant rave--Route 7 Grill/Great Barrington, Massachusetts

The Route 7 Grill in Great Barrington was quite literally the very first new restaurant I tried in our area after my husband and I committed to moving here (i.e., after we bought our house, about the biggest commitment I am prepared to make to anything or anyone.) When my son and I flew out here together, without his dad or sister, to look at schools and close on the house, I took him there for dinner our first night. It was early March and a little blustery, and Route 7's warm fireplace and earnest comfort food hit the spot for us both. We've been going back ever since for the pulled pork, burgers (my son's favorite--he's six, after all), fries, daily greens, ribs and pretty much everything else on the menu, too.

I have only one quibble, with the biscuits and the cornbread, which should be better than they are: the cornbread is too sweet, and the biscuits too dense. Being almost southern*, I have particular opinions about such things--sugary cornbread is an abomination, and I expect restaurant biscuits to be at least as good as the ones I make at home with only White Lily flour, sweet butter and milk.

Make that two quibbles, the second also routed in my southern quasi-heritage: the pulled pork is dying for a real North Carolina-style vinegar and hot pepper sauce. But it's good as served, with a sauce that feels more Memphis or Texas in its inspiration, sweet and tomato-ey, mercifully not catsup-y or too thick.

Picayune complaining aside, Route 7 is a delicious, dependable restaurant that gets extra credit for serving nearly all locally-sourced ingredients. They make a point of using meat and vegetables produced within Berkshire and Columbia counties, and now their receiving some big time recognition for their slow food efforts. Today's Boston Globe featured this great review/article--read it, and check out Route 7.

*I lived in Tennessee as a child and in North Carolina for bits and pieces of my college years, but alas, born in Chicago, I will forever be labeled a Yankee.


rebecca said...

Leave it to you gf to breeze in and find a place like this -- we ain't never even hoid of it!!

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