At lunchtime on Saturday, I dragged a couple of friends east on Colfax, eager to sate my curiosity about Bourbon Grill, the walk-up window under a red awning that seems to always have an eclectic line of people waiting for an order.
That afternoon was no exception. While we sampled hunks of chicken doused in sweet bourbon glaze, a crowd amassed behind us, and it included a couple of hipsters, two bros just done with their weight workout, and a man dressed in crisp business casual attire despite the fact that it was the weekend.
Bourbon Grill's menu is mostly soul food-based, but egg rolls, for some reason, have also snuck into the repertoire. My friends and I ordered up a Cajun chicken sandwich plus combos in styrofoam containers, choosing barbecue and bourbon chicken plus a mess of sides.
I'd forgone mayo on the sandwich because I generally hate it, but that turned out to be a mistake -- without some sort of condiment, it was just a dry pile of peppery meat heaped with shredded iceberg and mealy tomatoes. The combos were better; both meats were heavily sauced and served over white rice. The barbecue chicken was sweet and tangy and tasted like K.C. Masterpiece -- and I'm pretty sure it was poured from a bottle. I preferred the bourbon chicken, which was all leg meat. Bits of bird were flecked with char and tasted slightly smoky, and they'd been lightly coated in that honey sweet -- though also slightly synthetic-tasting -- bourbon sauce.
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Of the sides, the winner was the macaroni and cheese, an orange glop of noodles and something between Cheez-whiz and Velveeta (conveniently, I have a guilty, guilty place in my heart for both).
I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to return to Bourbon Grill for lunch. But if I were drunk on Colfax? I can't imagine a better late-night snack. Unfortunately, the place is only open until 9 p.m.