Everyone wanted to know the next day: Well? How was Rose’s? What it worth the wait? Short answer: On a Monday in August, definitely.
Longer answer: If you’re a foodie, yes, you’ll want to make up your mind first hand. And even if you’re not, you should give it a try.
First off, the waiting in line system worked, and the restaurant is well-run, well-organized. And when they let you in to seat you, everyone is happy. Like we’re all part of some secret club that’s made it. Yes!
We got there early enough that we could choose where to sit, and we decided on the counter in front of the kitchen. It’s pretty cool to watch the staff work – and boy do they work – while they make and plate your food.
Service was super nice and knowledgeable. They know you’ve been waiting outside, so they keep the water coming, and are ready with the cocktail menu.
G ordered a tequila and jalepeno drink which was very refreshing. My bourbon peach drink – which I later learned is part of the way the pork shoulder is cooked – was also good. Just a little richer tasting, as bourbon and peach should be. The wine list was varied and listed by flavor profile, which I like for small plates. After all, I may not know what a certain Greek varietal will taste like, but I can understand if it’s zingy or earthy.
Corn. I don’t know where Rose’s gets its corn, but all the corn tastes were amazing, just bursting with corn sweetness. And corn was in almost everything. It was the base to the soft shelled crabs, a part of the shrimp ceviche and a side salad with the pork shoulder. Really out of this world freshness.
Sauce. I don’t know, I thought the food was a bit saucy. That doesn’t quite get at it, but I personally did not love the dressing on the potato salad (made from beer and homemade aoli). Maybe it’s just a variation on the Southern theme. It didn’t taste like mayonnaise, which I detest, but maybe it just evoked it?
On balance, the cooking was very good. The ingredients were beyond fresh and expertly prepared (see grilled avocado). I didn’t like everything (see pasta with strawberry sauce), but I appreciated the creativity (see pasta with strawberry sauce). The service was friendly, and they didn’t rush us out. The prices were very reasonable. Even the wait wasn’t so bad, if you planned ahead.
So would I recommend it? Yes. Definitely, with the caveats about the wait. In theory, the restaurant wants anyone to be able to stop by for a meal. In reality, it takes much strategery to figure out a system that works for you.
Would I go again? Probably. If my bros in law come to town or someone else came to visit and wanted to check it out. Maybe we would go again in a different season to taste some other items. A friend’s face almost melted with longing as she described the fried chicken she had there. Maybe we’d go on a whim. But with a backup plan, of course.
Was it the best meal I’ve had? I wouldn’t go that far. It was very good, and worth checking out.