Decked out like a Dixieland campsite (lamps are fixed to look like bug lights, the floor like parched Southern dirt), Wishbone is as much about fun as it is about rib-sticking comfort food. It's all "farm charm," as surreal pictures of cabbage and flying chickens dot the wooded interior and bulletin boards of communal events convey a downright neighborly feel.
It's tempting to gorge oneself on the rolls and cheesy corn muffins stacked in abundance on every table, but it's best to begin with some of Wishbone's more imaginative Southern-style appetizers. Shrimp grits with mushrooms and scallions have a zip too often lost on this country basic, and the crawfish cakes make for a light and buttery indulgence. The obligatory fried green tomatoes are also on hand, but for a real treat try the corn cakes with zesty red pepper sauce.
Entrees pose no major surprises, but sumptuous pulled pork with mac and cheese will always be a hit for the kiddies; you can't go wrong with a juicy "backyard burger." Southern fundamentals like jambalaya Cajun stew and blackened catfish are tasty and not hampered with the staggering amount of salt used by other less authentic restaurants. Wishbone does divvy things up a bit with a grilled chicken breast with fresh mango salsa and a piquant herb crusted tilapia that's sure to please the fish-lover at any table. And make sure to wash it down with perennial Southern classics like iced sweet tea.
Prices are reasonable, hovering around $5 dollars for appetizers and $11 for entrees. As usual, expect to fork over a little bit more for the meat and fish dishes. Desserts on hand will do any Southern proud. American originals such as apple and pecan pies are opulent gems, and the creamy key lime is some of the best stuff north of Key Largo. Robust coffee contrasts nicely with the dessert menu's stickier extravagances. There's a second location right by HARPO studios.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Adam White