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Wright's Farm

84 Inman Rd., Harrisville, RI - (401) 769-2856
Posted By Michael Stern on 11/20/2009 7:33:00 AM
Wright's Farm began as a chicken ranch whose proprietor started serving al fresco barbecues. It has since become the biggest of Rhode Island's several chicken dinner halls, with seats for up to 1,500 eaters at a time and a gift shop that is a virtual museum of kitsch. Despite its cavernous accommodations, Wright's Farm is so popular that a hour's wait is not uncommon before you actually get a seat.

No, it is not intimate or cozy or anything like Sunday supper at grandma's, but if you are looking for the best chicken dinner in Rhode Island, maybe the best non-fried chicken anywhere, put this gastronomic Gargantua at the top of your hit list. What's so especially good about the chicken itself is that in addition to juicy, fall-apart mouthfuls encased in gossamer skin, there are significant surface areas where the skin has pulled away during roasting and the bare exterior of the meat itself turns firm, becoming chewy, moisture-beaded bark with flavor even more intense than the softer succulent parts within. Along with the chicken come hot rolls, cool salad, macaroni shells with red sauce, and fabulous thick-cut French fries.

The meal is all-you-can-eat. If ever a bowl is emptied, it gets replaced with a full one. Legend says that one big man came to Wright's some dozen years ago and consumed eight whole chickens before deciding dinner was over.

Note #1: Wright's farm will take reservations for between 10 and 36 people.

Note #2: It is open for lunch and dinner Saturday through Wednesday, but for dinner only (starting at 4pm) Thursday and Friday.

Note #3: Reservations (for 2 to 20) are required for Easter and Mother's Day and accepted (but not required) for New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Father's Day and Thanksgiving.

Note #4: Credit cards are not accepted. An ATM machine is available near the front door.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Chicken Dinner
Pasta
Fried Potatoes
Salad
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Roast chicken, the simplest of dishes, can also be the best. Wright's Farm has 75 ovens that yield about one ton of it every night. If there happens to be someone in your party who is allergic to chicken, steak is available (ordered by less than 1% of customers).
"Roast chicken, the simplest of dishes, can also be the best. Wright's Farm has 75 ovens that yield about one ton of it every night. If there happens to be someone in your party who is allergic to chicken, steak is available (ordered by less than 1% of customers)."
Michael Stern





Fried potatoes are a necessary part of the traditional Rhode Island dinner. These big, soft logs are some of the best, like huge-flavored home fries that actually have a certain earthy vegetable sweetness compared to the schmaltzy savor of the chicken.
"Fried potatoes are a necessary part of the traditional Rhode Island dinner. These big, soft logs are some of the best, like huge-flavored home fries that actually have a certain earthy vegetable sweetness compared to the schmaltzy savor of the chicken."
Michael Stern


The shells are fine and the gravy (aka sauce) is very good, but frankly, I reserve most of my appetite for chicken and potatoes.
"The shells are fine and the gravy (aka sauce) is very good, but frankly, I reserve most of my appetite for chicken and potatoes."
Michael Stern


There is nothing unusual about the salad, but it's a good one: fresh, crisp and cool, with just enough garlic to snap taste buds to attention for the feast about to be eaten.
"There is nothing unusual about the salad, but it's a good one: fresh, crisp and cool, with just enough garlic to snap taste buds to attention for the feast about to be eaten."
Michael Stern


This impressionistic photo gives some sense of the delirium induced by being inside Wright's. When your table is ready you are directed to one of several booming dining rooms, where a hostess takes the lead as staff members rumble past with carts of dinner.
"This impressionistic photo gives some sense of the delirium induced by being inside Wright's. When your table is ready you are directed to one of several booming dining rooms, where a hostess takes the lead as staff members rumble past with carts of dinner. "Where's everyone from?" asks a waitress before taking drink orders."
Michael Stern


The gift shop has three different cash registers to handle crowds.
"The gift shop has three different cash registers to handle crowds."
Michael Stern



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