Do you like the Red Sox? How do you pronounce Worcester? What’s a Fluffernutter? These are all questions posed to test the true citizenship of a Massachusetts resident. But when it comes to my little corner of Central MA, the supreme question is, Have you ever eaten at Wright’s Farm?*
I have heard the term “Chicken Pig-Out” used to refer to Wright’s. Honestly, this is a fairly accurate description. You walk in, and usually you tell the receptionist how big your party is and she has you remain in the waiting area/ bar room until your group is called. Once you’re called, you walk through a number of rooms filled with groups of people consuming massive quantities of food. The smells are intoxicating. When you reach your table, a waiter immediately comes over to ask everyone if they are getting the chicken. I have never seen anyone choose the other option, which is steak. Everyone says YES to the chicken, and the feast begins.
On average, Wright’s serves about a ton of chicken a day. When I say “a ton” I’m not being cute. I literally mean 2,000 pounds of chicken. And it’s no surprise since it can seat up to 1,200 people. To meet the ravenous demand, they have 75 ovens going constantly, roasting chicken to golden brown perfection. You’d expect this kind of unrestrained mass gluttony in the south, but not in the little Northeast state of Rhode Island. And maybe that’s part of what makes Wright’s so special.
So we’re sitting down, having just ordered the chicken. In most cases, they bring bowls of salad and rolls within 2 minutes. These rolls are simple, but fantastic. Light and soft. Add a little butter and you’re in heaven. Even the salad is good. They use just the right amount of their signature dressing. But this is only a taste of what’s to come. The main event!
All at once they bring out the pasta shells, french fries, and chicken. It’s all good, but I’m in love with the fries. And I don’t even know how to describe them. Slices of bliss might be the most accurate description. I pour on the ketchup and let all of the flavors have a party. Usually, I’m constantly refilling my glass with a pitcher of coke. Refills and seconds and thirds are to be expected.
There’s nothing fancy about this food, nor is there anything fancy about the dining experience. It resembles a trough more than a fine restaurant. But if you want all you can eat delicious comfort food at around $15 per person, you must visit this southern New England staple.
On a final note, they also have a massive gift shop with classic candies and fudge and any number of unnecessary trinkets. It’s part of the whole Wright’s experience.
* Some locals will claim that a similar establishment, Village Haven, is just as good, if not better than Wright’s. I have noticed that the usual argument in favor of Village Haven depends heavily on their cinnamon roles. In my opinion these rolls are nothing extraordinary. I don’t think they even belong with a chicken dinner in the first place.
Regardless of personal preference, when all things are considered, Wright’s is the defining dining experience of southern New England.