Eat This Now: Buffalo Rolls at South Branch


[Photographs: Joe Roy]

If I learned one thing from my trip to Tavern at the Park, it's that if a restaurant takes the time to egg roll something, it's worth an order. I'm not saying the dish is a guaranteed winner: "deep fried wonton wrapped food is delicious" is a less consistent corollary to the "deep fried food is delicious" theorem of bar menu creation.

Anyway, the Buffalo Rolls ($9.99) at South Branch could've failed miserably for all the reasons most take out egg rolls flounder: soggy fillings, overstuffing, flaccid wrappers due to under-frying, etc. But in the face of adversity, these rolls rise to the top. Shredded chicken is moistened with just enough Buffalo sauce and bleu cheese crumbles, and the balanced little parcels are fried to crisp, bubble wrap perfection. But it's the included side of Buffalo sauce that puts the dish over the top; that slight fat separation on the surface means this is a real-life, housemade emulsification of butter and Frank's. As it should be.

With only two positive results, I can't say definitively that my egg roll theory has moved beyond the hypothesis stage- which just means that more extensive field tests are called for.