We crave warm, comfort food as the temperature drops: thick soups, slow-cooked meats, creamy carbs. Maybe it’s our instinct to bulk up to survive the cold weather. Or maybe it’s because it’s dark and miserable outside; we’re dressed in thick layers, and why not indulge? When we get the need, we head to the come-as-you-are, convivial Farm Bar & Grille. Kittery is the fourth location of this local chain, owned by brothers Brad Atkinson and Ryan Cox and their cousin Noah Goldstein. The Farm serves up heaping platters of cozy soul food—instant cures for whatever ails you.
Shed your down parka and order a drink. There’s a decent selection of red and white wines and bottled beers, and ﬁve revolving lines of seasonal drafts. Or try one of the Farm Favorite cocktails. The Capri Sun, made with raspberry rum, peach schnapps, and triple sec, and the fruity Ocean on the Farm, with coconut rum, blue curacao, and pineapple juice, will make you forget that it’s winter outside. On the other hand, the Adult Chocolate Milk, with chocolate and vanilla vodkas, dark mocha cream liqueur, white creme de cocoa, and chocolate milk, will warm you from the inside out.
While you sip, put in your order for the BBQ Nachos, then sit back for the megasized platter of hand-cut chips topped with pulled pork and gooey cheddar cheese. Order a side of the house-made guacamole and sour cream to go with them. It’s massive and it could easily be a meal for two. But that would be missing out on other delicious bites, like the fried Parmigiano-Encrusted Zucchini slices, served with a zingy house-made horseradish sauce, or the thick Crab Cakes, with tasty bits of onions and peppers served with a slightly spicy aioli.
If you’re trying to be ultra-virtuous, consider one of the salad offerings. The Rockporter comes with sliced apples, walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese, drizzled with a homemade gorgonzola dressing. The Tuna Volcano is a sight to see (and equally impressive to taste) with a tower of greens, wakame seaweed, and guacamole, adorned with thick slices of rare Ahi tuna and served with wasabi soy sauce and pickled ginger.
But more often than not, we go straight for the long-simmering Chili. It’s a big bowl of comfort, made with tender chunks of chuck, cooked with onions, peppers, chilies, black beans, and spices. It has just the right amount of heat and a depth of ﬂavor that we crave long after we’ve emptied the bowl.
Seacoast diners love their burgers any time of year, and you won’t be disappointed ordering one here, made with fresh, ground chuck and served with hand-cut fries or coleslaw. Trust us, go for the fries. They’re crunchy outside, soft inside, and worth the calories. The Walking in Memphis Burger is topped with the restaurant’s award-winning pulled pork (more on that later), pickles, coleslaw, and BBQ sauce. The West Coast Burger comes with creamy, house-made guacamole and bacon.
There are a variety of sandwiches to choose from, too, like the California Club, with dry-rubbed, grilled chicken and guacamole, and a classic Chicken Caesar Wrap. But the pulled pork concoctions are the most sought after, including the Pulled Pork Sandwich, sporting a heaping pile of tender, slow-cooked pork doused in sweet-spicy BBQ sauce, and the heavily stuffed Pulled Pork Burrito, with melted cheddar, guacamole (they know a good thing when they have it!), coleslaw, and sour cream. It’s a big, messy delight.
One of the top-selling dishes is the Smoked Baby Back Ribs. These are cooked “slow and low,” resulting in fall-off-the-bone ribs with a crispy, caramelized crust. Or share a BBQ Plate (unless you’re really hungry, it’s enough for two), with baby back ribs, pulled pork, dry-rubbed chicken, and marinated steak tips, served with a side of smashed potatoes and the vegetable of the day.
The Farm also has wallet-pleasing, nightly specials that often draw crowds. For example, on Monday, kids eat free. On Wednesday burgers are $5.95; Thursday is 50-cent wing night, and on Sunday, there are $5 Bloody Marys and mimosas as well as discounted pizzas.
No matter when you go or what you order, save room (take leftovers home if you have to) for dessert. These change daily, but if the Peanut Butter Pie, a thick, rich slice surrounded by mounds of sweet whipped cream, or the Lava Cake, oozing warm, dark chocolate, are on the menu, you shouldn’t resist. You’ll be properly satiated and ready to bear the blast of cold air when you open the door to leave. And you’ll be back.
The Farm Bar & Grille
57 State Road