Hitching Post Review - Best Fried Chicken in DC
Listen to me very carefully: Go. Now.
The Hitching Post is a true throwback to the past. As soon as you walk in you're immediately cognizant of the fact that this isn't your typical diner/southern food restaurant. The three booths they have look like they came out of a club from the movie Scarface, the "bar" at the front is populated with tons of condiments and random food items that may or may not be used in conjunction with what they actually serve (a gallon bottle of Ocean Spray Grapefruit juice?), there are plant watering cans in the window sills (wut?) and the Remy Martin paper towel and straw holders on each table make you feel like you're a gangster from the 1970s (or in Grand Theft Auto, one of the two). The only way you'd know that it was 2008 outside is the Hi-Def LCD screen in the corner of the restaurant (we were watching College Football, more on that later).
If you're in any sort of rush, don't bother coming, you'll end up leaving pissed off and hungry. In fact, I'd recommend arriving here when you're at that point where you say to yourself, "I'm not really hungry right now, but I will be in an hour" because that's about as long as it's gonna take to get your food. Blasphemy you say? Great food takes time and love, my friends.
The good news is, while you're waiting, you'll have time to talk to the locals; the people that have been coming here since 1967. They had college football on TV and the older guys started on about "Back in 1951, when Dick Kazmaier won the Heisman for the first time for Princeton...." We jump in the conversation and it's as if we had all been coming to Hitching Post for 30 years. We informed them this was our first time here and they went on and on about the food. The fried chicken, the pork chops, the hamburger; they loved it all, and with good reason. The wife/server said to us, "you know, we've seen a lot more young people 'round here recently... I think it's this internet or something..." Haha, precious. I told her that's exactly how we found out about her restaurant; "the internet" is singing her praises I exclaimed.
On to the food. There were three of us there and we ordered two Half Chickens. This is a bit misleading, as I'm pretty sure our two Half Chickens were more like 8 whole chickens. The chicken came out on four large dinner plates, piled high with crispy fried goodness. A Half Chicken is enough to fill three normal sized people (we took home about 5 extra pieces of chicken to some friends). Also, as a note, if you go, I'd get the Half Chicken Dinner and not the wings, you're gonna want to eat the thigh and breast pieces, trust me. This is the best fried chicken I've ever had. Granted, I didn't grow up in "the south" (no, MD is not the south), but this chicken was unreal; crispy outside with great spice, juicy on the inside, fresh as fresh can come. This is why it takes so long to get your food, it's battered and fried fresh right when you order it.
The sides were fantastic, and I can honestly say the potato salad was a life changing experience. I'm not a big fan of potato salad but this was by far the best I've ever had, a must order. The mac and cheese was delicious, with a nice crispy top that you could cut with a knife. The collard greens were fantastic, not the normal uber dark chopped up stuff that usually gets served around here (I just wish it had actual bits of pork in it, but aside from that it's delicious). The cole slaw was just the way I like it, sweet, tons of sauce, not minced but not too big either.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and I can't wait to go back to watch some college football, drink beer and politic with the locals, and eat some scrumptious food. It'll be nearly impossible to not order the fried chicken but the way the old timers were talking about the hamburger and pork chops I may just have to branch out. They also have homemade honey baked ham on the menu *drool* Lastly, I asked the husband/cook which dessert we should order to take home with us and he said "none, it's all store bought..." Just FYI.
One final note, my friend Brian who isn't a big fan of the internet (or computers in general) told me to "tell all the internet people that this place is the shit and they should go peep it." If that's not a glowing endorsement I don't know what is.
Trust me. Go. Now.
I don't know how you got past the horrible, stale smell of the "restaurant" the moment you walked in the door....
horrible, horrible, stench.
I ordered the gumbo, which turned out to look like something out of a movie....like a joke, when the friend's mother cooked something gelatinous and green.
The fact that they cannot time TWO entrees to come out at the same time is nothing less than pathetic.
If two people, seated at the same table order two entrees at the same time, there is no reason on this earth why both of those entrees should not arrive at the table at the same time.
The one and only, and LAST time I went there, there was NO ONE ELSE there, and my friend ordered the burger, and I ordered the gumbo. My gumbo came out a full TEN MINUTES before the burger.
and both were thoroughly disgusting. Granted, I never tried the fried chicken...but based on my experience, I won't be back.
Seriously...the smell of the place alone was SICKENING.
I laid it out pretty clearly as far as ordering advice goes, not only in the subject of the post but also the body.
I can't vouch for the gumbo or any other offerings on the menu, I can only speak to what I had, and what I had was fantastic... I'll definitely becoming back and so will all the people that I went with.
As far as the "timing" of dishes is concerned, I think I also made it very clear that timing and presentation are of little importance here. The food takes a long time, it comes out when it's ready, it's a small hole in the wall. If you were looking for white table cloth service and a sommelier, you came to the wrong place.
For what it's worth, there was no odor when I went, except for the delicious scent of fried chicken, burgers, and grease.