Wright's Farm is a family-style chicken restaurant in Harrisville, RI. It's owned an operated by the Galleshaw Family. It's located near the border of central Massachusetts. Going to Wright's Farm is a local Blackstone Valley tradition. Here's how it works:
1. You drive to Wright's Farm. This involves some stress, because unless you're with 10 people, you can't make a reservation. You discuss how long the wait will be on your ride.
2. Arrive at Wright's Farm. Despair upon viewing that the front parking lot and most of the back lot are full.
3. Go inside anyways and wait in a long line to get a number. It takes two teenage girls to give you this number, one to talk to you and one to scrawl feverishly in a planner. They hand you a wooden coin with a number on it and tell you how long the wait will be. Despair again.
4. Find out your wait is 2+ hours. Now it's time to drink at the bar and buy Rhode Island lottery scratch tickets. Many people also go outside to smoke butts, though this is not recommended as A. smoking is gross and B. you might miss hearing your name called. Miracles happen a Wright's Farm, so you might get called early.
4. Size up the other people waiting for tables. Listen to other people have their numbers called over a loudspeaker. Get hungrier. (I should note here that pre-starving yourself to consume as much food as possible is part of the Wright's Farm ritual, but it makes waiting worse).
5. Lose on all the scratch tickets. Lose at Keno. Get hungrier. You will feel your soul begin to slip from your body as hunger becomes unbearable.
6. They call your number. Rush to the counter. Follow a teenager into a banquet hall and be seated. Wait for your waitress. This waitress will be a gruff, middle-aged Swamp Yankee who will ultimately be dissatisfied with her tip. However, she is still awesome and you wouldn't want a nice waitress.
7. You do not have options at Wright's Farm. They bring the following items, family-style, to your table - oddly gray, but tasty, chicken, mushy shells and sauce, hard rolls with frozen butter, the hard bits of iceberg lettuce covered in the tastiest salad dressing, over-fried french fries. If you order a Coke, your glass will be small and you will need many. That's because the rest of the food costs a flat rate per person, but drinks all cost something. Stick with water.
8. Eat until you get sick. Then eat part of your ice cream dessert.
As you can see, eating at Wright's Farm is a ritual. As vegans in the Southwest, Wright's Farm seems very far away indeed, but my in-laws are thoughtful enough to keep we prodigal Yankees stocked with southern New England essentials. For our anniversary, they sent a six pack of individually wrapped Narragansett beers. I saved the box. Then, the other day, we got some Red Rose tea, Autocrat coffee milk syrup, and Wright's Farm Salad dressing!
Red Rose tea is the brand that comes with the Noah's Ark figurines. It's just regular black tea, but it's better than Lipton. Their website says it's available out west, but I haven't seen it and believe me, I looked.
Even some New Englanders look at me a bit sideways when I talk about Autocrat coffee milk, but I love the stuff. Other kids called me Autocrat in middle school because it was all I drank.
In honor of these New England items in our kitchen, we prepared faux-Wright's Farm for dinner last night. Everything came out very similarly to Wright's Farm - soggy salad, over-fried fries - absolutely delicious. Except the tofu, which was still delicious, but quite inauthentic.