I visited Cahill’s Chicken Kitchen in the company of seven friends and so tasted many different dishes. Still, I put only a dent into a monumental menu that includes, of course, chicken (fried, broiled, blackened, and on top of waffles), and also extends to half-pound hamburgers accoutered every which way, red snapper tacos, locally harvested May River oysters, shrimp and grits and candied bacon waffles at breakfast, and more than a dozen true-South vegetables, some of which come directly from the farmers market to which the restaurant is attached.
Vegetables are good enough that it makes sense to select the Field & Fork option, which is four of them, without an entree. Highlights include peppery homegrown rutabaga, oily and intense collard greens, spice-whirled sweet potato soufflé, stout stone-ground grits, meaty little butter beans, and preposterously cheesy broccoli casserole.
Fried chicken is good, even if the crust could be crunchier; but the main dishes I will return for are those scrumptious local oysters, their sparkling marine meat veiled in a well-seasoned crust, and shrimp, which are firm and sweet both fried and broiled.
Eating at Cahill’s feels like eating in a barn. I mean that in the nicest possible way: Imagine going to a happy pot-luck supper at a neighboring farmer’s place. The setting is casual and rustic; the air resounds with energetic chatter among diners who all seem to be having a wonderful time.