Wright’s Farm began as a chicken ranch whose proprietor started serving al fresco barbecues. It has since become the biggest of Rhode Island’s several chicken dinner halls, with seats for up to 1,500 eaters at a time and a gift shop that is a bonanza of kitsch. Despite its cavernous accommodations, Wright’s Farm is so popular that a hour’s wait is not uncommon before you actually get a seat.
No, it is not intimate or cozy or anything like Sunday supper at grandma’s, but if you are looking for the best chicken dinner in Rhode Island, maybe the best non-fried chicken anywhere, put this gastronomic Gargantua at the top of your hit list. What’s so good about the chicken itself is that in addition to juicy, fall-apart mouthfuls encased in gossamer skin, there are significant surface areas where the skin has pulled away during roasting and the bare exterior of the meat itself turns firm, becoming chewy, moisture-beaded bark with flavor even more intense than the softer succulent parts within. Along with the chicken come hot rolls, cool salad, macaroni shells with red sauce, and fabulous thick-cut French fries.
The meal is all-you-can-eat. If ever a bowl is emptied, it gets replaced with a full one. Legend says that one big man came to Wright’s several years ago and consumed eight whole chickens before deciding dinner was over.
Note #1: Wright’s farm will take reservations for between 10 and 36 people.
Note #2: Hours are seasonable. Wright’s is closed Monday through Wednesday in the winter.
Note #3: Reservations (for 2 to 20) are required for Easter and Mother’s Day and accepted (but not required) for New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Father’s Day and Thanksgiving.