Burger and sandwich supremacy in Warren
MONSTROUS TREAT Chomp's Chicken-n-Waffles.
Chomp Kitchen and Drinks in Warren may be off the beaten path, but the rapidly developing legion of fans are just about beating down the door to get in and experience the fresh and inventive offerings from the mastermind duo of owner Sam Glynn and chef Jeremy Bradbury. Over the past nine months, Chomp has put the gastropub burger game on notice. Actually, more like Game Over. Get in line and get ready to fall hard for Chomp Kitchen and Drinks.
Glynn was raised in the restaurant business, washing dishes and bussing tables as a youngster at his father’s restaurant in North Conway, New Hampshire. The duo gutted what was previously a hash-slinging greasy spoon right down to the studs and transformed the small space into an inviting, pint- sized tavern. The space and narrow parking lot run perpendicular to the main road so it’s easy to miss — just look for the gaggle of hungry folks, who often line up 30-45 minutes prior to opening on weekends.
On two recent visits our party of four tried to slip in for supper on early Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and on both occasions we were greeted by a cheery hostess who broke the news of the inevitable lengthy wait. The side door entrance leads directly to the crammed bar area, so we patiently perused the beer and cocktail list. The former includes a nice variety ranging from Bud tallboys ($5/can) to craft drafts (eight on tap) like Ommegang Rare Vos Ale and Goose Island’s Sofie ($8 each), as well as an excellent selection of bottled brews. Creative cocktail specialties include the Basil Gimlet, Pimms Cup, and a batch of Chomp’s new Raspberry Lemonade Sangria. I opted for the spiked-up Dark & Crabby ($9) just as four of the eight bar seats freed up, and the hostess conceded we should jump at the chance (the majority of tables are smaller two-tops) or risk further burger envy.
Cousin Melissa and husband Brian were intrigued by the Maple Bourbon & Bacon Wings this time around (the Hot & Smokey variety didn’t impress too much on our last Chomp run), which turned out to be a great call. Sticky but not overly sweet with a nice salty contrast from the chopped bacon, these breakfast-gone-wild wings are a must-have. Chef Bradbury also has mastered the art of Frickles ($7.99); the pickle chips were fried to deep golden-brown perfection and served with a house-made buttermilk ranch dip.
The rotating sandwich list currently features new options like a pork belly BLT, smoked BBQ beef, and fish tacos (which replaced the monkfish po’boy I devoured), and Glynn could barely hold back the smile when talking up the new waffle iron for the return of Chomp’s phenomenal Chicken-n-Waffles sandwich, slathered up with sausage gravy and maple bourbon syrup.