Bar Louie – Foxboro, MA

It took us over a month to pull it off, but my friends and I finally got together to have our annual Christmas dinner and exchange Christmas presents on January 12.  Since we were coming from all over, the new Patriot Place shopping center provided a convenient central point for us to convene.  Bar Louie also seemed like a logical choice for dinner, since it offered a wide array of option and not too expensive.

Bar Louie features an eclectic American-style cuisine menu, filled with comfort foods that have been infused with a few regional and international flairs.  The decor is classic American sports bar meets classic American steakhouse with a little TGIF and Applebees middle America thrown in.  We started with a few appetizers, including "Buffalo Calamari" and Szechwan-style chicken wings.

First the calamari – yes, I know it isn't chicken wings, but it is deep fried and slathered in hot sauce, so I'll just keep it brief: it was quite good, with tender small pieces of calamari in a crispy batter tossed in a spicy buffalo sauce.  Pretty straight forward, with a heat that was good but not overpowering.

The Szechwan wings were sneaky – they arrived the table looking like innocent soy-glazed fried wings, and as you're eating them, they have a pleasant heat and lots of flavor, including everything you would expect from a Szechwan flavor wing: soy, ginger, etc.  However, the heat builds.  It is a "late heat" that doesn't fully hit you until after you finish the wing and sit there contentedly, as you slowly realize that the slight heat is turning into a stronger burn.  It makes for an interesting and flavorful wing.  Being a chain-type place, the wings are standard size and are well-cooked. 

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars