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Five chefs have now come and gone through the rotating kitchen of Hogo, but Chris Wright has been there since the get-go. The sous chef from South Carolina has helped guest chefs cook up everything from Hawaiian diner grub to Jewish “soul food” to Swedish fare. Now, he’s getting his chance in the spotlight with a new Southern comfort food menu that will run for the next three to five weeks. Wright is always happy to chat with diners, so I highly recommend you pull up a stool at the open kitchen counter in the back.
Wright, who previously worked at Kafe Leopold in Georgetown, is serving up snacks like jalapeño hushpuppies, Cajun fries, beef sliders, fried green tomatoes, and fried okra with romesco sauce. Bigger plates include a pulled pork sandwich, oyster po’ boy, and deep-fried frog legs (all under $12). The most expensive item ($15) is well worth it: blackened catfish served over creamy grits and a succotash of white corn, fava beans, shallots, green onion, and bacon.
But the crowd favorite by far is “Chris’s Infamous Wings,” a recipe he’s been perfecting for years but hasn’t had a place to showcase until now. The wings are covered in a sauce made with Uncle Brutha’s hot sauce, butter, lemon, Wright’s secret blend of spices, and garnished with chunks of garlic. It comes with a blue cheese dipping sauce that doesn’t skimp on the blue cheese.
Wright is likely to fill in whenever Hogo doesn’t have a guest chef. Let’s hope he gets plenty of chances.
Hogo, 1017 7th St. NW; (202) 393-1313; hogodc.com
Photos by Jessica Sidman