Low-key and no-frills are hyphenated adjectives that were invented for a place like Petworth Citizen, which takes the typical bar structure of yore (think large booths with posts that run to the ceiling, a mish-mosh of half booths and bar tables, and a few seats by a bar), adds a bit of metal and mirror to it and paints it with dull yellows and ochers and rust green. It's nondescript in that there isn't any apparent visual or decorative flourish to set it apart; you could ostensibly achieve the same design effect with a square room and some leftover supplies from Community Forklift. I haven't decided whether or not this makes it perfect for Petworth; put another way, whether in some weird way, it's utter lack of character (vis-a-vis say, Red Derby) gives the place a certain carefree charm. For now, I'm going with no.
Still, the challenge was about the food, and unfortunately or not, we left with basically the same quandary that we started with. On the plus side was a simple pork belly and grits bowl, a moderately-sized and fairly-priced mix of crispy strips of belly atop some reasonably wonderful grits. The true wonder came from a soft boiled egg atop the dish, which mashed together like so many good eggy breakfasts into one sumptuous gooey bite.
At times a good bite, but in the end, we may have to agree with the Post - Petworth deserves slightly better food.
Food Rating: ** (out of 5)
Date Rating: 2 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code: Casual
Bar Rating: Quiet Drinks to Hipster Hangout
Cost: $ (out of 5) (less than $25 for two)
Pairing: Three Little Pigs offers some fun (albeit expensive) charcuterie classes. Sign up for a sausage or bacon-making one.