Snack Attack: Chicharrones at Bisq

Chef Alex Saenz brings a crispy Southern classic to the table with his new menu.

Chicharrones at Bisq

Chicharrones at Bisq. / Photo provided

Since chef Alex Saenz joined Bisq late last year, the Inman Square restaurant has been in flux. A decent portion of the previous menu, from opening chef Dan Bazzinotti, has been swapped out for regionally inspired small plates. Saenz is a South Carolina native, so his Charleston roots have also made an appearance, leading to new, instant classics, like fried chicken with buttermilk ranch.

That Southern background is also on display in the newest appetizer, chicharrones. These crispy, fried pork rinds are served with smashed avocado dip, ideal for a light snack. The dish hit the Cambridge restaurant this month as part of Saenz’s most recent menu update.

“Down South, you find this roadside,” Saenz says. “You find it everywhere; everyone is eating it.”

Before joining the Bisq team, Saenz showcased his upbringing at Puritan & Company, where he spearheaded a “Southern Sundays with Saenz” special, and debuted a slew of inspired plates like fried green tomatoes and tea-brined fried chicken. Saenz says his goal for the menu at Bisq is to encompass that Southern flair, while highlighting the fresh ingredients available in New England.

Saenz hasn’t completely overhauled the Bisq menu, though. Dollar oysters and whole animal dinners are there to stay, as are popular plates like the shrimp toast and coffee-roasted sunchokes. But with new kitchen leadership comes new ideas: keep an eye out for more vegetable-driven plates. A few more Southern-style dishes will likely make their debut in the coming weeks, too, including possible new dips options for the chicharrones, Saenz says.

Until all these new plates slide onto the menu, Camberville residents have plenty of new eats to choose from. And if you do stop by, you might hear nearby diners digging into Saenz’s newest creation.

“We deep fry [the chicharrones] to order, so you can hear it still crackling as it walks to the table,” he says.

$7, Bisq, 1071 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge, 617-714-3693,