A Night with Crook’s

February 23, 2012 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

On Tuesday my Food Writing professor took our entire class out to Crook’s Corner. Crook’s is a famous Southern staple here in Chapel Hill. I have only been there once before with the girls for Ashley’s going away dinner. But when we were there we saw John Edwards pick up a few to-go boxes (creepy, but neat).

Our assignment: to write a review of Crook’s. We were invited to take in the atmosphere and dining experience, as well as scarf our faces full of enjoy some down-home southern cuisine.

My specific assignment was to review the appetizers. The class shared cheese plates, cracker plates, hushpuppies and fried oysters. Now, while I was trying to make sure I didn’t inhale anything too unhealthy, I did have a little bite of everything. Eating and tasting each plate was basically our assignment, anyways 🙂

a lil' taste of it all

You may think to yourself (like I first did when I saw the menu), “Gosh, a cracker and cheese plate sound lame.” WRONG. This cracker plate had hot pepper jelly. Have you ever had a pepper in the form of a jelly? Nope, neither have I. At first it was sweet on the tip of my tongue, and then the heat hit me like a sock full of nickels. I am a sucker for spicy food, so I basically wanted to eat the jelly with a spoon.

The large fried ball is a jalapeno-cheddar hushpuppy. Not the log-looking kind you can get at any ‘ole Q Shack. No, this was substantial. My two front teeth had to work to get through the crispy brown shell, but inside was a pillowy soft dough that held the zing of sharp cheddar. And then bam! Little specs of jalapenos in the batter whack you with some more heat. Needless to say I was in heaven.

The last appetizer we tried was fried oysters. And as much as I thought I would detest them–they were actually plump and tender. The best part was the entire wedge of lemon I squeezed over it before devouring 🙂

Then came the main course. I ordered Cajon Red Snapper that came with creole veggies and baked grits.

Apart from being a spicy food fiend, I also love sea food. So the fish and its cajon spices were killer. But, like any good southern girl, the grits were the highlight. Cheesy, creamy goodness baked casserole-style and served fresh and hot. Grits are also used in Crook’s specialty: the Shrimp and Grits. If you actually come to Crook’s I 100% recommend the Shrimp and Grits. I tried it the last time I came, having never tried the dish before, and it was beyond words. I am now a firm believer that shrimp and grits were meant to be eaten together.

For desert the table split a fudge brownie with homemade vanilla ice cream, chocolate souffle cake, banana pudding with meringue and a raspberry buttermilk sherbet. I had a (heaping!) spoonful of each.

I wish there were a healthy version of raspberry buttermilk sherbet

Needless to say, if you EVER come to Chapel Hill–eat at Crook’s. It’s simple Southern cooking with flavorful twists.

Ok, off to class and some more yoga (a new addiction).

xoxox,

Kath

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Entry filed under: Restaurants, UNC. Tags: , , , , , , .

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