Since moving here we have heard a lot about Crook’s Corner and Bill Smith. We finally decided to try it and take friends who were visiting from Boston. The space is very casual with an almost diner like feel to the silver tables and retro leather chairs. The walls are white with paintings by local artists.
We started with the Jalapeño Cheddar Hush Puppies. The were fine but not great. There was little jalapeño spice or sharpness from the cheddar. They were also a bit dry. One of our group ordered the Caesar Salad which was huge but tasty. It was well dressed, with a nice saltiness and crisp romaine. For my entrée I ordered the Shrimp and Grits which I was looking forward too. This is the first rendition of this dish I have had with mushrooms. I am not sure if they are a traditional ingredient but they were very distracting in this dish. The were soft and didn’t add any flavor or texture to the dish. Otherwise, the shrimp was tasty (though quite small) and the grits were creamy. G ordered the Gumbo special of the day. It was very tasty with a rich dark rue base. The other entrées at the table were the Fried Green Tomatoes and the burger. The green tomatoes were were offered as a main dish (which I found odd) and served with rice. The breading was nice and crispy but didn’t provide any additional flavor. The burger seemed to be quite straightforward. For dessert we shared the Banana Pudding and the Chocolate Soufflé Cake. The banana pudding was very sweet but quite satisfying. The soufflé cake was delicious, light and airy.
Overall, my expectations for Crook’s Corner were quite hight and unfortunately there were not met. I do think the food has potential and the diner like atmosphere is fun. However, given the reputation the food has to stand out. I do like the patio area and would consider going back on a summer evening or for a brunch.
610 W Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516