We just got back from our first trip to North Carolina and for the most part we were very impressed with the restaurants. Lots of creativity, interesting flavors, and good service, but Crooks Corner was our biggest let down.
Highly recommended on this board, in guide books and by friends that have either lived in the area or have visited. We just did not get it, though the food was not bad, it certainly was far from exciting either.
We had reservations that got cancelled because of a utility pole was either struck by a vehicle or was down for some reason, so the restaurant had no power, That certainly was a shame for the restaurant losing a nights worth of business, so we rescheduled for our last night there. We made a point that we were disappointed of not being able to eat there our first night as it had been so highly recommended to us. When we arrived there was never any mention of being sorry for the mishap, but again it was not their fault but a simple comment would have been nice.
We had jalapeno hushpuppies, which were tasteless,, they needed more spice, or cheese or something they were just plain bland. We had hushpuppies at Allen and Sons that just sang to us, again a different style but I am getting hungry just thinking about those. The salad we had was the highlight of the night, very fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and beans, with a very simple sea salt and vinegar dressing.
Entrees were shrimp and grits and the tabasco chicken. The shrimp was ok but not what we felt was a signature dish, it again needed some pep or zing. The chicken was again ok but not great, the mashed potatoes were swimming in butter. We never got bread but every other table around us did, we really didn't need it but it would have been nice to offer it to us. We were going to have dessert but after our experience it was time to exit this place. Our server never checked back on our meals, never said thanks to us, never wiped down the table , all in all a place we would never go back to.
We spoke to the manager and told her our thoughts, we said we didn't want any thing but to let her know our feelings. I said for a James Beard nominee restaurant this restaurant was far below par, even though you may be popular locally we will never be back here again or tell any one about this place. Her comment "we are not only locally popular but we have an international reputation" Please we have eaten in some of the finest restaurants around and this place was a joke, but Pt Barnum stated it best!!