I haven’t flown the Coop – but I’ve eaten there

So, I haven’t blogged for over a month.  Variously I went to Houston for a conference–dined at the Coop (!)–went to Sarasota for Easter weekend–took a week of vacation and went on a cruise.  As for blogging?  Not so much.  I’d say I’m behind but I’m not.  I just haven’t blogged.  No. Big. Thing.  It’s not like anyone pays me for this stuff.   Anyway, the Coop.  It’s John Rivers new ode to Southern food.  His other restaurant is a stand in line brisket joint called 4Rivers (4R) that I have blogged about a handful of times for everything from buying a brisket for Thanksgiving to cooking out of his cookbook.  cooplineThis is kind the same deal but a smidgen fancier and a different foodway.  And when I say fancier–they still hand your food to you on a tray but first they put it on a plate.  The cost is between say $8 and $12 for an ‘I’m too full’ meal.  The decor at 4R is distinctly Texas with cowheads and big ole stars and such.  Here the vibe is more country kitchen with whitewashed walls and mismatched tables and chairs.   You still stand in line and in truth, the menu choices a little overwhelming.  The menu is Southern in scope and has some depth-everything from fried chicken  to pimiento cheese to hand pies and fried green tomatoes.  Pretty much all things I want to eat.  All. the. time.   We went on a drizzly Saturday morning with some friends from work, Dustin & Jonathan.  They beat us there and, full disclosure, totally let us cut in line.   We still had lots of time to peruse the menu and by the time we reached the front we had all conferred what we would order so that we could maximize trying as many items as possible.  tomatopie For starters we tried the pimiento cheese and baguettes, hush puppies and fried green tomatoes.  Best bet there is the fried green tomatoes.  Vegetal, tart and fried-delish.   I ordered a Fried Green Tomato BLT for my entree.  Fried green tomatoes, bacon, pimiento cheese on buttered Texas toast…  It got messed up somehow and ended up being delivered by none other than John Rivers.  It might have taken a while but it was so delicious I’m not sure I can fault anyone.  When he came with my sandwich we gave him some feedback about the portion size on the shrimp & grits (Dustin’s meal) and as it turns out he agreed and brought us a little more!  chickenThanks John!   Z had the fried chicken and mashed potatoes and Jonathan had the chicken and waffles.  Probably for our future dollar the win goes to the chicken and waffles and my super scrumptious sandwich.  Crunchy, full of flavor and easy to eat.  I tried a mini pecan pie for dessert and Z picked up a deep fried hand pie which he ate later on in the day after wearing off some of our giant lunch shopping.  It was caramel apple and seriously delicious, maybe the best bite of the day.

So, I’m not a restaurant critic.  Like I said earlier, no one is paying me for my random thoughts.  We eat where we want to go and love to try new things and sometimes Z tries things I’m positive he will hate.  And to be honest  I wasn’t sure if I loved the Coop.  I liked it but I wasn’t sure that it would have the lure on me that 4R has.    I wasn’t sure that I would crave it like I crave that long smoked brisket with spicy BBQ sauce.  I wasn’t sure if the menu wasn’t just a bit …much.  But, I sure wish I had that Fried Green Tomato BLT right now.  So, the Coop for the win.

 

***totally forgot to take a picture …of my own food.  blogger fail. 🙂

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