Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Scenes from The Coop

The Coop from John Rivers of 4 Rivers fame opened last week off Morse near Dexter's in Winter Park. Today I got a chance to try it.


The menu has a lot of great sounding items, the most interesting items were the shrimp & grits, fried green tomatoes, po boys, meatloaf, chicken & waffles, pimento cheese dip. They also have organic roasted chicken as a healthier option to the signature fried chicken.


My first attempt to visit was on Monday the next week after their opening, their menu, website & Yelp says they are open Mondays but they were not on this particular Monday probably due to opening week growing pains, fair enough. So I tried again on Tuesday, I got there a few minutes after 11 and there was already a 30+ minute wait. So make sure you allow plenty of time to order and eat. They do have a takeout window on the side but it's not open yet, it's not clear if they do takeout orders at the counter, you'll likely have to wade through the sea of people blocking the entrance unless you enter via the back patio. The good thing is the dining room is quite large with many great wooden tables and chairs and even more picnic tables outside. Their hours are: Mon-Fri 11-2 and 5-9, Sat 11-9, closed Sunday.

There is a small parking lot but just like 4 Rivers which is constantly packed this one was too, it was easy to find parking not far down the street and there are no meters in the surrounding blocks.

The ordering process much like 4 Rivers is a cafeteria line where you tell the 1st employee your order and she writes it on a sheet which also serves as your placemat on a tray, then the next employee puts your sides on etc.

They have a soda machine with unlimited refills & iced tea as well.

Mr. Rivers himself was there working the line and later working the room meeting guest.

Overall it seems to be a good value for the money, slightly cheaper than 4 rivers. 





The bread pudding I liked but probably too sweet for most folks, I like the krispy kreme bread pudding from 4R better, I'm not sure what this bread pudding was made from, it was not as firm as the 4 Rivers version.


Many of the desserts look quite good such as the Pecan Pie and the Cherry Hand Pie.








I didn't have anything as good as the 4 Rivers brisket which I believe is worth the 30 minute + wait. My favorite item was the Mac and cheese, 2nd best was the pimento dip, very rich though. I still will reserve my full judgment until I try the po boys, meatloaf and a few other items. I'm not a huge fan of chicken, so I'm not the best to judge that item. The seasoning on the chicken was good, very full of black pepper.

I'm a huge fan of well made grits but these were not flavorful enough for me, they were quite creamy which is a great start a little more cheese or seasoning would make them great.







Don't just take my opinion for it, check out these posts by some of my fellow Orlando Bloggers:

Tasty Chomps - The Coop: A Southern Affair by Chef John Rivers – A Preview

The Coop: A Southern Affair, Offers Refined Southern Comfort Food 

Thanks for the Fork - From the Preview Party 


The Coop on Urbanspoon 

 


2 comments:

  1. Glad I found another review! I already read some reviews since The Coop opened and it is on my list of restaurants to visit during our stay in Orlando. We heard Winter Park is a great place for dining and it's close to our hotel - the DoubleTree Hilton (http://orlando.hotelscheap.org/DoubleTree-by-Hilton-Orlando-Downtown-114094) so I'm currently trying to come up with a list of possible contenders... :)

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  2. I would have to try this coop too next time I go to Orlando. Usually I go once a year with my family so I guess this year it has to be close to Winter Park. I usually book my hotels with http://www.reservationcounter.com/hotel/orlando/. Do you have any suggestions?

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