Monday, January 7, 2013

Cul’s Courthouse Grille

10801 Courthouse Road
Charles City, VA 23030

            Hidden on Rt. 5 in Charles City County in front of the Charles City Courthouse is Cul’s Courthouse Grille. Yes, there is a small sign on the road with an arrow pointing to the restaurant but it is hidden in plain sight behind trees and shrubs on a small frontage road off the byway and unless you’re looking for it you would never see it. For years there have only been three places to eat on Rt.5 in Charles City; Indian Fields Tavern now called the Charles City Tavern, Haupt’s Country Store, and SS Subs (I actually think that SS Subs is more of a drug front than an actual restaurant but that’s neither here nor there) so it’s nice to see a new place open for business on this beautiful country road.

            Cul’s Courthouse Grille is located in the old Cul’s Country Store. Saying that it has been renovated is a bit of stretch but that’s part of what makes the place so awesome.  It really feels like you’re walking into an old timey country store minus the old men and lazy hound dog out front. I take that back; a hunting dog did actually walk up to the front door while we were there but he left once he figured out that it was as cold inside the store as it was outside and with the nice deck they have out front I’d venture to say that in warm weather there probably are old men that sit out there and talk about the weather.

            Inside the place the temperature is cold but everything else is very warm and welcoming especially the owner.  We were seated at the front window at a three sided bench booth that overlooked the courthouse area and our waitress was there immediately to take our drink order.  The menu was not huge but it had a nice selection of tasty sounding southern dishes and sandwiches. I decided on Edna’s Chicken Sandwich: a grilled chicken breast topped with homemade pimento cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles on a Kaiser bun served with green tomato chow chow and seasoned fries for $8.99. Amanda ordered the Chicken Salad Sandwich: diced chicken salad with pecans and cranberries served on Viv’s homemade bread with lettuce, tomato and homemade chips.

            While we waited for our meals we snacked on an order of fried calamari. To be fair, the calamari tasted good but it was a pretty small serving for $9.  Before long we had our food in front of us. My sandwich had a large juicy chicken breast smothered in melted pimento cheese on a nicely toasted Kaiser roll topped with fresh crisp lettuce and onions and a juicy slice of tomato and a side of chow chow. I topped the beautiful sandwich with the chow chow and took a bite.  It was an awesome southern treat; a mouthful of flavors that melded perfectly together. The juicy chicken, pimento cheese and chow chow made for a great although very messy sandwich.  Even the fries were delicious, slightly seasoned with a nice crunch.  This was probably the best sandwich I’ve had since I ate the prime rib sandwich at Sullivan’s Tavern. Amanda let me have a bite of her chicken salad sandwich on fresh made bread and it was just as good as my sandwich and probably was some of the best chicken salad I’ve ever had and with the freshly baked bread it was out of this world. Served with thick sliced homemade chips it made for a great meal.

            If you can find Cul’s Courthouse Grille, please stop by and grab a bite to eat. Their food if fresh and delicious and is served by a very friendly staff.  I haven’t eaten at the Charles City Tavern yet but it will have to be very good to beat Cul’s Courthouse Grille as the best restaurant in Charles City.  Just one thing though, if you go in the winter make sure you bring a heavy coat.

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