Restaurant: Iron Rooster
Neighborhood: Canton (at Canton Crossing)
Architecture/Ambiance: Iron Rooster occupies the former Farmstead Grill space, which is open with soaring beams and a nice whitewash.
Service: It was a media event, so I’m sure it was turned up a notch, but they were quick, friendly, and up for a little bantering.
Food, food, food: Pro tip: Leave room for the homemade pop-tart! Some of my OrderUp crew joined me for a media tasting and we sampled the watermelon feta salad, shrimp and grits, chicken and biscuits, and the pop-tart.
The watermelon feta salad was diced watermelon, feta, arugula, jalapeño vinaigrette and a balsamic reduction. In December, the watermelon is definitely not local, but the sweet flavor with the balsamic was so fresh.
The shrimp and grits, a Southern favorite, was a bowl of jumbo shrimp, poached eggs, stone-ground grits, chipotle bacon butter (WHAT!?) and white wine. This stuff is rich. We had a ramekin to sample and that was enough for me. I could definitely taste a little bacon, which was delicious.
Next up was my personal favorite — the chicken and biscuit. It’s buttermilk-marinated crispy fried chicken breast with balsamic honey and raspberry preserves on a freshly baked biscuit. The biscuit was crumbly and sweet with just the right buttery-ness and the sweet honey and preserves were amazing against the fried chicken. I may have had two …
… but I still had room for the pop-tart! These aren’t the silver-packaged ones of your youth, my friends. These are fresh pastries packed with sweetness, topped with sauce, sprinkles, and a dollop of whipped cream. You have to be prepared to go into a sugar coma, but it’s worth it.
Biggest pro(s): Who can hate on breakfast all day? There are many times where I’m craving waffles at 3pm. These dishes are decadent, so just one is likely enough to fill you up. Also, free and plentiful parking, which is hard to find in the city.
Biggest con(s): Canton Crossing reminds me a little of an office park, so Iron Rooster ends up feeling a bit like a chain restaurant, but it’s not an overwhelming sense. Also, as someone with a weaker stomach, the Southern-influenced menu can feel a little heavy.
Have you been to Iron Rooster? What did you think?