Coolinary Cafe is an enjoyable, small and friendly restaurant in Donald Ross Village that Marty and I have tried twice now. If you like Mike Moir’s Food Shack and or Leftovers you will like Coolinary. The Chef and his wife/ manager worked with Mike Moir and you can see it in the “creative” combinations of food groups.
“Creative” cooking to me is another word for mixing various good groups in one dish – which I don’t care for and is why I’m not a regular at Food Shack. If I want fried oysters that’s what I want and I don’t like them on a bed of lettuce with orange slices. On our first visit to Coolinary we tried the daily special appetizers and entrees “as offered.” Marty thought it was fine but I just can’t look at a plate combining fruit, eastern spices, waffles and fried chicken. Once I separated the Boneless Fried Chicken from the other ingredients and spices I didn’t want I really enjoyed the chicken. Other than being boneless it reminded me of how my Mother’s chicken used to taste.
Call me old fashioned and maybe even stubborn but on our second visit we saw dishes that looked good to us and we ask the Manager to simply leave off the things we didn’t want. No problem. As I said they are small and friendly.
Last night we particularly enjoyed the daily special shrimp and grits. We like grits and ask for an extra portion in trade for other items offered in the dish. The Chef prepared the most delightful and moist sour cream and plabano Grits Cake on the side. It was delicious and I sure hope they put it on the menu.
We also had the daily special dessert – “sweet fried dough.” We asked for a small portion of confectionery sugar on the side and Decaf Caps. When we sprinkled the powdered sugar on top and sipped the outstanding and large decaffeinated cappuccino I could have closed my eyes and thought I was having breakfast in New Orleans.
Coolinary does not have a full liquor license but does have a long and interesting list of beers and a small, interesting wine list. Diners may bring their own wine for a $15 corkage fee. We absolutely loved the “Arrogant Bastard Ale – You’re Not Worthy.” It reminded us of a slightly darker Chimay – an ale brewed only in Belgium by local Monks.
You know how Uncle Larry hates to recommend a new restaurant, in a strip mall, without a full liquor license that serves creative dishes with mixed food groups. Nonetheless for Coolinary I’m going to have to make an exception and encourage you to check it out for yourself. Their phone number is 249-6760.