Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cook Out, Wilmington NC

August 2011- I wrote the review below two years ago and it has become one of the most read articles I've done. As such, I wanted to clarify a few things.

First, this is a good hamburger. I would rank it near the top in the fast-food category. Second, I still do not like the menu board. It is hard to read and this last visit I wound up parking the car and walking to the front window to get a closer look at the menu. I discovered they had bacon available. Third, they make mistakes. As you read below they made a mistake on the order and it happened another time here as well. I was at one of their restaurants in Virginia and they put the order for the car behind us in our bag as well as our order (no charge for it, but we didn't want what they ordered, and we didn't know we had it until we were a few miles down the road). Fourth, it is a good burger and cheap. How cheap I don't really know because I can't read the menu!, but the total is always low.

August 2009- Cook Out is a small restaurant chain that started in 1989 in Greensboro North Carolina and grew to over sixty locations. They recently opened one in Wilmington, right next door to UNC and it looked interesting, so we decided to give it a try.

The place is drive up and walk up only, but if you want to walk up to the window you’d better have walked there because there’s no place to park more then three cars, and if you do park you’ll never get the car out of the parking lot since there is at least a ten car line for the drive through at all times. The drive through is fast though, and they have one line on each side of the restaurant so you’ll be at the order menu before you know it, and that’s where the problem hits. The menu is small, in funky fonts of different colors, and there are a lot of cars behind you. If you don’t know what you want ahead of time, you’ll feel like you’re caught in the Soup Nazi episode on Seinfeld.

We ordered three burgers, three cheeseburgers, and three fries. We got three cheeseburgers and three fries. The burgers we got were good; they seemed to be fresh meat. The fries were good too. We weren’t charged for the three burgers we didn’t get, but we could have used them. Also, with cars pushing you along, there’s no way to check what you got without feeling like you’re holding everyone up, I'd recommend going online and getting your order ready ahead of time, but I don't think the company has a website of it's own. At least I couldn't find one anyway. There is, however, a very useful independent web site, which posts the menu and even has a picture of the menu board I was talking about.

What I recommend that Cook Out do is to place a larger menu someplace else so that you can read it while waiting in line. They may have a ton of regulars, especially from the college, but new customers need to know what they have.

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