Published on May 23rd, 2012 | by Mrs. Pee Dee Foodie5
Review: Cook-Out Restaurant
2007 S. Irby Street
Here’s a little background from a Cook-Out fan website: “Cook-Out is a fast food, privately owned restaurant chain in North Carolina. Founded in Greensboro NC, the chain has since expanded throughout the state and into the neighboring states of TN, VA, and SC with  locations and growing. Most locations consist of a double drive-thru and outdoor seating..”
WHY YOU SHOULD GO
This burger and shake restaurant located in the old Fazoli’s on South Irby is a terrific place to grab a delicious burger,a milkshake and a Cheerwine™ soda inexpensively.
WHY WE WILL GO (AGAIN)
Because this burger and shake eatery IS a terrific place to grab a delicious burger, a milkshake, and a soda inexpensively and, it is very clean, and they pipe in Contemporary Christian music from the Sirius/XM© station “The Message.” By the way, our dear daughter (DD) noted immediately that TobyMac was playing as we entered. We also want to try many of their other menu offngs.
I will share two separate experiences with you. The first is by our friends Tammy and Garin Dickerson who enjoyed the offerings by Cook-Out on Sunday, May 20th.
This is a very busy location for a brand new business! They were smart to locate near the Chick-Fil-A and Wal-Mart . When we arrived, we had to circle the lot to get to the drive-thru, which was 12 cars deep so we chose to go in to order. The menu is set high and above the cashiers and is a very large menu for a fast food chain and, the prices are EXCELLENT! Hot dogs are 99 cents; a BLT(on a burger bun) is also 99 cents; 12 hush puppies (YUM!) are also 99 cents! There are literally 40 different shakes that you can get PLUS a Coke Float and a CHEERWINE Float! They even have Cheerwine on TAP!!! Our meal was simple–one BBQ platter for Tammy, one ‘double’ burger for Jacob, and I had a hot dog with cheese and bacon, a BLT and hush puppies. We also had one Strawberry shake and one Peanut Butter shake. ALL of this was $21! Excellent meal, FAST service and the shakes were great! My only issue is that the straws are not strong enough for the shakes which are THICK! Good overall trip!” Garin is our resident burger and hot dog connoisseur.
As to our own experience, on Monday, May 21st, we visited Cook-Out for the first time. We had been warned to arrive early and, we did, by 11:00 a.m. Two friendly greeters opened the doors for us as they welcomed us to the restaurant. The folks of Cook-Out did an excellent job remodeling the old Fazoli’s inside and out. There is no resemblance to the prior restaurant other than its size. The large rotating sign outside cannot be missed. The interior walls are covered with cabin-style logs and flat, stackable slate bricks giving you the feel of being in a cabin in a national park, which makes sense because Cook-Out’s registered tagline is “Cooked Outdoor Style”®. The menu is vast and was a bit difficult to navigate for this first-time visitor. There were four of us dining. I ordered a large “Out West Style” burger which is a 1/3 lb. patty with BBQ sauce, bacon, mayo, pickles, and onions with a medium diet Coke. Our DD wanted the onion rings, a chicken quesadilla and a medium Coke. My in-laws ordered the onion rings, a large Coke to share and two double burgers with the traditional fixings of tomato, mayo, mustard, pickles and onions. All of this was $24! No kidding! Our seats were barely warmed by the time they called out our number to collect our order. Everything was scrumptious. The burgers were tender and juicy and, we figured that they were also house-made. My father-in-law wanted to try the fries. So, my mother-in-law ordered the Cook-Out fries, which unbeknownst to her, were served with cheese and chili. These were also delicious.
We noticed that as soon as a table emptied it was immediately cleared and cleaned by one of three staffers who never stood around waiting. They were clearing and cleaning constantly. I waved one of them over to inquire about a few things. She told me that Cook-Out opened on Friday evening, May 18th and was operational from 10:00 a.m. until 3 a.m. seven days a week. I verified these facts while writing this article with a call to Cook-Out. To me, this is amazing! When I began to ask about the food, she politely told me to wait a moment and she’d get someone from the back. She returned with Matt Freeman, who’s been with Cook-Out for several years. He explained that the burgers were not house-made; however, they are produced by a machine that “looks like it’s from the 1950’s” in Greensboro, NC. The owners are Morris Reaves and his son Jeremy, the first Cook-Out was opened in 1989. The Florence location is their 100th opening. When we told him how impressed we were with the conversion, he humbly thanked us and advised that there were still some building issues they were working on. He then politely excused himself because he had to return behind the line.
As we were leaving, the line to order was to the entrance and we observed orange road cones across the driveway to the restaurant. It appeared that drive-thru customers were blocking the dine-in customers vehicles. There is a separate drive-thru entrance. One staffer directed me out of my parking space.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Other than the straws not being strong enough as Garin indicated, the only thing that could be improved are the onion rings. They weren’t as crispy or as golden brown as you’d expect. I recall that the guy who took our order hollered to someone that onion rings were just ordered. Perhaps he or she didn’t leave them in the cooker long enough or maybe the oil wasn’t hot enough. Either way, crispy, golden brown onion rings are a wonderful side with Cook-Out’s hamburgers.