Friday, January 16, 2015

The Coop in Winter Park, FL

The Coop is a restaurant in Winter Park specializing in Southern foods, specifically fried chicken as the name implies. The Coop is owned by the same people behind the very successful 4 Rivers Smokehouse.
I've been to The Coop a couple times now. On my first visit, I ordered the Generous Two Piece Fried Chicken Plate. This came with the chicken, three fixins (side items), and cornbread. The two pieces of chicken had a tasty breading which had a very nice peppery flavor. I've read some criticism of the The Coop's chicken saying it's bland, but it tasted good to me. My issue didn't have to do with the taste of the chicken. It was more the consistency. One of the pieces of chicken was so soggy that the breading was falling off the meat. The other piece was perfectly fine, but soggy fried chicken is not a good thing at a restaurant that claims to specialize in chicken. I liked the Fixins over the chicken. I tried the mac & cheese, southern collards, and stewed okra & tomato. The okra was the best of the three. It was really flavorful and all of the okra's potential sliminess disappeared into the stew.
I tried The Coop's Chicken Pot Pie on my second visit. I was unimpressed. The pie crust was good, but the pie fillings could have used a bit of improvement. There was plenty of chicken, but also lots and lots of corn. There was more corn in the pie than anything else. I found a few green beans as well, but they were hidden by all the corn in the pie. It tasted alright, but wasn't anything to write home about. I also had the macaroni and stewed okra for my sides once again. The macaroni was consistent with the my first visit to The Coop. Unfortunately the okra was really bland compared to my first experience.
The food I tried so far at The Coop isn't going to have me rushing back soon, but I have a feeling I'll be back eventually. Except for the soggy chicken, although not exceptional, most everything was tasty enough. They seem like they have consistency issues with the good/soggy fried chicken and flavorful/bland okra on different visits, so let's hope they work those out. There are several things left on The Coop's menu that I'm interested in trying (shrimp and grits, chicken and dumplings) so I think I'll be returning to The Coop to give these a try...

The Coop on Urbanspoon

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