Elkin is a quaint little town near North Carolina’s wine country and near Stone Mountain State Park. My husband and I like to go there because it’s not that far from the Triangle region. Recently we took our nephew and his girlfriend there for a few days.
We decided to check out a little place for lunch in downtown Elkin near an old bridge that crosses the New River. The brick, nondescript one-story building is near the railroad tracks, on Front Street which is about a block off of Main Street.
Harry’s Place is nearly always crowded and for good reason. We were warmly greeted by a gentleman who asked how many were in our party, then waited in the hallway and chatted with some of the locals, all of whom said this was a great place to eat and we were in luck because Thursday is fried chicken day. The ladies we talked to said that you want to get here early for lunch because it is very popular and they close at 1:30 on the dot, so if you wait too long, you may not get in. We only waited about 10 minutes though and it was worth the wait!
The small dining room is certainly no frills, just a little bit of artwork on the walls. The tables and chairs are simple, nothing fancy. There is an open kitchen and the cooks seem to have fun interacting with the customers. One thing I found particularly charming was the jars full of cold sweet tea. What a great idea and very indicative of the Southern food we were about to eat.
I got real excited about the vegetables, so I got the four vegetable plate with some corn bread. You can order either a three vegetable plate or a four vegetable plate. Each day there is also a meat special. I forgot to write down what the other options were, but they all sounded good. They also serve cheeseburgers, hamburgers, North Carolina barbecue sandwiches and a few other sandwiches in addition to the great array of southern vegetables.
I had turnip greens which were chopped finely and cooked well. They were a deep bright green and had a nice taste to them. I had the squash casserole, which was the best of the four sides. The squash was cooked to perfection, had a really nice, creamy sauce and the bread crumbs on top gave a good little crunchiness to the dish. It had a lot of flavor. I could have eaten just the squash casserole and been happy. I also had green beans, which were home-made, but not overly memorable and the macaroni and cheese was certainly homemade and had a nice, cheese sauce on it. I also loved the corn bread. It was dense and very crumbly and was obviously cooked in a cast iron skillet, which gave it a crisp but sweet crust. The rest of the bread was not all that sweet though, which made it more appealing to us.
My husband’s fried chicken was the star of all of our meals. It was a nice piece of meat, and was tender and juicy. The skin had a nice dark tan color and was crispy, but not too oily. I want to come back on a Thursday just to have that chicken again.
If you like home-made Southern food, you will be very happy with the food at Harry’s Place. The price is right too. Most of the plates were under $10 for lunch (actually closer to $5-7). I hear the dinner is really good as well and features items such as steak and crab legs and many times they have live music. It’s a great place to eat before you go to the wineries or hike the mountains!
Harry’s Place is located at 135 1/2 Front Street in Elkin. They are open from 11:00 to 1:30pm Monday – Friday and from 5-9pm for dinner on Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays.