Meet the meat: Cook-Out backs up Charlottesville artery

"They can wait," barks the man directing traffic in the parking lot of Charlottesville's newest fastfoodery as he directs this reporter to pull up and thereby block a vehicle trying to exit. "I've got cars," he explains, "out on the road."

Indeed, in the days since North Carolina-based Cook-Out opened at the former site of Long John Silver's, it's been the rare mealtime when cars didn't block, or at least slow, the traffic on Emmet Street, Charlottesville's central vehicular artery.

Arteries carrying blood may find that they too could get blocked if the staples of Cook-Out– mostly various forms of grilled meats– remain too popular for too long. Still, the quiet launch on Monday, March 19 was a pretty snazzy debut for a site whose over 60 marked parking spaces and room for a snake-line of about a dozen or more cars in the drive-thru lane no longer suffice for the food cooked within.

"Everyone's happy for the Cook-Out," says City planner Read Brodhead, who approved the signage and the red roof. "Cheap burgers and milkshakes."

Indeed, when a reporter made his second visit shortly before 2pm that first Saturday, the act of scooping up four trays worth of burgers, including eight mostly meat-based side-items and a trio of Cheerwine floats, brought a tax-included bill of just $21.27.

While Charlottesville Police spokesperson Ronnie Roberts reports no complaints about the traffic, there's yet another queue inside the building. This one– of Bodo's proportions– snakes through the interior like the tapeworm that might be needed to pare down the calories from a visit.

"Finally, a place that sells old-fashioned hamburgers, hot dogs, onion rings, and thick chocolatey milkshakes," exclaims the Mom's Diner blog.

But planner Brodhead– even though he's heard happy raves from a City Hall colleague– says he'll stay put unless there's some sort of zoning violation.

"I'll probably never go to Cook-Out," says Brodhead, "because I'd rather get a greasy burger somewhere else."

Read more on: Cook-Out restaurant

19 comments

America's core business is Diabesity. Bring on the greasy burgers and corn syrup concoctions. Heck, you can get a similar meal about every 100 yards along both sides of Emmet St.

Did you really just use the term "tapeworm that might be needed to pare down the calories from a visit" while describing a restaurant? I love this. I almost thought about checking this place out but now all I'll be able to think is "tapeworm".

Mind boggling that Szakos et. al. are not on the rampage to eradicate such detrimental food from our "communi-ty." This is making the cardio team at UVa and MJH drool!

R.I.P.: Brian Keith (You didn't have to die, Uncle Bill!)

Been there one time. It's not all that great. The fries taste like and compare to Hardee's. The burgers taste like and compare to Five Guys, with just a tad more flavor, like burgers cooked on a home grill. And the onion rings taste like the usual frozen variety you can buy at any grocery store. It may be OK for a quick meal if in the neighborhood. But it's nothing to write home about. I was disappointed.

There are a lot of food offerings in Charlottesville that are not meant to be part of your daily diet. Why are you picking on Cook-Out? If you had used the same phrasing in a report on Riverside you'd be BOOed out of town. Lighten up. It's just a burger place. I don't think they're trying to be anything else.

Snakes, tapeworms, clogged arteries ---what a yummy review !

Well it's good to see SOMEBODY doing new biz and hiring folks. I would not make it my destination for a meal cuz I choose not to eat that stuff, however, seems pretty tacky for the reporter to "dis" a new biz like that in this economy or at any time. People ALREADY KNOW what kind of food is served there. All the spin was rude and unnecessary.

The sagacious tapeworm prefers pink slime!

Perhaps there is a market for tapeworm on a stick. Preferably free range tapeworm and not those mangy GMO ones. Yuck! The latter are so unappetizing as they appear to have been genetically modified as to be roundup ready for MSG.

Bon App├ętit!

Completely tacky 'reporting' once again. Who knew that all Hook articles are now clearly written with a writers' bias, even on articles as mundane as a restaurant review.

Amen to that!

There are a lot of overweight people in Central Virginia. Losing weight takes a lot of discipline and a lot of money to eat healthy. You don't see a lot of overweight folks at the local farmer's markets. You do see a lot of them at Spudnuts, Riverside, Five Guys etc. Price is often the deciding factor. Another factor is location. Sources for healthy food aren't located in places where folks can get to them on foot or by bus. So you eat what is convenient. Despite the wealth in this area, there are a lot of food deserts in Albemarle and the surrounding counties. If we want to fight obesity and put the heart docs out of work, we need to get healthy food to places where it is currently not available. We also need to teach folks how to cook healthy food and use spices that make for good taste and not use much fat or butter,

A few things to remember:

NO FARMS, NO FOOD.

GEOGRAPHY IS DESTINY

AROUND THIS TOWN, YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO RICH OR TOO THIN.

Fighting obesity takes planning, money and cooperation.

OK, I'm done, go eat a burger, fries, omion rings and wash it all down with a diet soda!

Ok. When is our first meeting?

Dude, people know this already. Ask ANYONE what's healthier, a Big Mac or a salad; a soda or water. They KNOW the correct answer. And you needn't be a genius to know these things. People choose what they want to choose, eat what they want to eat. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. And we need heart doctors. Many heart ailments are not caused by poor diet. BTW, I get your points. Just do the right thing. Maybe you'll be a blessing to someone by example:)
WE ALL NEED TO BECOME VERY FAMILIAR WITH GM FOODS. THIS WILL BE OUR UNDOING! FIGHT THEM IN WHATEVER WAYS YOU CAN. START BY NOT BUYING UNLESS ITS ORGANIC: corn, cottonseed oil, canola, soybeans, Hawaiian papaya, yellow or zucchini squash. These are the most prevalent GM products. Frankenstein foods they are! Watch with friends and family: Food Inc or The Food We Eat or The World According to Monsanto. All docs available via Netflix or YouTube. Ok I'm done:)

The funniest thing about this article is that Hawes links a blog that has no traffic and praises every single restaurant it reviews.

HS- You can write some really good articles at times, but then turn around and appear to be nothing more than a sanctimonious jerk!
I know it's only a burger joint, but if you have a bias towards these places, just don't write about them. It makes you look cheap and unprofessional.
Tapeworm!?....Really!?.... What!? Are you 15 years old!?
This is just bad journalism. You should aspire to write better than this.

Ohh, that's great! Somebody had to mention Spudnuts. Now I will be craving them until I get a dose one morning this week! Thanks for nothing, Lipsticked Pig!

By the way, diet beverages cause cancer.

@Donna Downing

Genetically Modified food is a very serious issue. No one knows what the long term effect of it will be on those who eat it, the ground it grows on and what it does in the water supply.

Corporate farming has no conscience. It is all about making money. Let somebody else worry about the problems it causes. When the USDA wakes up and realizes the downside and stops listening to the K Street crowd, the corporate lobby and the farmers who sell their land to corporate farmers, maybe things might change.

I saw FOOD, INC. at a private showing long before its limited run in mostly art houses. It is too bad that most people don't want to be educated, they want to be entertained. No one ever went broke overestimating the stupidity of most consumers.

BTW, I know diet drinks cause cancer. It was an attempt at humor. :-)

@.A Pig with Lipstick on is still a Pig
I saw the movie FOOD, LLC, FOOD, INC's inspiration at an ultra exclusive showing at my friend's teepee, long long before FOOD, INC was even concieved of. You people probably havent even heard of it :-)

I saw food inc too and I wanted to recreate that tonight. So I got 6 bacon wraps, hush puppies, and a milkshake. It was ok.