It was a dark and stormy night. Really. It was. And we had to park a block and a half away. In the rain. With a stroller, and my 90+ year old aunt and 80+ year old grandmother. Let’s just say, the parking is not ideal and I was moderately unhappy about the situation. Unhappy and wet.

We wound up dropping the old gals off in the middle of the street in front of the restaurant and parking the car. That way we only had to tote our two little humans through the rain and not, also, the elderly. My feet were soggy and my stomach was empty, this is not a good combination for someone prone to hanger. I think my husband was afraid.

However, the room we entered was toasty warm and our table was all set for us in the corner. There were five adults and two high chairs in our crowd that night and we were tucked in the corner booth by the entrance to the kitchen. I like to be tucked away when I have my kids with me, especially when I’m in a quaint, quiet restaurant like Chapman’s Food and Spirits in Southern Pines, NC. There was plenty of room for both high chairs to sit alongside the table without them being in the way of the wait staff or other patrons. **If you’ve ever tried to cram two high chairs around a table in a busy restaurant you can understand this is an important detail not to be overlooked. Soooo many times the high chair either blocks you into a booth so you can’t escape or limits those around you from moving their chairs back at all.

I digress.

They had decorated the place for Christmas with artwork on the wall suitable for the season, I can only assume they rotate it out for the holiday otherwise- they have the Grinch up all year. I’m okay with that too.

Our waitress was pleasant and efficient without being annoying or overbearing. She complimented my kids and laughed at Mr. Hangry’s dumb dad jokes. That counts as success in my book.

We ordered a hot crab dip as an appetizer, which was a special for the evening. It was still warm when it got to the table, and although it did not come with nearly enough pita chips for five adults they were quickly replenished by our attentive waitress and happily gnawed on by my teething one-year old, Coconut.

JellyBean, our two year old, (FYI, These are pseudo names, we did not actually name our children JellyBean and Coconut, but no judgement if you did) tried crab for the first time and did not go into a shellfish induced anaphylactic shock.

I ordered a giant, bacon and cheese covered burger and was not disappointed in its size or its deliciousness. The bacon was crispy, the lettuce and tomatoes were both crisp and fresh (nothing is worse than a soggy tomato on a great burger) the burger was cooked to order (correctly) and it had just the right amount of char on it. These burgers require two hands and more than two napkins to eat successfully. The next time I’m craving a burger this will 100% be the one I want.

My husband had a blackened Ahi tuna entrée which was beautifully plated and came out perfectly rare. He said the flavors we great and there were no left overs. This boy lives for seafood and we’ve been living landlocked in Colorado so he’s been excited to be on the coast and close to fresh fish. This dish did not disappoint him.

Rare, seared, blackened Ahi

My mother enjoyed a salmon dish and although I don’t remember its taste, the kids liked it when she shared with them and she murmured her approval. My aunt and grandmother enjoyed a fish-n-chips plate that was yummy, but perhaps not as photo worthy.

One of the more notable aspects of our meal was the sheer size of the kid’s meal portions. We received a gigantic plate of kid’s mac and cheese which my toddlers were able to share, and also bring a large container of home for lunch the next day. We’re not talking about your run of the mill Kraft mac either, this was cheesy and delicious and suitable for happy, adult consumption. If, of course, you were to steal some of your child’s meal, which I would never do.

Salmon with veggie of the day and steak fries.

I’d say, if you’re in the area this is one place you definitely do not want to miss. This will, for sure, be where we bring our out of town guests for a meal when we have visitors.

Our quick check for Chapman’s Food and Spirits, Southern Pines, NC

  • Kid Friendly?  Yes, and welcoming to us as a large party
  • Quality Kids Meals? Great kids menu.
  • Interesting Menu? Varied with large portions
  • Daily Specials? Yes.
  • Beer Selection? Good craft beer selection
  • Waitstaff? Attentive and quick, but they did tend to talk about their personal matters within earshot of our table.

Do we recommend Chapman’s Food and Spirits?

Yes. Highly. And we will be back.

 

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