Bullock's (see their website and a map) is a family-owned and operated, family-friendly, smoke-free eatery in Durham, North Carolina. And it is mighty good. The vast menu offers Southern and “All American” cuisine — Bar-B-Que, hamburgers, fried chicken, country ham, macaroni & cheese, deviled eggs (look under vegetables-of-the-day!), turnip greens, Homemade Banana Pudding — you name it, they probably have it. We ate a late lunch there recently.
Our competent waitress Linda was sweet and patient as we studied the mega-menu. She was even nice about the fact that our meal delayed her getting off work for a break before she began her supper shift. (Finally she turned us over to another pleasant waitress, while we ate dessert….)
I am a person who does not have a sweet tooth. (Some say French people don't, and I do have Huguenot ancestors.) At any rate, in my opinion, in some of the dishes at Bullock's the cook(s) use a heavy hand with sugar. For example, the meringue on the banana pudding was excessively sweet. There was noticeable sugar in the hush puppies, obvious sugar in the coleslaw — you get the idea. A pinch of sugar is O.K., but, especially in non-dessert dishes, the sugar should not shout at you.
Hush puppies are brought as an appetizer.
Now, having fussed about the sugar, I will go back to my original statement that Bullock's is good. — After you are seated, the basket of hot hush puppies is brought to your table. (The only other restaurant I've seen that offers hush puppies as a complimentary “ appetizer” is Ella's, of Calabash, North Carolina. — It's a nice touch.) These morsels tide you over 'til the other food comes. — Probably most people don't mind 'em being sweet….
A Fresh Flounder Filet sandwich and coleslaw.
I ordered fried Fresh Flounder Filet sandwich ($4.50). The fish was delicious. I also had the coleslaw.
Bar-B-Que on a bun with coleslaw and Brunswick Stew.
Henry had Bar-B-Que on a bun with coleslaw ($2.60) and a side order of Brunswick Stew ($1.70). The sliced pork Bar-B-Que was better than satisfactory — not greasy or gristly. Very good. The Brunswick Stew was passable.
Fried Chicken Sandwich with Brunswick Stew.
Sarah had the Fried Chicken Sandwich ($2.75). The fried chicken breast was great. The batter was delicate and delicious, unlike some batter which is thick, hard, and almost indigestible. Bullock's chicken was some of the best we've had. (Sarah cut off little samples for Henry and me.) She also got a cup of the Brunswick Stew.
Homemade Banana Pudding.
Sarah and Henry both wanted to try the Homemade Bread Pudding. Linda brought out a generous serving with two forks. It looked so good, I tried some, too. The banana / vanilla wafer part was typical yummy banana pudding, though, as previously mentioned, the meringue was abnormally sweet.
Memorabilia from Bullock's famous customers surrounds a window to the kitchen.
We hope to go back to Bullock's, for several reasons. There are many other menu possibilities I'd like to try, and next time we will probably know better what to order. The staff attitude and ambience seem very positive. The prices are reasonable.
Some of the Bullock family are usually on the premises, working in the kitchen or at the busy cash register. When the owners take a personal hands-on interest in a restaurant, you can bet on a more successful business. The Bullock family has been feeding satisfied customers for six decades. Obviously they are doing many things right.
Copyright © 2006 Patricia B. Mitchell.