By Taylor Hill, 2013
Curb appeal is generally a word used to describe the extent of aesthetic charm that a place of business has. Typically, restaurants with curb appeal are inviting, with alluring characteristics that are obvious and hard to miss. With that being said, I wasn’t exactly expecting a five star bistro as we were heading towards the outskirts of Taylorsville, maneuvering between rolling hills and extensive plains, but I wasn’t ready for the unadorned and uninviting building that we were to come across. I guess the surrounding land was an innate distraction for visitors coming to Crossroads, allowing them to avert their eyes from the dull charm of the grill.
Crossroads is a very small, one story white brick building with tiny rectangular windows sporadically lining the very top of the walls. Inside, there are four rows of small tables for guests to dine at, along with a small television mounted on the wall for viewing pleasure. The floors were not as clean as I would have liked, and the tables were a bit small for our party of four, but we were starving travelers and did not mind. As we were seated, a small older woman came to take our drink orders and provided us with a menu. Crossroads was indeed your typical grill, serving all the southern favorites such as hushpuppies, pulled pork, biscuits and gravy, and sweet tea among other things. Trying not to let my hunger get the best of me, I settled for the bacon cheeseburger with a side of fries and a sweat tea. My travel partners each decided to get a different side so that we could all partake in the options Crossroads had to offer.
Waiting for the food, we couldn’t help but notice the trophies and certificates of local students that were plastered along the walls, as well as pictures highlighting the history of Crossroads. This made me enjoy the neighborly environment within the grill, understanding that it was a residential spot that had good food reviews, and I would see why soon enough.
The wait for our food was average, not particularly speedy, but also not infuriatingly slow. I was aware that small grills such as this do not have a bevy of cooks at their disposal and the actual food made me disregard any wait. My burger came out and was as juicy and succulent as I could have hoped, with fresh lettuce and tomato dressing the bacon and cheesy beef. The beef itself was cooked perfectly, not excessively charred and scorched, but enough heat was used for the perfect amount of time to allow it to retain its tender and luscious quality. Their acclaimed onion rings, which my partner Anna ordered, were crisp and freshly hot, but the hushpuppies and fries were depressingly regular, the fries being slightly thinner that I usually take a liking to. However, my burger was the show stopper, showing up all of the other dishes on our table. In addition to that scrumptious behemoth, the best thing about the experience, which would undoubtedly cause me to return if I am ever in the area, was the very cheap pricing, my meal only costing about six dollars.
As we left, stomachs full and protruding, I turned to take a photo of the grill for my records, still hating its outside appearance, but loving the feel of my content appetite. I would urge future visitors to not be disillusioned by its lackluster outer and inner appeal, and be aware that it is a small old-fashioned grill, but will steal you away with its hearty, flavorsome burgers and delicious, golden onion rings.
*For another perspective of Crossroads, check out Jeff Flitter’s travelogue “Three Cities, Three Meals”.