Andrew’s Kountry Kitchen (2108 Angier Ave.) is a homey east Durham institution that’s been serving hot meals for more than 50 years.
According to a great article from the Durham News, the Andrews family owned and operated a grocery store on Angiers back in the in the 1930s and 40s. This area of Durham (now a “grated community”) was once a bustling center for working class folks.
One of the Andrews opened the restaurant in the 50s, and in the 70s, his cousin Gary bought it and continued to run the place, from cooking to waiting tables, until he passed away this year. They just reopened a couple of weeks ago, and there were many indications that he was well-loved, from the sign in front of the restaurant and the memorial picture inside to the way the ladies who worked there spoke about him.
Of course I went for the food and was very happy with what I got. As is the case for many soul food places, they had one entree per day (from a rotating menu of fried fish, oxtail, etc.) and when I went it was chicken and dumplings. Although it wasn’t quite what I expected — the “dumplings” are basically chopped up thick noodles — it hit the spot. The chicken was just peppery enough, and the vinegary cabbage and smoky pinto beans were great too.
I had to try the lemon cake, and I’m so glad I did. The halo of delicious that you can see from the photo says it all. They also have an extensive breakfast menu (more red hots and liver pudding!) and the standard grill items for lunch. My lunch, plus a sweet tea, came to about $7.
All in all, Andrew’s is a both a great soul food restaurant and a Durham time capsule. Like the lady running the kitchen said, it’s food just like my grandmama makes it.
Andrew’s Kountry Kitchen (map)
Open 6 am – 7 pm