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Road Trip Food Review: The Cockeyed Rooster in Smithfield Offers Great Homemade Fare


If I could eat breakfast all day, I’d be one happy gal: pancakes and bacon to start the day; steak and eggs for lunch; chicken and waffles with a glass of wine for dinner.

This was what I daydreamed while eating breakfast at The Cockeyed Rooster Café in Smithfield.

My table was filled with many of my favorites – waffles topped with fruit, piping hot coffee, home fries and cheesy eggs. I had entered my version of heaven.

I visited the café around noon on a Friday. It was busy, many of the tables taken, and filled with a diverse mix of patrons.

My server was obviously a pro.

She moved around the restaurant like she had a plan. Visiting each of her tables with ease while speaking to all of her customers like the aunt you trust and love, she even sang happy birthday to a family being waited on by another employee.

The service was quick and friendly. And the food was impressive.

Although the Cockeyed Rooster serves brunch and lunch as well, I chose breakfast – the Belgian waffle topped with fresh strawberries, bananas, blueberries and whipped cream, scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, and the Monte Cristo breakfast sandwich with home fried potatoes and bacon – a dish suggested by my server.

Everything was good, fresh and homemade, but as the server promised, the breakfast sandwich, a customer favorite, was hard to put down.

Imagine warm grilled ham and Swiss cheese that oozed out with each bite, between two thick slices of French toast. Yes, French toast. It was the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I even dipped it in syrup.

The side of home fried potatoes added to the near-perfect sandwich. Some of the potatoes were crisp on the edges like I love. And all the serving sizes were generous.

The decor is just a little off-kilter at the Cockeyed Rooster Cafe in Smithfield. But the food is right on target. - SHANNON GODFREY-JOHNSON
  • Shannon Godfrey-Johnson
  • The decor is just a little off-kilter at the Cockeyed Rooster Cafe in Smithfield. But the food is right on target.

Halfway through my meal, I noticed little things about the décor that gave a nod to the name of the restaurant.

When you visit this café, you’re not seeing things. The chalkboard and pictures on the walls are all perfectly crooked, as if the person putting them up didn’t care to straighten them before walking away.

I turned my head to the side, “Hmmm. I should tell someone.” Then I smiled. “Cockeyed, yes. Got it.” Nice touch.

No matter how good the food, if a restaurant has bad service, most people won’t go back. No worries with this café. You’ll be treated like family, served enough food to keep you full for hours and taken care of until you walk out the door.

It’ll be hard to turn down their breakfast but on my next visit, I may just have to try one of their homemade burgers and coleslaw. I have a good feeling I’d be happy with any cockeyed dish they serve up.

The Cockeyed Rooster
1268 Benn’s Church Blvd., Smithfield, Va.
Monday-Saturday: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(757) 357-7667

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