G's Jook Joint in York serves southern soul food
G's Jook Joint
Location: 111 E. Princess St., downtown York
Jess' pick: Shrimp curry with two sides, $9; egg rolls, $2; half tea and half lemonade, $2
Hours: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays
Price range: $2, egg rolls or stack of pancakes; $9, seafood omelet or your choice of meat with two sides
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: No
Details: Call 717-846-5665, visit gsjookjoint.com or find G's Jook Joint on Facebook
Have an idea for an On The Menu column? Contact Jess Krout at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Twitter @JessKrout.
Southern cooking in downtown York might seem out of place -- you won't find chicken pot pie on G's Jook Joint's menu.
What you will find bursts with flavor — jambalaya, curry baby back ribs, salmon hash — and co-owner April Collier's favorite, smothered chicken.
Collier, a York City native and Navy veteran, learned how to make a po'boy when she was stationed in New Orleans as an aircraft mechanic.
Now the po'boys, in addition to her shrimp and grits, are some of G's customers' favorites, Collier said.
I met friends for dinner at G's on a weeknight. Though the street is dimly lit, the restaurant's lights shine bright, welcoming and exuding warmth.
Inside, the decor is funky with handpainted records on the wall, yet country with wooden tables, benches and chairs.
Orders are placed at the counter. If you're eating in, food is brought to your table; if eating out, your name is called for pick-up.
The menu includes sandwiches like a Monte Cristo, and "Jook Boxes" — po'boys or chicken all served with french fries. Patrons can choose a meat and two sides for $9 or a hearty list of breakfast entrees served all day — choose from the likes of a seafood omelet or the Blue Bayou, which features fried plantains.
I tried the curry shrimp, which came with my choice of two sides (collard greens and mac and cheese) for $9.
What's not listed on the menu but comes with the meat-and-two-sides meal – cornbread — a square, sweet hunk of it. I know I can fall for carbs pretty easily, but this cornbread was a soul food delight.
The curry shrimp sat nestled on a bed of rice, with a little heat, not too overwhelming (hot sauce is on every table if your palate desires a stronger punch). The collard greens — flavored with ham — balanced the baked, rich mac and cheese.
I also ordered egg rolls ($2), but not the Asian pork and cabbage variety. These were triangular, stuffed with a buffalo chicken mix. The crispy appetizer was a win at the table.
The homemade half sweet tea, half lemonade arrived to my delight in a Mason jar, adding to the down-home feel of the restaurant's atmosphere.
Collier named G's after her late grandfather, who had once owned Groundhogs in York, a venue for eating, drinking and dancing.
The restaurant might be grounded in Collier's roots, but she hopes it's a place for all families to socialize. G's Facebook wall is full of photos of families gathering there.
Collier's other "family" is the community — a portion of the restaurant's proceeds benefit Stick N Move, a tutoring and mentoring, fitness and education program she's involved with that's also located downtown.
You'll also find a table topped with pamphlets and brochures advertising area events and programs in the middle of the restaurant.
As the weather gets colder, a place like G's Jook Joint not only supports family and community togetherness, but also provides a warm, comforting dish — some genuine soul food.