by David Cecelski
My son and sometimes my daughter and I have taken to shooting sporting clays down by the Deep River, in Lee County. By the time we put up our shotguns, we’re usually pretty hungry. It’s a lovely rural area and we like to explore the abandoned brickyards, the remnants of the old lumber mill villages, and the river’s old locks. But there aren’t a lot of places to eat.
Fortunately, the guys at the shooting club shared a little secret with us: Jeff and Lisa’s Brick House Grill. We never would have found the place without their help. It’s on a quiet, rural road between Moncure and Sanford. A church and a brickyard are nearby, but not much else. And it really is in an old brick house.
The place has only 6 or 7 tables. It’s very cozy and the food is great. Jeff Kopp, the cook, and his partner, Lisa Crawford, serve hearty country-style breakfasts, spectacular hamburgers, and an ever-changing list of daily specials—everything from old-fashioned dishes like chicken and dumplings and beef stew, to chicken Kiev and homemade sweet potato ravioli.
Even the grill’s most down-home dishes, like the corn fritters (our favorite side), have a little extra flair to them. Jeff came up with the recipe for his corn fritters when he was looking for a good way to use leftover grits, but he jazzed them up with onion and jalapeños. He has a knack for making every meal special in a way that, I have to confess, I might not usually associate with a restaurant located next to a brickyard in rural Lee County.
But that’s part of what’s so endearing about Jeff and Lisa’s Brick House Grill. When we’re there, we feel lucky to have such a friendly neighborhood place to eat. We feel lucky that the food is so good. And we feel lucky to have found such a little gem in the quiet, lovely countryside along the Deep River.
Jeff and Lisa’s Brick House Grill is located at 1401 Colon Road, Sanford. To get their hours and daily specials, you can call them at (919) 777-0427 or check them out on Facebook—http://www.facebook.com/jeff.lisa.brickhousegrill.