Growing up in Ohio, a trip to the mall was a visit to a favorite Chinese restaurant. In later years , it was the food court. As someone who has worked in malls for years, I am probably an expert of dining on everything from Aunt Anne’s to Wendy’s. I never made a special trip to the mall just to eat. It was always for shopping. and nothing else.
Last December, Woodfield Mall got a new place for dining. Kinfork provided shoppers a gourmet place to enjoy homestyle food rather than fast food. Recently the restaurant unveiled their barbecue menu and we were given the pleasure to try some of those yummy dishes. Everyone was gotten in the food mood with some of Kinfork’s world famous hush puppies. These deep fried puffs were paired with a kicky sauce just enough to get everyone psyched about the meal we were about to eat. Since it was all about the barbecue, we got the chance to try many of the specialties. One of the tastiest to me was the ribs that were brushed with a sweet whiskey bbq sauce. They were as tender as tender could be and the meat slipped right off the bone and broke apart with ease. The meatloaf had a homey feel to it especially when it was served with broccolini and mashed potatoes. The broccolini was crisp and not soggy. The brick chicken had that barbecued burnt skin with the moistest white meat . The chicken had been coated with more of the yummy whiskey bbq. Most of the sides could have ate as a meal all by themselves. The potato salad was moist and didn’t have that mustard taste that I don’t like. One thing I had to note is that under a pile of the succulent beef brisket was a piece of Texas toast. This took me back to when most of America was into homestyle dining when families would dine at Ponderosa. back in the day. This little piece of heaven made me smile. Jen’s fave was the giant loaded baked potato. It was not lacking in ingredients and was covered with shredded cheese that melted right into the meat of the potato.My favorite part of the meal was the cobb salad. I love a salad that is chock full of ingredients and we served a winner. Usually when one thinks of a cobb salad they just envision chunks of bleu cheese , veggies, and bacon. This wasn’t the case. The cobb was stuffed chunk full of bleu cheese crumbles with a Southwestern twist. The cobb was accompanied with black bean corn relish and pieces of avocado. that was drizzled with a basil vinagrette. Perfect for a warm summer day. Kinfork also prides itself on their bbq burgers. They are eight ounces of hand packed beef on a parker house roll with either homemade tater tots or hand shaped fries. You can also make these burgers any way you want with their toppings. End your meal with a dessert that gives that home style feel. We chose a summer favorite that brought back strawberry festivals and childhood. This seems to be a theme in all of Kinfork’s dishes. The strawberry shortcake was topped with luscious strawberry sauce on top of airy angel food cake mixed with a mascarpone and whipped creme.
Kinfork also has a full stocked bar , filled with wines and also great craft brews. They also make a great moonshine cocktail that emphasizes that homestyle feel that Chef Jeff Croswell has put into all of his food. Jeff may not have started out as a gourmet chef, but he obviously puts the passion into all of his dishes. Most of that passion he also puts into his personal life as a single dad to his son, Declan. “I wanted Kinfork to be a destination dining place. People would come to the mall just to eat.” he said. One thing for sure, Kinfork is definitely not your typical food court place.
If you wanted to be transported back to the kind of places that you might remember as a kid, Kinfork will take you there. It is located in the middle of the beautiful Woodfield Mall in Schaumberg .
It was great to tell Chef Jeff how much we liked his food. Coolest thing about him, we both started out as communications majors. Jeff originally wanted to be a sports broadcaster.
Packed with veggies and goodies, a Cobb salad with a Southwest taste
The Combo gives you a chance to try everything, and you won’t go away hungry and you will also probably bring some home for lunch