I go to The Rockford about once a week. A quick walk from work in Glenwood South, it’s quite convenient. Though not obvious. It’s got the tricky 320 1/2 street address. Choose the door between the salon and the boutique and head upstairs. The loft space is small, and usually packed. Picture hard wood floors, windows out onto Glenwood Avenue, funky art on the walls, cute Castro-looking hipster host and a massive bar running the length of the far wall. I love this place. LG. Come to Raleigh. We. will. go.
I get caught up ordering the same thing nearly everytime…the Asian Tilapia Roll is just that delicious and I can’t help myself. I’ve tried the veggie burrito (boring, better just to get that at Armadillo Grill across the street), the veggie and turkey burgers (both deserve high marks, especially for the variety of toppings the chef rotates), the Cubana and the Cannelini Bean sandwich. And yet I keep coming back to the tilapia roll. Here are the major players: grilled spinach tortilla; sautéed, flaky tilapia; purple cabbage slaw with coconut milk dressing and spicy Thai chili sauce. The warm and cold, spicy and sweet, crunchy and tender all amount to a bangin’ lunch. Another great thing about The Rockford: a variety of sides rotate seasonally. In the past I’ve have the succotash, Thai green beens, pasta salad, and the tomato basil soup (soup for an additional charge). The tomato basil soup was perked up with a roasted, somewhat smoky flavor and a touch of heat. And it wasn’t over-blended, so it maintained just a little bit of texture. New to the side list now: garlic mashed potatoes. It’s going to be a good winter season at The Rockford. With the warmness of the soup and mashed potatoes, I won’t mind the cold lunch-hour walk.