Harper’s Restaurant: more than just Food, it’s Family…
By Jessica Thompson
With the initial greeting from the lovely smiling host/hostess upon entering Harper’s Restaurant, the low lighting, paired with the warm dark polished wood, and the fantastic smells that are coming from the kitchen; you will instantly fall in love with the charm of this establishment. Opened in Friendly Shopping Center in Greensboro in 1993, it has become a favorite amongst many people who have become regulars over the years, and it is easy to understand why.
The General Manager, Mark Sienko, takes a magnitude of pride in his position, his Head Chef John Smith is meticulous in the quality locally sourced produce, meats, and the process in which the food is prepared daily. The menu boasts a myriad of delicious dishes, such as, a melt in your mouth, Hickory Grilled Filet Mignon, woodfire grilled to perfection, topped with the in-house made crusted pimento cheese and a bake
d potato. Not a steak fan? There is a delectable Slow Roasted Danish pork ribs, also grilled that provides a very delightful smoky taste, the meat so tender it falls off the bone, slathered in Harper’s BBQ sauce and a side of their famous shoestring fries. Looking for something a little lighter and healthier, they even have something for you. Try their new Ahi Tuna Mixed Green; wood-fired grilled tuna, crusted with sesame seeds, on a bed of fresh greens, topped with a spicy ginger wasabi aioli and soy ginger dressing, it was absolutely delicious and I can see this becoming a definite favorite for the warm weather months. This salad has all the ingredients of what is in a sushi roll in salad form.
If you’re looking to just pop in for something light while you await a movie or are taking a break from shopping, try the in-house hand cut shoestring fries that have a great crispiness, a light seasoning of truffle oil and parmesan cheese. These fries, which were a happy accident resulting from the restaurant running out of the fries typically used on a very busy Mother’s Day weekend some years ago. I am very happy that it did, because they are go-to for many patrons. The menu now boasts Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs that are to die for with spicy marinara, baked ricotta and pistachio pesto. I wouldn’t be doing the restaurant justice if I failed to mention the shredded brussels sprouts that come in a cast iron pan, cooked on the grilled, featuring a wonderful apple cider vinegar reduction, and bacon bits (one of my personal favorites). Pair this one of their many wines, craft beers, or mixed drinks. There are weekly drink specials as well! While having the opportunity to the delightful, mild mannered and very laid- back Mark, I was introduced to their new “Build your Own Skinny Margarita. A tall glass arrives, with the tequila garnished with a lime, accompanied by a small glass of freshly squeezed lime juice (made fresh daily by their very fun bartender Lee), and a cold medium sized bottle of Topo Chico Sparkling water. You can make it as mild or tart as you’d like; also, it’s fun to be able to craft your own margarita! Plus, it is easy on the waistline. Not a bad idea for a nice, warm day, sitting outside on the patio, enjoying one of their many mouth-watering dishes.
It is easy to see why a majority of the staff have been with this establishment for 5-30+ years. Between the atmosphere, food, staff, delicious drinks, and not to mention a trivia night every Thursday with a late night bar menu, it is not hard to understand why people have been coming here to celebrate birthdays, graduations, anniversary milestones, Mother’s/Father’s Day, graduations, or simply to have a great lunch or dinner.
If you have not had the experience of dining at Harper’s Restaurant, I strongly encourage you to do so at least once, because that is all it will take for this restaurant to become a place you will definitely come back to time and time again.
601 Friendly Center Rd, Greensboro
Open for Sunday brunch from 10:30-2:30