Tuesday, February 05, 2008

You Might Just Find a Way to Miss It

(Meridian, MS) Being a certified road warrior, I eat in more restaurants than you can shake a stick at. If chain restaurants such as Longhorn’s, Outback, Red Lobster and all the others gave frequent eater miles, I would have definitely earned a few trips by now.

Since I already know how the food will taste in the chain restaurants, I tend to spend most of my time meeting the person who happens to be waiting on my table. If you are a reader of this blog, I’m sure you have read about some of them. I ate at a Red Lobster here last night and was reminded when I walked in the door about a blog I wrote last year about a waitress I met there. I assume Amanda has moved on to greener pastures by now.

But I have learned if I really want to find the best eating places I need to ask the locals. At lunch we ate at a little hole in the wall diner called News. I was reminded of my youth eating Sunday dinner at ML and Daisy’s restaurant in Reynolds, GA. Today it was the best country fried steak, fresh vegetables, great sweet tea and homemade coconut pie. As wonderful as the food was, the conversation I overheard from three retired men at the next table was probably just as good. They were discussing such things as the speed of a fastball of a pitcher they knew when they were youngsters playing baseball. It’s just something special about the simple living in the Deep South. When we were paying the bill, I couldn’t help but notice the photos framed on the wall of Patrick Swayze. Of course I asked and the owner told me he stopped in a few years ago for lunch. I couldn’t help but smile. And I gained a little respect for Patrick.

Tonight we hit gold at a fine dining establishment called Rustlers. It sits right next to a mobile home park and we literally parked with 10 feet of rather dilapidated single wide mobile home. Since the door of the mobile home was open and we could not help but see in the windows and open door, we got a rather first hand view of this family’s Tuesday evening as we got out of our car. Not knowing what to expect when I walked in the restaurant, I was shocked at the dim lights, soft music, real table cloths and tuxedo clad waiters. The service was as good as I have ever seen and the steak was as good as I have ever had anywhere. And I have eaten more than a few.

The lesson here is if you want to find the best life has to offer, sometimes you have to get off the main road and take a chance. And if you really want to know the answer to your question, it’s a good thing to ask the people who really know.

This is an amazing country. But if you stay on the road everybody else is traveling, you might just find a way to miss it.


Anonymous said...

I guess you are feeling better today. From all the red meat you ate today, you might want to lay-off eating tomorrow.

Judy S said...

Glad to hear that you are feeling better. I saw Kathy at CVS yesterday and she said that she now has your cold. I also hear that there was some really bad weather in that part of the country last night. Hope all is well with you.