Monday, January 23, 2012
Saturday we decided to eat Bar-b-que lunch at a local establishment that I had not been to in several years. The memory I had of my last meal there was mediocre at best. (And life is too short to eat mediocre Bar-b-que, when some of the best is available locally. But, I digress.)
The owners of this restaurant belong to the Dukes family (like all the other localBar-b-que purveyors in town. However, unlike the other three, they chose to vary from the familar path and not call their eating establishment "Dukes". And, there was also the issue of the family feud that resulted in their jumping ship and taking the family secret sauce recipe with them.
Now, as I've said before, the Pepsi Cola plant is known for having excellent fried chicken, the fire station has the best meat, and the highway department was the place where it all started. So, Saturday, I was giving the "new" spot a second look see.
We walked in and right off the bat, I knew it wasn't right. How could we eat good Bar-b-que in a place with ceiling fans, nice wooden tables, padded chairs, and soft lighting? Everyone knows you eat good Bar-b-que on folding chairs at cafeteria tables with extremely bright fluorescent lighting. Any fancy decor is suspect, especially if it matches, faded wallpaper and collections of miniature pig statuary being the exception.
We got our styrofoam plates (that was promising) and started through the line. The buffet contained the regular suspects: rice, meat, hash, macaroni and cheese, green beans, bar-b-qued chicken, fried chicken, cole slaw, hush puppies, and your choice of bread and butter or dill pickles.
The meat was chopped so fine that (as my DH said) it looked like someone had gotten angry with it when they chopped it up and just couldn't stop. I commented that the meat actually tasted watery to me. My DH replied, "I think they steam it." I didn't even want to go there. As,we looked around at our fellow diners, my DH said in a hushed tone, "Where do these folks come from? I've never seen them before? They look like the ones you see at Wal-Mart on Saturday night. You know the ones." "Yeah," I replied, "the kind that propagates our state's reputation that we marry our kin folk." "Well, that too."
After we left, it dawned on me that folks who go there for Bar-b-que, think the other Bar-b-que establishments are beneath them. They want to eat in fancy places. Well, in this case, lipstick on the pig just covered up poor taste (and pitful Bar-b-que). And, it's a shame. Why, just down the street, at the fire station you can get some of the best meat around, of course you're gonna eat at vinyl cloth topped tables on a concrete floor. But hey, I don't go for the ambiance, I go for the food.