On the way to our old hometown (where I had made a list of all the places I wanted to eat since we just can't get that kind of food on the West Coast) we encountered this most appropriate and predictive guy seeing as how we were planning on pigging out with determination and clear consciences:
Rolling along, enjoying the scenery of mimosa trees, pines, and kudzu (thanks, Japan!), we were entertained by various road-side signs and monuments:
Gosh, Toto.... I think we're in .....
Yep. This must be Alabama!
Oh well.... We're coming for the food and to see former co-workers. Then we're leaving before the bugs and heat and humidity (not to mention the politics) have a chance to kill us. And it appears that we are almost there:
Oh my! Mouth starting to water already. Food is so good they named a road after the restaurant!
Well, ok. That's a slight exaggeration. But only slight.
Where are the hushpuppies?
Here they are!
Here's a closer look, cuz I just know you all would love to have some!
Where did they go?
You know where they went, don'tcha?
Wait a minute.....
Wait a minute.....
Lunch has arrived!
You will notice that the hushpuppies have been replenished. This is SO yummy! Here, have a bite!
You will also notice that the catfish have been properly coated with cornmeal prior to frying - as they should be - and not in ... GASP... fried chicken batter (as we experienced in one Florida town).... Shudder!
The ubiquitous check:
Amazing. My meal is the first on the check. $9.95 and all the hushpuppies you could eat. Hard not to contrast this with dinner checks on the West Coast where they charge (mightily) for every little thing. Of course, this kind of food is simply not available there - to my knowledge and, at least not in my little town - at any price. So I enjoyed it while I could. It was fantastic!
Then, back in the RV to head into town.
We pass the buildings of my former employer:
And finally arrive:
Settled into our RV "spot", we rented a car and drove around a little bit - noticing that, like some impertinent upstart, the town had grown all over the place during our absence. The nerve of the place.
During our drive, we stopped at the second place that was on my list of gastronomical delights - only to find that -- OMG, THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING! - it was Gone! Really gone. Not just moved. But GONE.
This was a complete disaster. The place in question was called "The Donut Hole" and it made the best donuts on the face of the earth. Nay! In the entire universe! And now it was gone. Just gone. I was crushed. We returned to the RV and I fell on my pillow in a fit of pique and sadness.
The next day we drove out to visit my former coworkers and my former boss. He was still there - and lots (but not all) of my former coworkers were still there, as well. This was loads of fun seeing them again. And I got so excited at the whole prospect that I forgot to take my camera - silly girl.
Then, off to the next restaurant of choice:
Here, we met up with some of AngelSpouse's former co-workers. While they reminisced, I munched happily on Wiener schnitzel.
Later, that evening, yet another restaurant was on the favorites list and just had to be visited:
Now THIS is a Japanese restaurant! The food is fantastic! And what fun when we walked in the door and the woman who owns and runs the restaurant lit up like the 4th of July when she saw and immediately recognized us. I got a big hug, too.
AngelSpouse ordered the Udon which is so delicious you can't believe it. Made with an extremely tasty fish sauce and with spinach and both green and regular onions floating on top.... oh my gosh! YUM! (I reached across and grabbed some for myself. You can do that when you are on good terms with your dining partner. Heh.)
I ordered a combo dinner of Yakitori and Gyoza. The gyoza came out, as expected, fried crispy on the outside and wonderfully porky-gooey-great on the inside. The yakitori was, as always, excellent!
We were stuffed. But not defeated. Next stop was back to the Ol' Heidelberg for dessert. This stop was necessary because our favorite wonderful waitress was not on duty when we had been there for lunch. We walked in and she was little bit busy. She was behind the counter. I cleared my throat. Ahem! Ahem! She turned! More hugs and kisses later we were being treated to coffee and key lime pie - which she refused to let us pay for. "It's on me!" says she. How could we argue?
What a great day.
Then, today, we met some of my former co-workers for lunch at the Olive Garden (their restaurant choice). Much talk of old times and what's been happening....
On the road again and heading for home.
That's my story....