Entertaining stories abound

The fight at a local Waffle House this past week made international news.  As a matter of fact, I got the story from my beloved BBC, the British Broadcasting Company. I only wish the BBC could have visited the James Brown Family restaurant, gone now for years.  When I was in graduate school my group of friends and I headed out every pay day – and quite a few days in between - to eat at “the meat and three” buffet.

From the waitress who used spit to wipe her fingerprint off the edge of my friend’s plate to the customer who refused to pay a bill that totaled $6.66, the mark of the beast, the staff and patrons of the buffet never failed to entertain.

Meat choices usually included fried breaded pork chops, fried chicken, and fried chicken livers.  The vegetables I remember best are collards, fried okra, and mashed potatoes.  I have a dim memory of sweet potato soufflé and whole kernel yellow corn, too, though I never touched the corn due to dreadful public school lunchroom memories. Of course, mac and cheese counted as a vegetable, and there was always pudding for dessert.

A fellow graduate student from “up North” refused to go back for a second lunch there, saying he didn’t eat at places that had a concoction called “pepper sauce” on every table.  His loss. Even most of the regulars were unaware that the owners’ son had become an internationally known artist, often associated with the Chicago Imagist School, a detail that made the fried Southern cuisine even more delicious to me.

Marian Carcache  welcomes comments  at carcamm@auburn.edu