OK, so here’s something different…..food…..the kind I eat.
Well, I won’t say that it is all that I eat. What I will say is that over the last week or so I have had a few culinary delights that I would like to share – not literally, of course.
If I had a seperate blog, I might just become a food critic. That would be fun. The only problem is that my weight would get completely out of hand, my cholesterol would go through the roof, and my bank account would be depleted. Being Andrew Zimmer must be fun.
I love coffee. I love coffee. Did I say I love coffee? If I had the choice to just sit down and have a cup of coffee and shoot the breeze for a while, it would NOT be at Starbucks. Why? Too dang expensive and the only black coffee they ever sell (usually) is Pike’s Peak. I hate that stuff. It’s just too bold – and they say it’s medium. No, for just a good cup of coffee in a relaxed friendly atmostphere, just go to Cracker Barrel. That’s right, that over-priced, country-style tourist trap that sells pretty good home-cooked-like food. I love Cracker Barrel. Their coffee is not intense, but smooth and always predictable. Besides, you get FREE REFILLS!
Now, when it comes to dessert, I have a favorite to which nothing can compare. I have even driven all the way from Kentucky just to have a slice. What is it? It is the closest thing to pie perfection that could ever be created. It is LEMON ICE BOX PIE from The Country Place Restaurant. Folks, don’t let anyone fool you, there is no substitute for this to-die-for dessert of the gods. As a matter of fact, the last pastor’s breakfast for Hamilton County Baptists was held at The Country Place Restaurant. I did not order bacon and eggs, nor biscuits and gravy, I ordered a cup of coffee (free refills) and LEMON ICE BOX PIE! I love the creamy, heavy texture, and the graham cracker crumb crust. The topping is substantial and a perfect complement to the filling which is, I think, loaded with Eagle Brand milk. Sweet, creamy, and lemony. You HAVE to have coffee with it.
If you want to go to some place a little out of the way, but different, why don’t you try Flavors of Italy. This is a neat little place in Soddy Daisy, Tn. It is family-owned and the husband, which is the main chef, is literally from Italy (they even go back there every year). Eating at this little restaurant (www.flavorsofitaly.org) is like eating at their house. They have menu, but the real menu us the one they bring and place on a stand next to your table – written on a dry-erase board. Everything is prepared fresh daily. There are things that are on the menu that you won’t get at Olive Garden or Provino’s. Valerie and I went there for lunch the other day, and man, what a dessert we had!
Flavors of Italy has a wonderful Italian Cream cake that literally “takes the cake.” Drizzled with raspberry sauce and garnished with raspberries and a little sprig of some kind of of flower, the presentation was lovely. This cake was tall, generous, home-made, well presented and very, very good. What’s even better, it was only about $5. Well worth it. And oh, I would seriously recommend the Italian espresso. I could have drunk several of those – no bite, smooth, rich, and wonderful without sugar. It all looked so good I couldn’t wait to eat before I took the picture.
Of course, you may be thinking that all I eat is desserts. Well, both of the ones I have just mentioned are better than the “real” food that I had at the Piccadilly. I was forced by my wife to buy a “dilly meal.” Let me tell you something, the food wouldn’t have been so bad if the coffee cups had been clean (which is why I ended up getting a foam cup); if the coffee had been worth drinking; if the booth backs had not been dirty; and if the percentage of elderly to youth had been less than 95-5. I did not get a dessert, because that would have cost too much. I did get to try one of the kid’s chocolate pudding, the kind that is supposed to look like mud under the gummy worms. Fruity chocolate – yum.
I think that nothing is better than home-made cornbread.