Monday, April 25, 2011

let's review: mrs. wilkes' boarding house

    A bunch of lady friends stopped by Mrs. Wilkes' for lunch a couple of weeks ago. You should have been there. It was my first time... a boarding house virgin. The line was wrapped around the block, hungry patrons growing anxious as we moved slower than rush hour traffic. I am a really big skeptic when it comes to places that tourists line up for... I usually run the other way.
     This particular day was a breezy, spring stunner... sunshiny, but cool enough for a lightweight jacket or sweater. I was thankful. Twelve of us waited for our turn in the dining room. Family style dining, just like your grandmama's house.
     We stepped through the portal to see large tables filled with bowls of vegetables from one end to the other. Yellow squash, mashed potatoes, green beans, baby limas, mac and cheese, greens, baby peas with buttered noodles, field peas and snaps, rice and rutabagas. I probably forgot a few. There was meatloaf smothered in gravy, beef stew and fried chicken. Pitchers of sweet tea and a basket of cornbread and biscuits flanked the table ends.
     We stared in amazement at the vast array, trying to decide where to start. Well, start we did... by giving thanks to the Lord for our time together. As we passed dishes in a clockwise direction, we all felt like children at our grandparents' table on a Sunday after church.
     The food was delicious and we were stuffed by the time a lovely lady arrived with a tray of peach cobbler and banana pudding. We had to pick one. I chose peach. As we exited the dining room, we were instructed to take our plates off the table, just like home... this was a former boarding house, after all. The line seemed just as long as it was when we went in. People asked us if it was worth the wait. We assured them it was.
     Now, if you've read much of what I write, you're most likely asking yourself, "What happened to the Food Maven we all know and love? The one who hates fried stuff and makes us eat our veggies?"

     Relax. I'm still the same food nazi when it comes to healthy eating, but give yourself a break once in awhile. I did, however, eat tons of vegetables... and a tiny little chicken wing.
And a little dish of peach cobbler.



Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room on Urbanspoon

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