(((Hitting a junk store in Georgia today...stay tuned for a post and pictures and make sure you read to the end of this post for an exciting announcement!)))
Summer vacation...the stuff we dream about in the depths of winter and reminisce on, well, forever. Some of the most treasured times of my youth are of summer trips and excursions. My parents, brother, aunts & uncles, cousins and sometimes a grandparent or two would load up the car and travel to a lake on the Magnetewan River in Ontario, Canada almost every summer. Miles and miles of glacial formed shores, lined with white birch trees and fragrant white pines, were our playground for a couple of weeks.
This week my family (along with another family, ten of us total) are on our summer vacation in the mountains of northwest Georgia. Now you know why I have been absent from the blogging scene. So much of the scenery reminds me of those treasured times from some 30 years ago. The glacial boulders, the rushing waters, the sunlight filtering through the forest canopy. But nothing takes me back quicker than the fragrance of the hemlocks. Especially when the air is full and heavy just before or after an afternoon storm on the mountain (which is a spectacular thing).
But this post isn't about that. It's about food, glorious food! This year we broke the drive up into two days so that we would have some time for sight seeing. There are a multitude of historic sights to visit between here and Ohio and I was determined to squeeze 10 or 12 of them into the schedule. In an animated voice (I was excited!) I shared this with my teens and husband while I scoured the internet for forts, caves, underground railroad stops, and battle fields to see on the way. I finished with "of course every antique store, flea market or yard sale will provide even more opportunities to stretch our legs". I looked up from my computer screen to see all four of them with glazed over eyes and facial expressions emitting great pain and suffering. I think at least one of the young-uns (I'm in Georgia folks...gotta go with the vernacular) asking my husband if we could take two cars, I'm pretty sure I heard him mumble "absolutely". Obviously, my passions are not their passions. Just as my parents' passion for Williamsburg was not my passion at age 13, much as I appreciate it now.
Since this is our 19 year old's last few weeks before basic training...I decided to let my 'value of life experiences' lecture fall by the wayside and ponder on what HE would want to do. My wise Aunt Glenna's pearl of wisdom suddenly rang into my ears, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach first" and all our children LOVE extremely, good food. Next thought that popped in to my head...GUY FIERI and Diner's Drive-Ins and Dives will unglaze those eyes!So I closed the browser window for the battle at Camp Wildcat (and mentally marked it for another trip) and logged onto to the Food Network. A Google search brought me to Flavor Town USA, a website that lists Guy's stops by state. With another browser opened up next to this one I could compare maps of his stops and our route. After visiting websites and reviewing menus it was decided we would stop in Bellevue, Kentucky Friday night and dine at Virgil's Cafe.
Right inside the door is a glass vitrine with this little sign inside
And so we dined...on food, glorious food. Starting with fried green tomatoes, zucchini, mozzarella, frog legs with jalapeno cheddar hush puppies, and Pinot
Grigio aioli, and shrimp and tomato bisque. The kids all had sugar cane cola as we're not far enough south yet for sweet tea.
The starters were followed up by a Cubano sandwich(roast pork, mustard, pickles, ham, and swiss), shrimp creole with cheddar cheese grits and fried shoestring sweet potatoes, Étouffée (chicken, homemade andouille sausage, dirty rice, and garlic bread), and Huevos Rancheros (fresh corn tortillas, black beans, cumin, green chili and cilantro rice, cheddar cheese, 3 eggs over easy, covered in rancheros sauce and Pico de Gallo). The food was wonderful (I'm no food critic, in my mind, everything tastes better when someone else makes it, but we liked the appetizers better than the entrees) however, sitting and sharing the evening with our three glorious children was an even better life experience than any site marked by a historical marker could have provided.
photo circa 1999
(((((for those of you that read this far....just a few more posts until my 200th which will deserve another giveaway!! Remember last years? Become a follower today so you don't miss out!!)))))