I'll admit it. Sometimes y'all West Coast people get it right. Take breakfast for example. I know you don't get the whole grits concept but I was thrilled to discover that at least someone out here has figured out how to make biscuits and gravy.
Hubby and I were spending an evening sans kids (and dog) out on the town and made our way to Pacifica. There we dined at a fine establishment that had a logo reminiscent of a bowling alley - it's called Nicks at Rockaway Beach. So after seeing that logo, we knew we were gonna have good eatin' and Nick's did not disappoint.
The special was none other than biscuits and gravy so of course we ordered it. The gravy was good ole white sauce, the staple of many a southern dish, and included a passel of lumps indicating that the sauce contained the requisite quota of grease and sausage droppings needed to impart good flavor. It was delicious.
Even though the ocean is on the wrong side out here, we were able to dine on our favorite breakfast food and watch the waves from a cozy booth at Nick's. The service was on par with the best example of southern hospitality and we were as fat and happy as two diners at a Shoney's all-you-can-eat buffet.
We might just have to stay out here.
One weekend I had a hankerin' for grits. And not just your garden variety grits (yes, y'all non-southerners, there are huge grit gardens all over the south) I wanted a good ole grits casserole with some of that fancy party plate kind of cheese. So I set out to the local grocery establishment in search of some grits.
A Piggly Wiggly was nowhere to be found so I had to make do with a Safeway grocery store. After an exhaustive search, instant grits were the only thing I could find. I don't know which city in New York birthed the inventor of this product, but I do know he has never been to the south. Grits bear no resemblance to those freeze-dried things in a package.
My next attempt was to try the nearest Whole Foods Store. I figured they carried foods from foreign countries, so maybe they would think grits were exotic. I looked high and low and couldn’t find them. It’s then that I discovered a large bin labeled polenta. They sure did look a lot like my favorite yellow grits. I asked the nearest attendant about the ground corn particles in the bin and he informed me that they were polenta, NOT grits. I thanked him and bought a pound of the so-called polenta and proceeded to prepare a large pot of yellow grits. Oh happy day. I just might be able to survive another month or two here.
But don’t tell these people out here who think they are eating a fancy Italian gourmet food called “polenta” that they are actually eating good ole grits, which are at least a day old and fried in butter.
This must be a southern thing because I can't find good ice anywhere around here.
By good ice, I mean the kind of ice that you get at all of the finest eating establishments (places like Sonic, Zaxby's, Great American Cookie Company)and which has the consistency of snow in a cup. It's not those perfectly sized cubes of ice, or those clunkers with the hole in the middle, no it's the ideal ice. Fine, individually shaped particles of ice that actually improve the taste of the associated beverage. For a person growing up in the South, that beverage of course would be either Sweet Tea or Coke.
I have been known to make my dining choices based solely upon the type of ice provided, a fact which can make your dining options a tad limited, but this stuff is important.
This is not a singular disorder of my own making, for I once quizzed my Mom on the "good ice" places in my hometown of Greenville, SC and she was able to quickly add a dozen or so new dining options to my list. This ice knowledge is clearly a deeply embedded part of proper southern upbringing. Perhaps it has something to do with a genteel lady's inability to sweat in public.