Bill and I have become fans of Yelp… and are on it a little too much. But, it has introduced us to some new and wonderful restaurants. Last week when we were driving around looking for the Bake & Broil, we drove past a BBQ restaurant and looked it up. Lo and behold, there was a second restaurant in our neighborhood. So, last Friday we gave it a try. It’s called Johnny Reb’s.
The restaurant is decorated to look like someone’s bayou kitchen complete with a large screened-in patio. I forgot to take a picture of the patio. There’s even a cowbell on the front door.
Every table (with tablecloths that are probably always sticky) has a bucket of peanuts and we’re encouraged to throw the shells on the floor.
I ducked to get out of the photo… I guess Bill thought it was funnier with me in it. The ceiling is draped with the state flags of the south. I didn’t see a Confederate Flag though.
Because there were so many delicious-sounding items on the menu, we opted for a “Roadhouse Feast” that included a sample of all of their specialties for $31.59. For appetizers we got this plate of sweet potato fries, fried okra and fried green tomatoes. I had already eaten the tomatoes when I took the picture. The batter they use for frying has a lot of cornmeal in it. It’s very light and flaky and doesn’t taste overly greasy. I even liked the okra… which I didn’t like the last couple of times I tried it. The sweet potato fries were delicious too. Those were a first for me.
Our platter of food consisted of: (take a deep breath)
beef ribs, St Louis ribs, baby back ribs, country fried chicken, fried catfish, cornbread, hushpuppies, buttermilk biscuits, cajun rice and macaroni and cheese. After we were done, the waitress brought our dessert of warm peach cobbler in a to-go carton.
All of it was delicious. The ribs were smoked, but not to the fall-off-the-bone stage, you still had to gnaw a bit (which I like). The cornbread and biscuits were amazing. The hushpuppies were fantastic, light and crispy on the outside and not heavy at all… but since I hadn’t had a hushpuppy since 1992, I can’t remember how they’re supposed to be. The catfish almost melted in your mouth. The fried chicken had a great flavor and texture. The macaroni and cheese was incredible. I could probably go on for a while. I haven’t had the peach cobbler yet, it’s still in the fridge. I’m sure it will be amazing too.
I’m sure those of you who know us are asking… “Was it better than Lucilles?” You know, it was different. It was definitely cheaper than Lucilles… Bill and I normally share a combo plate for almost $30 and it has less food than what we got here. The atmosphere was different, perhaps a bit more laid back. The service was just as good. I like Lucille’s BBQ sauce better, but I thought Johnny Reb’s mac n cheese and biscuits were better. We definitely can’t say that one is better than the other, they’re just different. We’ll definitely add this restaurant to the list of “restaurants to take friends and family when they’re in town.” Chris, let me know what places you’d like to visit when you’re here… as I’m sure you have no interest in our favorite Thai restaurant.
Last week I had the privilege to stop by our friend, Doug’s house and feed their dog and cats while he and his girlfriend were on the East coast. I’m not really a fan of cats, never have been. But their Golden Retriever, Bailey is a really wonderful dog.
See, he smiled for the camera!
He’s about seven years old and is one of the most agile and friendly Goldens I’ve ever met. When he first met me, he immediately rolled over, onto my feet, and wanted a belly rub. Each morning and evening last week, I’d stop by their house and feed Bailey and the two cats. Bailey and I would play for a while and one of the cats would get jealous and want to play too.
It’s been a long time since I was around a dog every day and I forgot just how great a feeling it is to see them so genuinely and unconditionally happy to see you. Bailey just reminded me how much I want to have a dog. But at the same time, we have our next door neighbors to remind us why we don’t have one. Bill and I are both gone during the day, and I don’t want to leave a dog at home alone for extended periods of time. I know that Bailey is alright with it, but it would be difficult for a puppy. Our next door neighbors have a beautiful Golden Retriever named Chuey who’s alone alot. They don’t let him inside the house at all and he often keeps us awake at night with his lonely howling and moaning. It’s really sad…. especially since they have two elementary school aged children who don’t play with him enough. I’ve often wanted to knock on their door and ask if Chuey could come out and play. So, unless our work schedules change where one of us can work from home, we’re not getting a dog. I’m more than happy to play with Bailey.