Saffy South Side: Big Jones

Comes recommended via the internet on places to eat in Andersonville. Big Jones was also the first place the Norah ate when she moved. Her dad took her on her moving day, then a year later she went with her roommate. Now here she was again, taking me to me Beryl and Ben – her two friends who only ever meet each other when out-of-towners need to be dined. They first met when her parents came to town. Beryl is from improv, Ben from high school. Ben is the second United Airlines employee that I met on my trip. He flew to Ireland for the weekend while I was there. Most people that I met made me feel frightfully under-travelled.

The restaurant has a cookbook, too. We didn’t buy it.

This was the first time Norah had come for dinner.

Beryl was already there when we arrived. Ben came after ten minutes. I ordered water, Beryl coffee, Norah a cocktail, Ben a coke. Beryl refilled her coffee twice. Coffee courses through the veins of many Americans who no longer feel it at all, but whose absence will cripple them,

Bread to start. The Sally Lynn as Ben couldn’t have the cornbread as he is a vegetarian. It must be a tough life having to deny yourself so much. My self-control is off the charts in the negative. The bread was bread.

Ben had the Carolina Shrimp burger (pescatarian, not vegetarian. Still can’t eat bread), Beryl the “famous chicken and dumplings, circa  1920”, Norah had the fried chicken, and I asked the waitress which she would recommend between the last two. She said gleelessly that they were famous for their fried chicken. This is what I read, and this is what I ordered.

It is the best fried chicken that I have ever eaten, and I used to eat regularly at KFC. Light yet deep, flavoursome and crisp. The chicken circa 1920 looked sloppy, but stews often do. Beryl said it was tasty. Ben didn’t want his grits so he gave them to me so I could try them. I don’t understand why people are so opposed to grits. They taste of very little. The texture is slightly strange, but only slightly. A hardened palate is hard to find. Collared greens are tasty greens and should be fed to children.

We all got along famously for a group of people who were very much cobbled together. For the fourth time, I heard an extended conversation about how Hamilton is a phenomenon. Beryl’s parents got tickets and invited her. The guy that she’s sleeping with asked her if he could come, to which she replied “only if you’re happy explaining to my parents the casual nature of our relationship”. They didn’t go.

The waitress looked annoyed that we weren’t ordering more drinks. The restaurant was quite. Music from the south piped through the restaurant and got louder in the toilet. Dessert didn’t call out to me. The other three got ice cream in the three degree ice rain.

My first foray into southern cooking was highly enjoyable, but the waitress was less than pleased.

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