Monday, October 22, 2007


Grandma’s Kitchen

My wife won’t stop
for mom and pop restaurants,
but rather enjoys the consistency,
the glossy, dim-lit sterility
of Outback and Applebee’s.

One cold Christmas day,
traveling back from my folks,
the only sit-down place open
for miles in any direction
was Grandma’s Kitchen.

A little barn-framed building,
next to a truck stop where
the pavement ended in ruts
and the air was chicken-fried.
I was ready to claim my stake.

“She’s not my Grandma,”
my wife said with upturned brow,
“probably some sweaty cook
dropping ashes in the French fries,
scratching himself with a spatula.”

I just looked solemnly out the window,
thought of corn bread and beans
and the coffee I was about to receive.
While she drove away in my truck, I thought,
she must not be that hungry.


Kentucky Dreamer said...

Yup, I have to agree with you, I like those mom and pop restaurants the best and have several around where I'm from. I don't get to go as often as I'd like, but last time I was there I had meatloaf, grn beans, mashed taters, a homemade biscuit a glass of Coke and a piece of pineapple upside-down cake all for $4.95.

I'll pass a hundred Applebees for that any day of the week.

Mike said...

I used to drive OTR and I am here to tell you, some of the best places to eat are those you would never expect from the appearance of them.

Being a writer, I love these places the best. You get the down and dirty inside scoop of humanity in these savory spots. Not the canned, generic versions you find at Micky D's (Do you want to super size that?).

btw, ashes in the fries? Just gives them a little character you won't get most places.

Granny Sue said...

I count the number of pickup trucks--if the lot is full of them it's a good sign. The coffee, however, is probably standing straight up in the pot.

If the lot is full of Volvos and such, I can't afford the place. If it's full of minivans, forget it--too many kids. Much as I love 'em I like to eat in peace. If there are neon signs, well that depends on my mood. If there are older cars abnd pick-ups, mostly in-state tags, and a porch, I know it's a good place.

Your poem reminded me of a lot of places I've been that beat the chain restaurants all to pieces.