Saturday November 1, 2008
Happy birthday mom!
I got off to a nice early start out of Memphis and arrived at my breakfast destination, Gene's BBQ
in Brinkley, AR around 7:00AM.
As you can tell by the light, the above photo was taken on the way out. The parking lot was packed with pickup trucks. Good sign #1. There was a banner over the front door declaring it.....
Does that mean Ivory Billed Wood Pecker will be on the menu? Luckily, no. It turns out the inside is a veritable shrine to the elusive bird.
Apparently, a hunter spotted this once thought extinct fellow in 2004. And, no one has seen him since. But, he sure is a popular one here at Gene's BBQ
He even makes an appearance on the menu cover.
From talking to the waitress, apparently there are some skeptics as to whether the bird was really spotted or not. Including my waitress, though I don't want to get her into trouble. That is why it says "We Believe".
As for me though, "I Believe" in a big country breakfast.
Especially if it stars country cured ham,
plus biscuits and gravy.
The hash browns were straight from a box and the eggs were rubbery, but the gravy more than made up for it. Creamy, peppery, with unusually large chunks of sausage in it, this is something my Kentucky-born gramma would enjoy!
The crowd at Gene's
was nothing but locals, all men, wearing ball caps (although they probably call them farmer's caps around here) speaking in hushed tones.
You can see they have a dessert case and I took a look. But nothing appeared homemade, which the waitress verified. My next visit here, I would prefer to try their bbq, but the sausage gravy made this a worthwhile breakfast stop. http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=2102&RefID=2048
I headed on to DeValls Bluff, home of two famous Roadfood joints. I knew it would be way too early for Craig's BBQ
, but I was hoping to get lucky with the Family Pie Shop
. It was only 8:30AM.
I parked across the street at Craig's
and walked over to snap an outside photo.
The exterior looks exactly the same as my last visit in 2001! A woman came out of the house next door and I asked her what time the shop opened. She told me to go ahead and knock on the door. When I hesitated, she told me to follow her and she went in. It turns out she was Mary Thomas' daughter and they had sweet potato, coconut and chocolate pies ready. I ordered a small sweet potato and small chocolate. As I was waiting for my pies, I got a photo of their menu
and some whole sweet potato pies cooling off.
Mary Thomas was very jovial and didn't mind answering all of my questions. She did tell me she doesn't open for a few more hours, but I was in the right place at the right time. WOO-HOO!!!!
I went ahead and ate the chocolate in my car.
There is no doubt, that this was as good a pie as I have ever had. The meringue was airy and light on the tongue. The chocolate filling was incredibly dense, yet not rich at all. It was very sweet, but not too sweet. Absolute pie perfection! Here is a close-up of the chocolate filling.
Mary Thomas is a master of her craft! And to think how close I came to going away emptyhanded. http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=316&RefID=316
I stowed the other pie away, since I had plenty more meals to hit.
Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 01/5/09 3:44 PM>