Sunday October 5, 2008 cont.
Just over an hour after leaving St. Augustine, I arrived in Gainesville, looking for the University of Florida.
It has been several years since I have been here, but what a nice town this is. At the bookstore, I loaded up on some Gator gear. During the winter, I love to wear heavy, hooded sweatshirts. I was paying for what I picked out at the cash register when the lovely checkout girl asked to see my ID. She looked at it and said, "I knew it"! I asked her what she meant and she said she knew I had to be from back north, because no one from around there would buy such a thick sweatshirt. Turns out she was from Dearborn, MI.
Outside of the bookstore, they had some nice Gator heads.
Time for lunch and I was really looking forward to the place I picked out. Everyone remember the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings book The Yearling
? They have a restaurant called The Yearling
right in Cross Creek where she used to live and write.
Only about 15 miles from Gainesville, it was easy to find. But, it sure didn't look like much on the outside.
While walking in, I noticed a sign that said live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Too bad, I thought, that would have been nice. But, they sat me down in the front dining room no more than 15 feet away from a blues guituarist named Willie Green.
Man, was he good! I can't begin to tell you how much my experience here was enhanced by hearing him play. There were a lot of songs he played that I didn't recognize, but my favorite was when he did an outstanding version of Otis Redding's Dock of the Bay
. I am kicking myself for not picking up one of his CD's that were for sale.
No surprise that The Yearling
restaurant is The Yearling
Still, it is a little strange to see a boat in the middle of the back dining room.
My meal started off with what they called Yearling chowder, which was basically a gumbo.
Truthfully, it was really bad. Thin, watery, old, it was really bad. This got me wondering if eating here was the right decision.
Luckily, my main entree was much, much better. I got the catfish, which came with two lovely fillets.
This was some of the best catfish I have had in a while. My sides were fries and bacony black eyed peas.
As usual on my trips, I have neglected to talk about what I drank. When I am in the South, I always get the sweet tea. Considering northern Florida is very much part of the deep South (unlike many parts of south Florida), I thought I should be able to get good sweet tea. Nah, I didn't get one really good glass of tea my entire trip. I think I was spoiled by my recent trip to Memphis, where just about every place has really good sweet tea. At least at The Yearling
, they did give me an entire pitcher, which I always appreciate.
The first dessert my waitress mentioned was Sour Orange Pie. I asked her to tell me more about it and she said it was basically Key Lime Pie, but with orange instead. I told her she didn't have to go any further on her list, that is the one I wanted.
And what a beautiful piece of pie this was! Cool, refreshing, it was wonderful. CajunKing
, you would have loved it!
I don't recommend everything about The Yearling restaurant, but the pie, the atmosphere and Mr. Green made it a meal I will long remember. http://yearlingrestaurant.net/
More to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 02/27/09 2:16 PM>