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Good Restaurant.....um...Not for Me...

What are the signs that you're probably not going to fall in love with a restaurant?

I'll begin...if the menu has six salads on it and they all contain meat, it's probably not my style of food.

If they like to serve food "with au jus sauce", I'm going to have doubts.

Etc.

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  1. If the menu is silly and pretentious, that's a tipoff for me that the food may well be, too. Misapplied quotation marks, for some reason, also set up red flags: "Our Special" Pasta, etc. It sounds purposely ironic to me. Misspellings also make me a little crazy. Foodwise, if it's TOO health-oriented, or specific food-lifestyle oriented, it ain't my thang - I don't do raw foods and will NEVER order a dish called, "I Am Delightful," or "Love is Bounteous and Shines in Me" as a local restaurant has become nationally famous for doing. (Plus and which, I just really really hate their food.) Sue me. :)
    Fun Topic.
    Maybe someone could start a corollary thread, "What Are the Signs You'll Probably Love a Restaurant?"

    30 Replies
    1. re: mamachef

      Ugh, don't start me on the misspellings, not to mention the apostrophes on plurals. I am trying to get over these things, because some might be ready to call me a bad person over it ;-P

      Nonetheless, languages have standards for a reason.

      All great points, BTW.

      1. re: sandylc

        Here's a great mis-spell. I cooked at a Southern food restaurant, so of course, biscuits were a big thing there. I don't know if the waitress who did it ever actually looked at the menu, because on the letterboard, when we ran a special that included them, she spelled it "biskets." I saw it when I left that night and wanted to throw myself in front of a car. But it taught me a valuable lesson about doublechecking everything.

        1. re: mamachef

          But were the biskets good? I must know.

          I see potato misspelled most often. Dan Quail Disease. DQD. I am bringing it back!

          1. re: Sal Vanilla

            uhh that would be Quayle (sorry I couldn't resist)

            1. re: hill food

              Haha. Right. I was too lazy to look it up. I blame public schooling... and too many carbs.

              Thanks for the laugh.

            2. re: Sal Vanilla

              Those biskets were amazing; made w/ full butter. Big round flaky pillows of delicious. We had trouble w/ the waitresses eating them and then not having enoughfor their tables, which necessitated us having to STOP everything to make a new batch. Everybody got biskets and cornbread when they were seated, and those things put me off Whomp biskets forever.

              1. re: mamachef

                True story: Like many here I have been lucky enough to enjoy some of the best restaurants in the world, but what plagues me - what I remember the most was this fresh fro the oven cheese roll I had on a road trip from CA to FL. I stopped in a cafeteria in a spit in the road in Texas - a lunchateria for ranch people. On a giant pan lay my dream roll - glossy brown outside... unbearable lightness and pull apart sweetness wrapped in cheddary heaven. I took it for granted at the time. But for the next few days and ever since I recall them and drool and wonder if I can one day recreate them. Lunch plate 3.75. I miss thee.

            3. re: mamachef

              We just ate dinner last night at a place where the dessert menu offered "Chocolate Moose Cake"'. When I pointed it out to my companions, my husband said that he thought they were trying to be cute. It was a local and pretty authentic Italian trattoria, so I don't think they were aiming for cute - just a misspelling. However, they also offered Pig's Blood Chocolate Pudding (I forgot the Italian name)...so who knows what may have been in that chocolate cake, heh, heh.

              1. re: Justpaula

                Sanguinaccio; good stuff if done properly - the blood adds an extra richness.

            4. re: sandylc

              I usta kinda liked misspellings in Asian restos (e.g. Human Beef) as a sign of recent-immigrant-authenticity. Now I wonder if this is not the product of a slick PR firm trying to give that impression.

              1. re: sandylc

                I should say here that I don't have a problem with misspellings on menus when the owners have a different native language.

                1. re: sandylc

                  and with immigrants grammar can be as big an issue as spelling. how is an immigrant supposed to understand the difference between:

                  vegetarian stir fry with tofu
                  stir fry vegetarian with tofu

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    I think I prefer the second one :p

                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      Regardless of whether I ascribe to their dining choices, I do NOT think that any vegetarian should be "stir-fried," or even shunned... [Grin]

                      Hunt

                    2. re: sandylc

                      I agree unless the fellow running the FOH went to the my High School :-)

                    3. re: sandylc

                      If that makes one a bad person, I don't want to be good.

                      1. re: sandylc

                        The only time I will accept misspellings is when it is an ethnic restaurant that has clearly made the menus in house. Especially if we're talking a country that doesn't use the roman alphabet.

                        1. re: sandylc

                          Speaking of ill-placed ˜ apostrophe's˜, it would take a lot for me to dine at Frank's Bill's Dave's etc. though there are areas where the apostrophe is automatically attached. Frankly this poaches my eggs a little, takes the chew outta my carmels

                          1. re: demitasse04

                            er....why?

                            Frank's -- Bill's -- Dave's as you wrote it have the apostrophes correctly places.

                            If the place belongs to Frank or Bill or Dave...???

                              1. re: demitasse04

                                I'm not really sure what you mean either, demitasse04. If Dave owns the sub shop, and chooses to call it "Dave's Sub Shop", why is that an ill-placed apostrophe?

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  How to agree not too sure what exactly is wrong with 'Dave's' or 'Frank's'.

                                  1. re: Withnail42

                                    Restaurants under the train track of my young adulthood. Geeze people. Yes, carmels; as in NUCULAR.

                                    1. re: demitasse04

                                      I wonder if maybe the "fruit of the vine," might not be at play here? One of us is not making any sense.

                                      Hunt

                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                        Hunt - if your posit is correct, in e-mail it's called 'de-railing', but on boards I think the term is 'prosting'.

                                        1. re: hill food

                                          OK, my mind must be mis-firing here. It seems that you completely understand the post, to which I replied, but even with the terms that you used, it still does not make sense to me. Maybe it's time for me to head to the Barrow Neurological Institute, as something is very, very wrong.

                                          Just not sure what this means "Restaurants under the train track of my young adulthood. Geeze people. Yes, carmels; as in NUCULAR." I only hope that you can explain that to me.

                                          Hunt - feeling like I need major medical treatment.

                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                            oh I agree, there is some kind of synaptic disconnect going on here. but to look for a point is to miss the point. like when you try to look directly at a star and it disappears until it's in the corner of your eye. sometimes these little eddies and whirlpools lead only to a river's undertow and the result is never satisfying. or happy.

                        2. re: mamachef

                          "if it's TOO health-oriented, or specific food-lifestyle oriented, it ain't my thang"

                          Yep. There's a chain here called "Know Fat." Never tried it. Never will.

                          Oh, and if the word "sustainable" appears too many times on the menu, well, that's it for me, thanks. Hate self-righteous food!

                          1. re: mamachef

                            I'm curious (and in agreement)- what to hell is 'I am delightful'? Some narcissistic Asian short-order cook? Criminy.

                            1. re: EWSflash

                              mama and EWS - 'I am delightful'

                              also an ill-advised tramp-stamp.

                          2. Anywhere with a cutesy name, like "Karrie's Kountry Kitchen". Not so much. (that is an example I made up, in case there happens to actually be somewhere of that name!).

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: Kat

                              Like Harry Anderson once said, "Never eat at a place called "Mom's" and never play cards with a guy called Pops".

                              1. re: PotatoHouse

                                There is a great restaurant in Portland, Oregon called Mother's.

                              2. re: Kat

                                Hey the best breakfast place where my mom lives has "Kountry Kitchen" in the name LOL But, I think the mark of a good breakfast place is it being "country style" which this place very much is. Amazing biscuits.

                                1. re: juliejulez

                                  We have a Countrie Eatery nearby that has fabulous foods!!

                                2. re: Kat

                                  unless it's on a backroad in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by pickup trucks with local plates -- in which case, pull in NOW.

                                  Places like Chat 'n' Chew, Kathy's Kitchn (sic), in out-of-the-way locations are sometimes local favorites...for a reason.

                                  In a perfect world, all the signage would be correct and the menus free of errors. But I'll take a messed-up menu and great food over a slick menu and meh food any day of the week.

                                    1. re: sr44

                                      yeah but that one is also an old lower Haight hipster joint

                                      1. re: hill food

                                        OMG, you mean there's more than one of them?

                                        1. re: sr44

                                          actually there are 5 in SF. I assume there's no connection to the one in Bluffton SC.

                                  1. re: Kat

                                    'Anywhere with a cutesy name, like "Karrie's Kountry Kitchen"'
                                    _______
                                    The cutesy aspect doesn't bother me too much. But I'd be a little worried I was stepping into a Klan hangout.

                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                      HEH! And I would be on the lookout for surly looks (I don't look like a redneck bubba) or pointy white caps in the corner.

                                    2. Any place that advertises a "vegan charcuterie platter".

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Vetter

                                        Oh this made me LOL. Have you ever actually come across one of those on a menu?

                                        Along these lines, I hate when a dish is altered so far from its purest form that its insulting. Mexican pizza for instance. Or the chimichanga - dropping a burrito into the fryer ruined the burrito.

                                        1. re: desertdweller

                                          http://www.gatherrestaurant.com/kitchen

                                          Sorry, I can't link directly to the menu, it's a Google doc. But this restaurant has it on their dinner menu.

                                          They could have, more acurately, called it an antipasto platter, but I guess they think this is funny.

                                          1. re: desertdweller

                                            desert - a friend calls that 'chimikitty'

                                            1. re: desertdweller

                                              I'll see up a Mexican pizza, and up you a takoyaki pizza and a kimchi beef pizza. At Pizza Hut, no less.

                                          2. This is one of the silliest threads I've seen on C'Hound. Today we took my brother-in-law and my sister out for lunch to a favorite place of ours, While the chef there is well trained in cooking the menu contained many grammatical errors. Darn but the food was unusual and delicious.

                                            1. A few warning signs to me:

                                              Home Cooking

                                              Vegetable Plate

                                              Meat & Three

                                              Before moving to Georgia, I'd never heard of the last two. They're everywhere down here.

                                              84 Replies
                                              1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                That just proves how personal quirks/likes/dislikes effect different folks, doesn't it? Because to me, those are buzzwords for a restaurant I'd likely really enjoy.

                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                  Same here. I feel my car pulling me into that parking lot right now.

                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                    +1
                                                    We're losing all our meat n 3 places here to so-called progress and that's a pretty big loss, as far as I'm concerned. And while I'm not one to order the vegetable plate, that's a clue to me that the butter beans, greens, and maybe even field peas are so good that they can stand on their own as a meal.
                                                    Grab me a seat and please pass the cornbread.

                                                    1. re: rockycat

                                                      I guess I don't have to say that I love this type of place! 2/3's of the time I will order the vegetable plate and have a difficult time deciding which three.

                                                      With so many people not having time or energy to cook I am surprised that this genre is on the decline. When I was working, my weeknight meals were usually quickly prepared - pastas, stir fries, casseroles. Sometimes you just want an old fashioned farm style meal and a meat n 3 answers that craving perfectly.

                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                        Exactly. I love that you can get those long stewed dishes that you want but just don't have the time or energy to make. Such as black eyed peas, Collard greens stewed tomatoes and okra, butter beans,smothered green beans etc...

                                                      2. re: rockycat

                                                        grew up in the west and now live even further west, i've heard of meat n 3, but never actually seen such a place. only now figured out it's a southern term. never too old to learn I guess. didn't realize i had lived such a sheltered life.

                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                          Yes, you are about as FAR West, as it gets. Go another mile, and you will be East.

                                                          Though I am from the Deep South, and have dined, and traveled there extensively, I still do not know what "Meat n 3" translates to. Gotta' go upthread and do some reading.

                                                          Hunt

                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                            I always thought "Meat n 3" was an English thing that translated to the American South.

                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                              Hill Food,

                                                              I could well be, but is just something that I have never encountered, at least not by name, in either the Deep South, or the UK.

                                                              Thanks,

                                                              Hunt

                                                            2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                              You? Never heard of meat-n-3? Now THAT surprises me.

                                                              It's meat served with three sides - almost always at a small restaurant in some little town south of The Line.

                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                  Maybe it was because of the area of the Deep South, that I grew up in - Gulf Coast and New Orleans? OTOH, we traveled all around the Deep South, and never encountered that term. Must have just gone to all the wrong places?

                                                                  Hunt

                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                    Dunno -- it's very commonplace in Florida and Georgia.

                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                      Bill Hunt appears to eat only in places that are Michelin-star quality and which have extensive wine lists.

                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                        Good for him. He's obviously done something right.

                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                            I dunno -- he's done something that means he has the money and the time to eat wherever he wants. Whether that's Michelin stars or a hot dog at the ballpark, he and his lovely wife are happy with their life and with one another.

                                                                            May we all be so lucky.

                                                                            Michelin stars aren't my thing, but I'm not going to pee on the parade of those who enjoy it -- it's their life and their money.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              Nobody's peeing on anyone's parade. We are discussing possible reasons for why someone (anyone) might not have heard of the phrase "meat and three".

                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                from the thread, there are a lot of people who'd never heard about it.

                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                  It certainly seems so. I suggested one possibility. Of course there are other possibilities.

                                                                                2. re: huiray

                                                                                  OK. I'll bite. Having traveled around the Deep South, the South (there IS a difference), and many states, on those borders, I have just never encountered that term. Those border states are Florida and Texas (not part of the "official" South).

                                                                                  No greasy spoon, truckstop, mom-n-pop, or chain, in about 1/3 of the US, has ever used that term, to my knowledge.

                                                                                  Does that make it "wrong," or even "moderately incorrect?" No, and not even on a bet. It is just a term, with which, I am unfamiliar.

                                                                                  Why? I can only assume that the term was very localized, and I never made acquaintance with it. Just like some of the Tidewater and Low-Country terms, that I did not discover, for 40 years of my life.

                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                3. re: sunshine842

                                                                                  I had never heard it before and I am 48 years of age :o. It is sort of self-explanitory though :p

                                                                                  1. re: cacruden

                                                                                    When I looked it up, it did become self-explanatory, but until then, it was like Greek to me. Guess that I have not lived?

                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                    We do not "collect" Michelin stars, but have been fortunate enough to dine at many. That has been over a very long lifetime, and not all at once.

                                                                                    For us, it is the experience, and sometimes "stars" do count, though not always. Just did two 3-stars in Paris, and one was excellent, and worth every penny. The other... ? Well, not above mediocre, and the costs were actually slightly above the other. Still - no "meat & three... " [Grin]

                                                                                    As I mentioned above, the very top food memories were at "side-of-the-road" places. The next top-four were at similar places. While I have enjoyed many great meals, and dishes, at Michelin starred restaurants, the best falls behind such dishes as Fried Shrimp at Magnusen's House of Seafood, the same at Marquez Brothers', the Fried Flounder at Benny's in Handsboro, MS, the Pecan-Crusted Soft-shelled crab at Tante Louise (OK, if there were Michelin stars in those days, they deserved at least a couple). The Seafood Gumbo at Baraceive's in Biloxi, MS, the Fried Catfish at Catfish Charlie's, Pontchatoula, LA, and the Fried Chicken at Alamo Fried Chicken, Biloxi, MS. No, while I HAVE dined well, and on a couple of continents, the ultimate was in the US, and mostly in the Deep South - still, no "meat & three."

                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                      I don't think I had ever seen the term till I started reading the Sterns. I've been to these restaurants, but haven't seen one actually use the term--have only seen it in writing about food.

                                                                                4. re: sunshine842

                                                                                  No, he just got lucky... Or married smart. Uh-ho, that is not correct, as it would give me more credit, than I am due.

                                                                                  In my case, my mother exposed me to "fine-dining," at about age 5, or 6. It had been part of her life, and was something that she held onto. We'd take the train to New Orleans, and then the family would meet up at Galatoire's, or Antoine's, and have a nice meal. Aspects of that imprinted on me, and still hold sway, 60 years later. As my wife grew up there, and it was similar for her, we just sort of "fell into" fine-dining, except for all those truckstops on US Hwy 11, but we were poor students and newlyweds, back then.

                                                                                  I would definitely attribute it to "luck," or to my young wife's need to "help the disadvantaged," and including me, in that group.

                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                5. re: huiray

                                                                                  Well, while I often DO seek out such establishments, I still dine "on the road" in the Deep South, and quite often.

                                                                                  Five of my "all-time-favorite" restaurants were anything BUT Michelin starred. One even had a Grad D sanitation rating, and I thought there was nothing below an A.

                                                                                  Still, the South (and even the Deep South) is a very large, and often localized space. What plays in Holly Springs, MS, might seem alien in Beaufort, NC. Heck, what plays in Beaufort, NC, might seem alien in Beaufort, SC.

                                                                                  In my youth, I possibly did half the truckstops between the HWY 90/.11 cutoff, outside of New Orleans, and up Hwy 11, to Chattanooga, TN, before I-59 replaced much of it.

                                                                                  While I dine at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN, now, there WAS a time, when we did "road food," and all across the South.

                                                                                  Nah, just a term that I missed, over all my years, but that is not uncommon.

                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                    My family and I were traveling through Nashville three years ago and took a lunch break at Arnold's Country Kitchen. It was my one and only meat and 3 experience and I really enjoyed the food. There is a base price for the meat and then one can choose to make it a meat and 2, meat and 3, etc.

                                                                                    It's basically down home Southern cooking, done well, with a rotating daily menu. Service is cafeteria-line style and dining is communal. As a Northerner, I was charmed by the place and the food.

                                                                                    Arnold's is also the recipient of two James Beard awards.

                                                                                    1. re: justalex

                                                                                      That sounds perfect. I would be a happy girl there.

                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                        That sounds like a place you go in the afterlife when you've been a veryvery good person who adores Southern food.

                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                          I would go and eat buttered cabbage and Lima beans and Collards til eternity. :-)

                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                              I am taking into account there is no farting in the aftrelife. One can hope

                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                and here you thought it was *wings* that allowed angels to hover.

                                                                                                Now you know.

                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                  the cabbage-eating angels are responsible for thunderstorms, dontcha know?

                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                    y'know, they say there's an ill wind blowing...!

                                                                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                One reason that I pre-plan my menu, before I fly the next morning...

                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                            2. re: mamachef

                                                                                              We're not dead yet, mamachef, but the hubster and I went to a new restaurant for lunch today, across the street from the new County Courthouse...called, not surprisingly, 'The Courthouse Cafe'.
                                                                                              It was a short cafeteria style line, meat & three, (or two or one, according to the menu board) with the ubiquitous divided plates. Hubby had meatloaf, butter beans, yellow squash & onions, and green beans with a side of cornbread and a bowl of 'naner puddin'. I had the meatloaf and butter beans, both were excellent, and a biscuit.
                                                                                              My dessert was one that I had to tell about. It was listed on the menu board as "Fluff of the Day". Of course I had to get that, though the other choices were the banana pudding and the ever present peach cobbler.
                                                                                              Today's Fluff, according to the proud owner, contained whipped cream, cream cheese and crushed up chocolate wafer cookies. Nothing else. It was fluffy and creamy and chunky all at the same time. Here's what you eat for dessert in the afterlife if you have been veryvery good and adore Southern sweets.
                                                                                              For all that, and two large iced teas, the bill was $14.01.

                                                                                              The food was very good, the staff was super friendly and the place was neat and kind of cute in a Southern family sorta way. I will go back for breakfast sometime, because I do like Southern breakfasts, but as I said at the beginning of this long conversation, Meat & Threes just don't make my heart flutter. For the rest of you who don't have a Southern lunch place on every block, please come visit us in Georgia. We'd love to see you!

                                                                                              1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                I understand where you are coming from. When I lived in middle Tn. I was an hour from the Nashville city limits. There were several meat & 3's nearby ranging from bad to quite good. We had a Sonic and a fast food burger place. If you wanted anything remotely exotic then there was Taco Bell or a truly horrid pizza buffet place.

                                                                                                I love a good meat & 3 but I enjoy a wider variety in my eating out options than that town provided. You don't always have an extra 3+ hours to devote to a satisfying a craving with a drive to the big city! The grocery selections were quite lacking so it wasn't easy to cook something "ethnic" at home.

                                                                                          1. re: justalex

                                                                                            Though I am a "son of the Old South," I am learning something here. The term, "meat & three" was just not in my vocabulary. It could have been that it was not used, where I dined, or maybe I just missed it?

                                                                                            Arnold's sounds great. My time in Nashville has been very limited, so there is much, that I need to explore in that area.

                                                                                            Thank you,

                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                      2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        Hm-m. I traveled throughout both Florida and Georgia, but still do not recall that term.

                                                                                        However, I was in my 40's, before I was introduced to "Hopping John," so there are probably still Deep South terms, with which I am not familiar.

                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                      3. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                        I'm from Kentucky and had never heard the term, either, and I've eaten at plenty of unstarred places!

                                                                                        1. re: pine time

                                                                                          Thank you. Somehow, I feel better now. Maybe not "redeemed," but certainly better.

                                                                                          Appreciated,

                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                            I have seen the term used the most in middle Tn., less so in other parts of the South.
                                                                                            I am now living in NC and seldom see the term in print at a restaurant. But most North Carolinian's seem to know the term. I think it was a regional thing within parts of the South.

                                                                                            1. re: meatn3

                                                                                              I've lived and travelled throughout the south, and I've heard the term meat and three everywhere, but never in print or restaurant advertising. It's always been more of a term that patrons of such places use to describe it. So I might ask a friend, what such-and-such restaurant is like, and she might reply, "typical meat and three." But I wouldn't expect to see an ad for a restaurant use that term. Kind of like how we might refer to a restaurant as a "Mom and Pop" or a "dive". Terms we use to describe restaurants, but not how they describe themselves.

                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                This is fairly typical of what I have seen in TN.

                                                                                                http://www.blueshoenashville.com/arno...

                                                                                                I totally agree about the term being just verbal else where!

                                                                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                  One thing I've heard in NC is people referring to what I would call a meat and three as a "meat and two". I had never heard that term until I lived in NC. I kept thinking, "Y'all are getting short-changed on the veggies."

                                                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                    We are living in tough times!

                                                                                                    :-D

                                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                      Yes. With inflation, and such, it might be "meat & one," before we know it... at least the price might remain constant?

                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                    2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                      Or in Scotland.... It is just called meat.... :o

                                                                                                  2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                    Hm-m, was there a "secret handshake" required?

                                                                                                    Guess that I just never traveled in the correct circles, as it was new to me, as of this thread. Now, I know what it's all about, and will keep that in the back of my mind, when I travel throughout the South. Before, I would have responded with "Huh?" but can now converse, like a local, or at least a tourist from the South.

                                                                                                    Thanks,

                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                      The great thing about a meat & 3, is not the meat & 3 plates, but the vegetable plates, which every single one of these establishments feature. It will be 3 or 4 or 5 of the "&3" selections of sides. I think every southerner in-the-know orders these plates for lunch. Has nothing to do with being a vegetarian (god knows, there's bacon in most of the vegetables). It's just good food and the best way to eat at such a place.

                                                                                  2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                    Me too. That particular objection sounds like somebody who likes dining on cuisine, rather than eating good chow.

                                                                                    And what's the objection to a vegetable plate? There's used to be a place near my work, carryout only, called The Country Preacher, and when we'd order out, I'd get the VP -- Collards, black-eyed peas, baked tomatoes, and mac-n-cheese, a Southern vegetable.

                                                                                    1. re: jmckee

                                                                                      Order me a big glass of half-and-half tea, y'all -- I'm on my way.

                                                                                      1. re: jmckee

                                                                                        Well, sandylc asked for restaurants we would not "fall in love with ", and those are my least favorite types of restaurants. As I said upthread, until I moved here to rural Georgia 10 years ago, I'd never heard these terms. Vegetable Plate to me would have conjured up a picture of fresh vegetables, all colorful and crunchy and fresh. Not Mac n Cheese (much as I adore good Mac n Cheese) or cooked to death greens.
                                                                                        I do like Southern foods, but being relatively new to the cuisine, it's not my comfort food, nor my preferred choice at a restaurant. Besides the fact that I get excellent home made Southern food when I eat with my friends at our monthly potlucks or one another's homes.
                                                                                        If I'm looking for a restaurant, I'm going for good Italian or German or Mediterranean or some new hip American joint- something I don't make at home, or a place to give me ideas of new things to make at home. There's a meat & three around every corner in my town. It's not really very inspiring.
                                                                                        I'm not yucking your yum....it's just not my personal preference for a meal out.

                                                                                        1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                          Not living in the South, a good meat and 3 is a fun novelty thing to do once when visiting there - I don't imagine that I would make it a regular thing to do if I lived there.

                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                            your waistline would tell you you shouldn't make it a regular thing.

                                                                                            Good food, but lots of it, and while I don't shy away from calories, you leave feeling like you won't need to eat for a week or two.

                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                              Nahhh...only till the next meal with maybe a few extra hours. :-)
                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8535...

                                                                                              Oh, and when you said "half-and-half tea" in your previous post you meant half sugar half tea, right? :-)

                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                nope -- half sweet, half unsweet.

                                                                                                Every self-respecting Southern restaurant will have two huge iced-tea urns -- one with sweet tea, one with unsweet tea.

                                                                                                The sweet tea is usually somewhere north of simple syrup on sugar content, and the unsweet is for those with diabeeetus (sic) or those who are watchin' their weight (bless their hearts).

                                                                                                I can't drink the sweet - it's nauseating -- and I don't like artificial sweeteners, so half-and-half strikes a good midpoint.

                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                  LOL. What a great description, sunshine I was born Southern, raised Northern, and moved back South. I still can't stomach sweet tea and my blend is more like a splash of sweet and the rest of the cup unsweet. And no, honey I don't want Sweet n Low with my tea. I'm good actually tasting the tea, bless my heart.

                                                                                                  1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                    rocky, yes, bless your heart, those of us in proximity know what that means, so don't be so hard on yourself (smirk)

                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                      For all those who think we're speaking Greek: a guide to sh*t Southern people say:

                                                                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N3zHm...

                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                        I'm so up in the hills n hollers I can't download youtube. but yes my exe's mom spoke of her first grandchild "she just smiles and laughs so much. I just hope she's alright. bless her heart"

                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                          that one's a belly laugh because it's all commonly heard-- "Good night" as an exclamation, not the end of a conversation in the evening!-- "you're barking up the wrong tree" -- "she's older'n dirt"

                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                            There is many a saying in that video that I heard out of my grandma's mouth.... and she wasn't from the south.... but Scotland. missing a few scottish ones though.

                                                                                                            - You're slower than molasses.
                                                                                                            - Auch, Go fly a kite

                                                                                                            Guess they are unique to her territory :o

                                                                                                            1. re: cacruden

                                                                                                              The southern (Kentucky) branch of my family is of Scottish origin - many Scots landed in the carolinas and the smokies - they are the original "hillbillies", whose origins are fascinating to read about. So your Scots/Southern-Speak connection is right on.

                                                                                                              1. re: cacruden

                                                                                                                There ARE some similarities, and especially if one were to compare some of the music of each area. More than many suspect.

                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                  You beat me to it, guys. The Appalachians were settled largely by the Scots/Irish and their gifts run deep in our culture. Bluegrass music, turns of phrase, Jack stories, clogging, and all sorts of other cultural artifacts are not that far removed from their Celtic origins, even today.
                                                                                                                  Anyone ever been to the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain, NC?

                                                                                                                  1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                    Mr. MM used to play with the Grandfather Mountain Highlanders

                                                                                                              2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                Many of these sayings - "barking up the wrong tree", "older than dirt", "slower than molasses", "go fly a kite", etc etc - are common idioms...I certainly learned them or heard them when I was growing up in a former British Colony and later elsewhere (like when I lived in England). I would not have thought of them as strictly "Southern US"? Of course, the *accent* might be a different matter.

                                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                  I have noticed that sometimes someone's enthusiasm for the southern-speak encourages them to attribute things to the south which are really more widespread.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                    again -- we weren't talking about origins. we were talking about things that are part of daily conversation -- never said it was exclusive, either.

                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                      sunshine, I was speaking more about websites, books, and articles that I've read about Southern accents and idioms - I wasn't talking about anyone here.

                                                                                                                      I know I did not even come close to making myself clear here....sorry!!!

                                                                                                                    2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                      Yes. That has happened.

                                                                                                                      Also, some attribute things to the Cajun regionality, when they are not.

                                                                                                                      Stuff happens,

                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                              3. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                sunshine, here's one for the girls (GRITS, that is. Girls Raised In The South).

                                                                                                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUFL2G...

                                                                                                                It's even funnier when you live here! My girlfriends all talk like this. I love listening to them, but I do have to ask some of them to slow down now and then.

                                                                                                                1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                                  Oh wow. We have a chapter in Phoenix, and my wife, and I, are members. At a point in the past, GRITS was changed to G&GRITS (Girls & Guys Raised in the South). Lots of fun, and some interesting observations. Still, no "meat & three," in any of those conversations.

                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                  1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                                    I don't even have to click - I know which one that is -- and it IS hilarious.

                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                      Folks, all of this is getting ever farther afield from food than this thread started -- and given that this thread is already on Not About Food, that's saying something. Can we let this branch go please?

                                                                                            2. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                              meat & three is a legitimate type of restaurant in the deep south -- don't discount it!

                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                Sunshine, I live in the very depths of the deep South, and what I crave is a good pizza, a Chicago dog, an Italian beef sandwich and a plate of mostaccioli
                                                                                                It's not that I don't like Southern food- I do. But when half the restaurants in Georgia have the exact same menu, I know it's going to be no fun to go out to eat at those places. Every buffet, every wedding, every lunch joint serves beans, greens, cabbage, beef tips with rice, fried catfish, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, squash casserole, cornbread and banana pudding. Any or all may be prepared well or not, but there they are.
                                                                                                Having lived in several areas of the US during my life, I was used to every restaurant being an adventure of sorts...I love new and unusual dishes that I've never tasted before.
                                                                                                So you see why I answered as I did. If I'm out and looking for somewhere to eat, I know there will be no surprises at a 'meat 'n three'.

                                                                                              2. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                I've never heard of "meat and three" till just now.

                                                                                                1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                  We went to Pine Mountain GA yesterday for sourdough bread and native plants. Passed by the local Southern food place. Hubby took a picture of the menu on the window.

                                                                                                   
                                                                                                  1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                    Very typical to see. Thanks for capturing the big foot of this thread. You rock jmcarther8

                                                                                                    1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                      Interesting.

                                                                                                      Thank you for sharing.

                                                                                                      Hunt