Friday, March 24, 2006

The Silver Moon

"The Silver Moon" don't look like much, but it shore is good! This small "mom 'n pop" restaurant is just off the exit. Just take I-20 toward Florence, and get off at exit 68. You'll be starin' right at it.

The sign on the building says, "Big Daddy's", but the sign on the street is "The Silver Moon." Does'nt matter 'cause folks call it what they call it--"good."

The reg'lars sit where they sit, just like in church--each have their place, sometimes. It's busy, just not full. Some traveler will occasionally walk through the door, pause and suck in their breath as they decide to stay out of just being polite. I've heard a stranger once remark, "now this is the REAL thing" after spending a few minutes. And you know what? It really IS the real thing.

Old Lizard's Thicket menu signs hang on the old Waffle House walls. If you didn't see Today's Special written in marker on a piece of posterboard when you came in, you'll find the yellow tri-fold photocopy menu wedged between the napkin-holder and the window . . . maybe.

Fresh soda cans line a small shelf behind the counter displaying the cold drinks available today. Coffee? Might be reg'lar, might not--better ask, someone may know. Either way the pot hasn't been washed for a while . . . at least the outside . . but whatever it is tastes great, stays hot, and is never burned.

Miss Mary (she's no taller than a half drink a'water) greets each customer with a bright smile, revealing a few missing bottom teeth. She will try real hard to keep your coffee cup full.

Fred is the rarely smiling big guy with eyebrows that always seem to stay raised. Fred cooks with his right hand, the left resting above his head on the griddle's stainless steel fan cowel. Now and again he turns to talk with customers or watch the TV in the corner.

Patrice is a high school student, niece to Aunt Mary and Uncle Fred. Patrice works on weekends. She tries hard to provide professional service, taking orders without a pad. She repeats back what you tell her, once for every person at the table, "stack" memorizing each order (I guess "pancaking" would be a better descriptor). Fred has already heard the order from the grill and has probably already started cooking by the time Patrice gets to him to relay what she's memorized, Miss Mary within ear-shot, smiling. Patrice presents each plate as it comes from the kitchen with, "does this look like what you ordered?"

Folks come because they know the food is good. Forget Waffle House or IHOP. The omelets can't be beat. The pancakes and waffles are as big as saddle blankets. The biscuits (when they have them) have just enough lard not to need no butter. The burgers are hand-pressed and look like something out of a magazine. Know what's good?

Order yourself a couple a' eggs, hash browns, bacon and toast with a cup a' coffee. Even better, get Fred to whip you up an omlet with cheese and sausage.

Good stuff, Maynard!

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