Last February, Don and I had a late lunch at Mama's Sack Lunches !
We kept fingers crossed as we pulled up. Some Mom & Pop places close down before two.
We figured we'd just get lunch to go... in a sack. That would be perfect.
But when we stepped into the tiny place, we spotted someone working behind the counter. I spotted a man staring at us, but he was in a painted image.
Debbie turned around and greeted us, from behind the counter. She was so welcoming, we decided to dine in.
How to Order?
Debbie asked if we'd come before. Then she gave us the scoop about ordering in or our lunch, sacked.
I thought the red velvet cake on the stand, looked pretty heavenly. Debbie recommended the banana pudding.
Keith and Mr. D
I chatted with Keith, in his pink Mama's shirt. I told him "Happy Mardi Gras!" when I saw his beads. "Back atcha!" He answered with a grin.
I asked Keith about the man, in the large, framed image. He said it was Mr. D, the previous owner. Debbie bought the biz a few years ago.
Don and I tried to decide on lunch quickly. They'd been open since 6:30 and it was about time to close. But no one acted like they were in a rush. My kind of place!
We were a little too late for some of the favorites. The Gumbo was out and many of the 12 or so "sides" had been gobbled up. But there was plenty to choose from.
We were dining in, but wanted to experience The Sack.
Don ordered his meal in a sack lunch, then found us a nice little table near the window. We were a day late for God's Happy Hour. Evidently gospel music plays at lunch every Monday. No live music for us, but a speaker was turned up with some church-y tunes. Don and I are always game to experience the local flavor... this place had some.
Lunch with a Kiss!
No one preached at us, but Don did get a kiss with his meal.
His sack lunch came with a jam-packed tuna sandwich, chips, apple, pickle, cookie and a Candy Kiss! All for about $5.!
My meal wasn't considered "sacked". So I had a choice of two sides.
My Mama's Favorite Club, was a hit! Grilled with turkey, ham, cheddar, Swiss, bacon, lettuce, tomato & mayo! Plus, an amazing pasta salad and banana pudding. And a Kiss! My photo did not capture the flavor, at all.
Deidre, Debbie & Keith
I'm glad we missed the busy lunch hour, because we were able to have some fun chatting with these three!
I asked, "Who's Mama?" Keith pointed to Debbie and laughed. Debbie agreed, but then admitted she bought the business with that name.
It was fun hearing a little history of Keith and Deidre, who happen to be cousins. Keith remembered coming to this restaurant, when he was a kid. The cousins have a lot in common. Both went into the service and ended up going to culinary school. Now I know why our food tasted so good.
What a happy bunch and what a happy place!
It was after 2 :00, when Don and I drove into Monroeville, Alabama. We were starved and most places stop serving at 2.
I really wanted to eat at Mel's Dairy Dream. Not because I wanted a greasy burger, but because this simple, blue & white, drive-in, sits on the very land where Harper Lee's house once sat. This is the neighborhood that inspired much of her writing for To Kill a Mockingbird.
Back to David's
But we chose David's because it had bathrooms and parking and a place to sit down...and it was open, despite the deserted appearance.
There was a retired couple finishing a late lunch and a local picking up a burger for his wife. All seemed to know our waitress who had a very amusing Alabama accent.
The paneled walls were covered with some fine collectables I recognized from the 1970's and before. I wonder who made that nifty embroidered fox and owl art on the wall? There were some other crafts and a few stuffed birds randomly displayed, not to mention some quilts and plate collections.
There were also many signs posted to announce their newest dessert, Banana Cream Pie!
I can hardly give a report on my grilled cheese and fries because I was so starved I would have loved anything. But I must say the table itself gets a good rating for having so many bottles and shakers at the ready. Tabasco and Cajun salt, A-1 Sauce and pickled peppers.
Sorry to say we did not sample the catfish.
Who Did I See?
This is who I didn't see... Harper Lee. Actually I didn't expect to see the 87 year old writer who shuns attention. I also heard her health is poor and it's unclear whether she's back living with her sister (who is 100, at least) in Monroeville or is still in NYC.
But I did talk with the waitress who is old enough to have seen To Kill a Mockingbird when it first came out in theatres. She was from Monroeville and surely had some interesting scoop. But she sort of yawned when I inquired. She claimed to not even know that Mel's was the sight of Harper Lee's old house. She said she'd seen Harper Lee's sister many times, but that didn't seem to thrill her at all.
I just finished the book Mockingbird: a Portrait of Harper Lee. Somewhere in the last few pages it happens to mention that Harper Lee frequented a catfish restaurant, called David's. Fun to know. Now that would have made for an off the charts, memorable people encounter!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.