Last January Don and I stopped for lunch during our road trip and found something even more exciting than oysters.
Lunch on a Drizzly Day
I remember driving with my family down the Old Dixie Highway many times as a kid, but we never spotted this place, just west of Perry. It was already 2:00 on a soggy day last January when Don and I drove through the small town. We love stumbling upon places, but we would have missed little roadhouse if we hadn't done a quick internet search.
On a Saturday, the business was hopping with locals and just loud enough that we missed the greeting. "The finest people in the world come through our doors!" Evidently those are the welcoming words that are called out to each visitor, by whichever employee is nearest the door.
Lots to See
There was a table towards the back that was open. We were given a menu and some time to go over the options and take in the atmosphere.
There were old framed photos and lots of seashell art hanging on the walls above the Cypress paneling. We were seated proudly below the original owners who opened the place in the 1950's... I'm guessing.
Oysters on the Half Shell
When I lived in Florida as a kid, you couldn't make me eat an oyster. But I've come around and it was January with an "R", so we ordered a dozen, which looked more like 15 when they arrived on a cafeteria tray. The oysters, which come mostly from Apalachicola, were pretty darn good.
When my fried shrimp & fries with hushpuppies and slaw arrived, I already knew how to use the guava jelly sauce. Earlier, our waitress Tiffany had dropped off an assortment of important goodies... an unopened sleeve of saltines, a basket of saltine packets, a bowl of lemon wedges and garlic butter.
She could tell we were clueless about the guava jelly so she suggested using it like she did, on saltines and hushpuppies. I had to chuckle when I noticed about 16 boxes of Premium Saltines stacked on the counter. It brought back memories of all the crackers I ate as a kid, while my parents enjoyed oysters.
The stools at the counter had cleared when I headed to the restroom, so I stopped to peek at the oyster shucking station.
He kind of grinned when he noticed the oyster "goo" on the knife. He gave it a quick wipe off, on his wrist. I shook my head and asked how sore his hands got after a day of shucking. He laughed and said he already had pretty crooked fingers. "From shucking?" I asked. He assured me no. He broke those fingers diving for a soccer ball... not realizing the truck, (the ball rolled under) was moving.
The Big Surprise
As Don headed out of the restroom, he was jolted by a sudden recording of The Hamster Dance Song, an electronic blast that filled the restaurant. As he made his way towards our table her got a closer peek (and earful) of the real excitement, Tiffany and the pogo stick!
A Musical Treat Since 1960's
Being a proper and enthused tourist, I clapped and snapped photos so much that Tiffany finally asked me if I wanted a turn. Tiffany said she didn't really love playing the thing, but she raved about the owner, Miss Zodie.
Zodie & Pogo Stick
Zodie wasn't working that day, but her daughter chatted as she checked us out up front. She showed us a picture of her mom playing the pogo stick in 1993. But Zodie wasn't the first to play the pogo stick.
Zodie bought the business from Mr. & Mrs. Deal after years as a waitress. Evidently back in the 1960's, when the Deals owned the place, a traveling salesman stopped by and demonstrated the insturment. Mrs. Deal started the tradition and it has carried on since.
On Our Way
Don and I headed back on the road with full stomachs and big grins. I had been eager to have a small town oyster experience, but we got a whole lot more!
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.