Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday at the Meat And Three

Well, this has been a rather busy month for me, hence the lack of posting on the blog. But so as to not disappoint my few readers, it's time for another post.

Last night I returned from Tennessee courtesy of Southwest Airlines. My company had its annual retailer conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. What a crazy five days! And what an enormous hotel. Last year, we were at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas, and the Opryland facility is much, MUCH larger than that one. The lush foliage and waterfalls inside the biodome give the appearance of being in a tropical jungle, and it is really weird. It feels like you are outside, but you are really inside a glass dome. Pretty, but it doesn't feel quite right to me.

Anyway, the trip afforded me the opportunity yesterday to see my uncle, aunt, and cousin who live just outside of Nashville. They took me to lunch at a type of place that Nashvillians love . . . generically known as a "Meat and Three", called this because they serve a meal of a choice of meat and three side dishes for a fixed price. This is apparently a common type of establishment in the southern United States, but I don't recall having heard of them as this before. These places are typically family owned and serve what I consider home-style cooking. If you think Cracker Barrel or Black-Eyed Pea, you get the idea of the kind of food, only these are little hole-in-the-wall joints, rather than bland, cookie-cutter, corporate-owned chain restaurants.

The place we went was The Dinner Bell Restaurant on Lebanon Pike in Donelson, Tennessee. The service was fast and the food was delicious. I had a fried boneless chicken breast for the meat, and selected for brocolli and rice casserole, fresh sliced tomatoes, and cooked cabbage as my three sides. Oh man, was it ever tasty!

There was a steady stream of customers, but with the fast service and table turnover, seating was not a problem. We arrived just before the "after church" Sunday diners started coming in.

I don't know if there are any real Meat and Threes here in Colorado, but I now plan to see if there are any out there.

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