My first experiment in trying out new things took place in Tallulah Falls, GA on a recent car trip to Tennessee. We stopped in at the Main Street Grill and Barbeque which was right outside of the Tallulah Gorge State Park. It was a small but important step in facing my fears because as a rule I stick to chain restaurants. I’m so bothered about the idea of getting food I don’t/won’t/can’t eat that many times my husband has suggested stopping at a small restaurants and the apparent look of frightened confusion on my face is enough to stop him from pushing the idea. So here I was determined to try a new place and new food.
First things first I loved the atmosphere of this place! The air was so fresh and clean. It felt freeing just to be there. Main Street had a definite ‘rustic charm’. There are three seating options outside, screened porch or small indoor dining room. Since it was a beautiful day we chose the screened porch where we were close to the action but still enjoy God’s handiwork.
Looking over the menu I took my first steps of food freedom and ordered fried green tomatoes. Now, let’s be clear, I’ve had fried green tomatoes. When I was young girl – my mom made them. I did not like them. Another issue I have is that I try at the mature age of 6, 8 or 9 years-old and I determined that it was ‘yucky’ and I move on to never eat that food again. So here I was almost thirty years later ordering them once again. I was nervous. What if I still didn’t like them? What if no one else liked them? Would they look at me like I was an evil person determined to ruin their lives by giving them strange-unappetizing food?
I would love to tell you that I was so pragmatic. I knew that the worse that would happen is no one would eat more than one bite and I might hear about it every now and then. And furthermore did I keep wanting to keep eating the same foods at home and out just because I was afraid to try new things? Nope. I just sat there sipping my sweet tea with a slight tension in my stomach waiting for the food. It arrives. Here goes nothin’.
We tried the fried country delicacy. (I wasn’t jumping off this culinary cliff alone)
You know what? Istill didn’t like them, Hubster didn’t like them but my son finished two of them. I thought the ranch sauce helped some but I realized what really bothered me about the dish was that the tomatoes seemed to lack seasoning underneath the crispy batter. Now I’ve been playing with the notion of seeing if I can create a version of this dish I would like.
Main dish time. My husband and son were game so we all ordered different main dishes with different sides so we could try as much of Main Street’s offerings in one meal. My son ordered the Fried Catfish po boy with mojo fries – which were seasoned fries with chili. My dear hubster ordered pulled chicken with cinnamon apples and coleslaw. I, to round out the ordering, had pulled pork with sweet potato fries and Brunswick stew.
The Brunswick stew was something really foreign to me. I might have heard of it somewhere but I had no clue what it was (I’m still not sure). Main Street also offered three types of barbecue sauces mild, hot and sweet. Here is the summary of our experience.
- Catfish – awesome and flakey THE BEST!
- Sweet Potato Fries – they were sweet with a crispy exterior
- Cinnamon Apples – sweet and tangy
- Mild barbecue sauce – it had the best flavor of the three
- Pulled Pork – could stand on it own thought the barbecue sauce made it more of a heavy hitter
- Hot barbecue sauce – good amount of heat without going overboard while still managing to retain some flavor.
- Coleslaw – too much mayo – it drowned out the cabbage natural flavors
- mojo fries – the fries were bland
- pulled chicken – bland
All in all it was a good trip. What I learned most is that by avoiding small local owned restaurants I was missing gems. Not only am I missing the opportunity to meet, support and glorify these hard working establishments I am also missing the culinary gems that they offer. I didn’t like all the food at the The Main Street but that true at most restaurants chain or not. What I did like though was really good. Before I came here I would have told you I don’t like catfish, but I liked that catfish (shows what I know). Sweet potato fries – who knew I would like those since I don’t care for baked sweet potatoes! New education, new learning, new chances to offer these gems to my own family and friends when I cook.
First step taken. .