Wednesday, 28 May 2014

American Road Trip - Lunch at the Whistle Stop Cafe, and Supper out in Charleston - Part 13


Well, of course, it isn't the real Whistle Stop Cafe.... but the brew pub has Fried Green Tomatoes on the menu as a starter.  What can I do?  They also have hush puppies - what are they then?  We ask our absolutely charming waiter what they are, and if you already know, you will be laughing by now.  Deep fried dough balls made with corn meal.  Have to try them so that's starter number two; and then John chooses Spicy Shrimp for starter number three.  So there we sit, on a table outside watching the world go by and sharing our starters.  Fried Green Tomatoes?  Just that.  Sliced and dipped in a very thin batter and then fried.  Served on a cheesy sort of sauce with a pale green chutney/pickle made, I think from a vegetable called chow chow.  I loved them!  Going to try to cook them myself.  The hush puppies are good too, crispy on the outside, bready on the inside, and served on a bed of salad.  Finally the Spicy Shrimp, which of course are prawns.  They are delicious too.  So what a nice little "southern" lunch!  We get talking to a couple on the next table who are having a treat of a few days away - their youngest child just off to college, they have not had a solo break for seventeen years - I  truly cannot imagine that.  They are from Concord, near Charlotte, North Carolina, and have accents so strong that even I have to bend forward.  "Moose, that's ma kinda nickname"  he tells us.  They too are charming, concerned for our welfare ("doncha go goin' off the main highways without a full tank of gas y'all!") and we spend a lovely half an hour talking to them.  Then a slow stroll up another couple of blocks to the market where Maccers gets a plain black Tshirt (his souvenir), and I get a present for my sister. It is an air conditioned building and when we open the door at the far end I'm finished!  I can't walk home.  Sorry, but there it is.  We call the Tom, Pedicab "driver" who picked us up and delivered us for our walking tour this morning, and he says "Wow!  On my way!"  and, like a knight errant, here he comes!  We clamber aboard in 90+ (f) with matching humidity, and he still manages to get up speed, taking us through the university buildings instead of the direct route because it's cool.  Is that cool as in hip or cool as in not so hot?  I'll never know, I didn't ask him.

But here he is  complete with a fashionable (or so we hear) beard, and all he wants to do really is write music and play in his band...  Another southern charmer.  It's tonight that we are taking Kathleen, our host, out to supper to repay her kindness of yesterday.   So alighting daintily from the pedicab (haha!), I get myself inside and upstairs for yet another shower.  Later on we walk a few blocks to the Loaves and Fishes, a local restaurant where she has been coming for family celebrations for years.  Nice little place, too, and a quiet gossipy walk home, to be met by Captain Stump;  a tortoiseshell cat of indeterminate years who only has half a tail (hence the name) and is definitely a female.
Idea of scale?  The ceilings in this house are 18 ft high, and you can see that there is another 2 ft above the wallpaper.

And for the last time, we climb into that huge bed because tomorrow we are heading back North on the 95 highway on our way home.  But still, a few adventures to come yet!