A Tale of Two Super Clubs

Blink Bonnie's Wisconsin Supper Club St Germain“Two Standout Old School Spots in Wisconsin’s North Woods”

super club delightsLast week we headed up to Eagle River Wisconsin to see Jim’s mom Ruth and take a much needed weekend off. We have been going to the North Woods for over a decade and by far my favorite attraction up there is the old school dining. Wisconsin is know for it’s supper clubs – a 1950’s throw back restaurant concept which is alive and well throughout the state. If you don’t know about this phenomenon – check out “In Wisconsin Supper Clubs are open to All” – a well researched piece by David McAninch for the travel section of The New York Times. There are plenty of places to choose from in the Eagle River vacinity, but after a lot of hits and misses through the years – the following two spots are our go-tos every time. Both are located on country roads and have the old school vibe I am consistently drawn to. But don’t go expecting polished service or creative menu concepts. Instead revel in the community feel and menus geared towards carnivores.

Blink Bonnie's Wisconsin Supper Club St GermainMacGreggors Blink Bonnie – St. Germain, WI

A client friend from the store first told us about this tiny spot hidden along a county highway outside of St. Germain. It almost looks like a red one room schoolhouse – with natural wood paneling, taxidermy and plaid curtains composing the interior. The place has charm in spades and feels like somewhere Don and Betty Draper might drop in on road trip. Highlights are the Brandy Old Fashioneds (which they muddle to order) and the Prime Cut Steaks (served sizzling on Armetale platters). The Steaks are certainly good, but it is the Homemade Hashed Browns and house-made Garlic Ranch Salad Dressing which are tops. You can add a few Fried Shrimp to any steak dinner – which you should do – because they are phenomenal. And because of the quaint nature of the small dining room, be prepared to wait, perhaps as long as two hours during the busy summer season. But seats in the separate bar area turn over quickly. And there is plenty of people watching inside and nature watching outside (through the giant aquarium windows behind the bar) to keep you occupied. You are on vacation after all, so just relax and make an evening of it.

White Stag Inn Supper Club Rhinelander WisconsinWhite Stag Inn – Sugar Camp, WI

We had driven by this place dozens of times before first dining there last summer. Like Blink Bonnie this place is packed in the summers. But the scale of the restaurant is larger and accordingly the wait times are more manageable. Try and score a seat in the large dining room with the two massive charcoal grilling stations – this is where all of the food is cooked. The restaurant’s founder sold these grills wholesale in Chicago before opening his own spot in the North Woods. Today his grandkids run the place. Sadly they don’t muddle their Old Fashioneds – but they do make a mean Brandy Alexander which is a nice way to end your evening at the bar. Again, Steaks are the main attraction here – but Jimmy had a solid Smoked Pork Chop which might have been the best thing at the table. Dinners come with a salad and potato. For the salads Giant Wedges of Iceberg Lettuce are brought to the table along with a trifecta of house-made dressings (which are even better combined). For $3 you can add blue cheese crumbles – so go for it. Entrees are served from a stainless steel cart which wisks dinners from the broiler to the tables. A fun retro touch. The baked potatoes are huge and served with the restaurant’s own Cottage Cheese/Sour Cream Hybrid – also very tasty. Again, little has changed here since the 1950s – the room is paneled, dimly lit and filled with tons of European and North woods ephemera. A cozy place to tuck in and spend a relaxing evening.

MacGregor’s Blink Bonnie
1506 County Rd
Saint Germain, WI 54558
(715) 542-3678

White Stag Inn
7141 State Highway 17 N
Rhinelander, WI 54501
(715) 272-1057

no reservations, or websites, for either place.

Udon in Paris? Oui!

Udon, kunitorya, paris ” Kunitorya Paris – a delicious departure from fromage and foie gras in the city of light.”

Table view, kunitorya, paris, udon, villedoWhile I adore French food and wine, on our recent Paris buying trip I found that our typical binge on the super rich left me in a conundrum. After five days filled with dairy and complex sauces, all washed down with a lot of red wine, I found my palate at a stopping point. What to do? Despite my stomach’s limitations I couldn’t possibly waste a meal in Paris! So I decided to think like a Parisian. Certainly the food savvy civilians are not living on French cuisine alone. This thought sparked a memory of walking by a restaurant on our way home the evening before.The bright corner spot, near the Palais Royal, had no sign and a huge line out the door. All I could make out inside was communal tables filled with diners enjoying heaping bowls of Udon. The internet search was on . . . .

Online I soon discovered that the area I was walking through on the border of the 1st and 2nd Arrondissements is the “Little Tokyo” of Paris. And I also learned that there is great debate about which spot serves the city’s best Udon. The restaurant we saw was Kunitoraya, which has recently relocated to this larger spot at 1 rue Villedo. The place has a huge online fan base touting their noodles as tops. The other major contender is Sanukiya: which I will have to reserve for a future trip (and post). And don’t confuse Kunitoraya 1 with it’s fancier sister – called Kunitoraya 2 – down the street at number 5. 

The restaurant is open seven days week (well worth noting because finding quality places which are open on Sunday can be vexing). We arrived shortly before 7 and the line was already significant – but it moved quickly and we were seated about 45 minutes later. Standing outside gave us the opportunity to observe the tiny kitchen to glean clues about the food and menu. Once  inside the wooden tables are mostly communal – so you are packed in tight. But this proved to be part of the fun – the bright exposed brick room was filled almost exclusively with French and Japanese people. The servers are all Japanese and they speak limited English. However, upon request, they do have an English menu – which was a huge help (without it I would have ordered my Udon bu Boeuf Froide – or cold).

udon , tempura, japanese omlette, kunitorya, paris, villedoThe menu is divided into three sections: Udon in Soup (hot), Upon in Soup (cold) and Over Rice. Basically you choose the topping and pair it with one of these serving styles. The two most popular seem to be the Niku Udon (Boeuf) which pairs tender slices of lean beef with a flavorful beef broth packed with Kunitoraya’s handmade noodles and the Komachi Udon (Crevette et Algues) which places delicately fried shrimp and vegetable tempura atop a bowl filled with seafood stock. We both went the beef route – but had a serious fear of missing out on the tempura. While waiting in line we watched the chefs masterfully filleting and deveining each shrimp prior to hand battering and flash frying them piece by piece. Luckily you can order the Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura as an appetizer- which we did – along with the traditional Japanese Omelette.

The meal began with glasses of ice cold Kirin – a welcome departure from red wine. Hot and cold Sake is also available. The omlette was good (enlivened by shredded radish) but the tempura was stellar. Maybe the best I have ever had. The pieces were light and perfectly crisp – the shrimp unmistakably fresh. Our Udon was also exceptional. The broth tasted richly of beef – and the meat was super tender. The noodles were toothsome and cooked just right. Our portions were huge and yet we felt compelled to finish every drop. Service was brisk and friendly. The waiters speak almost no English but were happy to help navigate us through the evening with lots of mutual smiling and pointing. We left the restaurant satisfyingly full and content that we had enjoyed an authentic Parisian experience. And all of this was to be had for less than $100 for 2 people – a relative bargain in this part of the city.

All in all Kunitoraya was just the change we were looking for. A wonderful palate cleanse which left me with zero angst about wasting a meal or food moment in the city of light. And if you are in Paris for just a few days this would be a great lunch option as it is located just a short blocks from the Louvre and shops along Saint Honore.

Kunitoraya 1
1 rue Villedo, 1st.
75001 Paris, France

no reservations; english menu upon request

Chicken & Dumplings in Paris

Verjus Montage“Two well lauded Americans are delivering exceptional fusion cooking in cozy spot in the heart of The City of Light.”

Verjus insetTucked away on a quiet side street adjacent to the Palais-Royal is a tiny wine bar located directly below one of the city’s most buzzed about restaurants. Both are run by an American couple – chef Braden Perkins and his girlfriend Laura Adrian. The pair came to prominence with the Renegade Dinner Parties they hosted in their Paris Apartment. Now they have their very own spot. Upstairs at Verjus you find a six course tasting menu featuring Perkins’ creative and distinctly American cuisine. Downstairs at Verjus Bar-a-vin, Adrian mans the wine bar and serves the seasonal small plates which stream down the spiral staircase from the kitchen. Seats at the bar-a-vin are first come first serve and getting there early to obtain a spot proved well worth our while. We were there on our bi-annual buying trip and were seeking something which would measure up to Frenchie Bar-a-vin  (see previous post Two Dining Gems in Paris). And all I can say to that is Eureka!

Montage 1 Verjus

When we arrived at 6:30 the place was already packed. The bar was filled with jovial Americans – but when we left three hours later the crowd had become decidedly French. Settling in at a spot along the wall we and ordered 2 glasses of the blackboard Chablis. Two retirees from Virginia were seated next to us. They had been Verjus and the Bar-a-vin on previuous trips and loved every experience. In particular they went on and on about the fried chicken. Fried Chicken in Paris – I was in.

Verjus Montage 3

All of the eight or so small shared plates we sampled were delicious. But the highlights were the dishes pictured above. The Buttermilk Fried Chicken pieces with Cabbage and Red Chiles delivered great flavor just as promised. But the Southern Style Hushpuppies with Honey Butter were the standout – crisp on the outside, cakey on the inside, super moist and just a tad bit sweet. Delicious.  Another highlight – Celery Root Goyzas with “Dan Dan” Sauce and Toasted Peanuts. The Asian flavors were spot on.  We also loved the Crispy Pork Belly with Grilled and Pickled Chilies.  The chilies were white hot and well tempered with some spicy mayo. The dish reminded me of flavors I love in New Mexico. Another strong stop on the culinary world tour. For dessert we enjoyed a wonderful dish composed of Soft Cheese, Grilled Figs and Homemade Granola – the distinct textures held in perfect balance.

Well priced and well recommended glasses of wine flowed throughout the night and service was super friendly with just the right touch.  Another “must go” on my paris list.  (see previous post 14 Top Paris Picks for Bastile Day). And on our next trip we can’t wait to try the dinner service upstairs and the creative sandwiches they serve at the bar-a-vin Tuesday thru Friday from 12:30 to 2:00.

Verjus Bar-a-Vin
47 rue Montpensier

open Monday thru Friday from 6:00 until 11:00 pm
reservations are not accepted for the wine bar


14 Top Paris Picks for Bastille Day

frenchie“Frenchie Bar à Vins – and 13 Other Favorite Food Haunts in Paris”

A post by Amanda Puck and Lance Lawson – appearing on both of our blogs The Foodarazzi and The Richmond (respectively). 

In honor of Bastille Day, July 14th, we decided to put together a joint post to share our 14 Favorite Foodie Experiences within the city of light.  Yes the French can sometimes be snotty, and their cheese stinky, but there is no culture which better elevates and celebrates the art of fine food. We’ve been to Paris nearly 20 times between us, and six times together, and no matter what we always leave wanting more – more haute dogs, more country pate, and of course more macarons. We tend to forgo the five stars for neighborhood spots with a mix of locals and tourists. And we always love a good cocktail. Some choices are established (you can’t argue with success) and others hidden gems (we like to do our research). Regardless, each is a place we return to again and again to experice that certain “je ne sais quoi” which defines this ancient city. Bon Appetit! 

Our Top 14 Paris Foodie Experiences (ranked in no specific order):Montage 1

  1. Frenchie Bar à Vins (okay we lied – this is our top pick): nestled in the 2nd, directly across the street from the much lauded Frenchie, chef Gregory Marchand’s wine bar serves much the same menu in a less formal shared plate experience. From the well priced wine list, to his standout takes on french classics, this spot is not to be missed.  Unlike the restaurant, they don’t take reservations, so get there early to score a prime spot. Read more about Frenchie Bar du Vin.
  2. L’Avenue – make reservations for a weekday lunch, and pay way too much for a club sandwich at this “see and be seen spot” on avenue Montaigne. It’s really not about the food here, more about the social study of the Chanel clad ladies who lunch. Try and score a coveted cafe seat if weather permits. And be sure to order a side of the decadent whipped potatoes which are strangely perfect for dipping the chips which come with your sandwich.
  3. Bar 30  at the Sofitel Faubourg San Honore – This is our favorite place to stay in Paris and much of our love for the hotel stems from this jewel box bar which is the perfect place to start or end your evening. The bartenders take great pride in crafting creative cocktails with the very freshest ingredients – and be sure to say hello to our favorite mixologist Aurele.
    Montage 2
  4. Hot Dogs en Baguette from the green kiosk in the park across from the American Embassy at the beginning of the Champs Elysees at the Place de la Concorde. No visit to Paris is complete without one  It’s a simple and brilliant process where they partially hollow out a baguette, stuff it with a hot dog, pile on the greyere and put it under a broiler until it is bubbly and toasty. Need we say more? And they pair perfectly with lots of mustard (dijon of course) and a stack Paprika Pringles. 
  5. Chez Georges – behind the Palais Royal, on the tiny side street Rue de Mail you will find a french bistro which harkens back to the 1920s. The cramped tables, the crusty old waitresses in starched uniforms, and the old zinc bar combine to create an authentic experience.  But it is the food, all well executed french classics, which have kept this place bustling for generations.
  6. Ladurée – we know they are now in NYC, and that there are a million small bakeries scattered around Paris which may lay claim to better macarons.  But much of the joy of Ladurée is the experience. Go to the location on Rue Royale and wait in line on the carry-out side – it moves fast.  You’ll be transported back to childhood while picking your pastry and grin from ear to ear while watching them wrap it up in an exquisite box.  And while the macarons are fantastic – don’t miss the amazing elephant ears. They are perfection.
  7. Au Bon Accueil – tucked away on a small street at the base of the Eiffel Tower is this small charmer. Formal, but not fussy, look for a creative take on the french standards you know and love. The servers are friendly and the crowd the right mix of locals and tourists.  Plus the majestic view of the illuminated landmark on your way out the door provides the perfect end note to a decidedly Parisian evening.Montage 2
  8. A Sunday lunch of Roasted Chicken at Drouant – the elegant french dining room dates back to the 1880s. Noted Chef Antoine Westerman is now at the helm and his Roasted Chicken is not to be missed (available Sunday lunch only).  The expertly roasted bird is served family style on a silver platter with lots of au jus and piles of crispy frites.  It pairs perfectly with a nice cold bottle of Sancerre. We can’t imagine a more civilized way to spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon.
  9. Le Castiglione – This bustling cafe located along Rue Saint Honore is a perfect place to take a break from shopping and grab a light bite.  It is also an easy spot to start your day with coffee and tartine.  And like L’Avenue this spot is as much about the people watching as the food.
  10. Au Moulin a Vent – This spot in the Latin Quarter is our go to for Chateaubriand.  The old school charmer looks much as it did at inception in 1946 – replete with white table-clothes, red leather banquettes and aproned waiters. The menu is full of french staples like frog legs, escargot and haricot verts with crab, all made beautifully. But Au Moulin a Vent is is all about the bouffe, the corresponding sauces and the accompanying fried potatoes.  Save room for dessert – both the Floating Island and Profiteroles are tops. Read more about Au Moulin a Vent.
  11. Cantine at Merci – On the lower level of Merci, the uber hip concept store located in the Marias, you’ll find a hidden lunch spot. After perusing the store’s well edited assortment of home goods, apparel, and accessories, head downtairs for a light lunch in the bright modern space.  Decidedly french, the menu is limited to wonderfully creative cold salads, soup and a few plats de jour.  Add in a glass or two of Rosé, an espresso and  and a few slices of baguette, and you’re all set for a tres Parisian lunch experience.Montage 4
  12. Aux Lyonnais – Alain Ducasse is now at the helm of the historic bistro dating back to 1890. He has returned the room to it’s early 20th century elegance with lots of Art Nouveau and Art Deco stylings. Like it’s name, the food owes it’s influence to Lyon. We especially enjoy the charcuterie, poached eggs with crayfish and the cassoulet. The baked to order soufflés are a wonderful grace-note to an elegant evening.
  13. Le Defender – this cosy bar tucked inside the Hotel du Louvre is a true hidden gem. Dark and sexy, it is the perfect spot to grab a drink before dinner or to enjoy a night cap. Ice cold martini’s, and a wide array of champagne by the glass, set the tone to sit back and tuck in to this serene spot.
  14. Café Ruc – while we are all about french classics, we also love a good burger.  The one at Cafe Ruc is a stand-out – with a gooey melted cheese topper.  Part of the overtly hip Costes Group, this corner cafe is packed with art and fashion types. Take a break from sight seeing at the nearby Louvre and Palais Royal for a leisurely lunch in the chic dining room or at the sidewalk cafe.

There you have it.  But before we sign off, a few more pieces of advice. Make dinner reservations before you arrive (and lunch reservations at nicer spots like L’Avenue and Drouant). The french don’t understand the concept of walk-ins and popular places are booked weeks in advance. Email your hotel concierge five or six weeks before you go for help making these arragements. Hailing a taxi in Paris is an impossibility and finding a cab stand can be confusing.  So ask your waiter to call a taxi as you finish dessert.  Finally, although almost all of these spots have an English menu, and an English speaking wait staff, a few words in French will go a long way to build goodwill and assure you are well taken care of.

Amanda Puck – the foodarazzi
Lance Lawson – the richmond

48 Hours in London Town


“Last fall, prior to heading to Paris for the fashion market, Jim and I did a quick 48 in London to check out what was happening on the retail scene”

Kusama at SelfridgesIn many ways London is the place to look for the last vestiges of the great old-school department store. These institutions remain alive and well in this city center. We plotted our route to tour all the majors, and as was the case during our visit five years ago, Selfridges came out on top. From the amazing displays celebrating the collaboration between Louis Vuitton and the Japanese pop artist Yayoi Kusma (with her larger-than-life effigy heralding visitors into the main entrance of a building wrapped in her signature red and white dots) to the impeccably designed designer “shop-in-shops” (Tom Ford and Celine were especially remarkable), everything at Selfridges seemed to hold a pristine shine. Harvey Nichols felt a bit stuck in the late 90s, but it still boasts a well curated vendor assortment – especially on the women’s contemporary floor. Harrods remains quintessentially Harrods – more is more – with maybe the best assortment of men’s shoes on the planet. And at often over-looked Fenwick we came across a very strong assortment of well priced costume jewelry and a wonderfully creative women’s dress line we will add to our assortment at space519 for spring. Liberty remains the sentimental favorite – there is just nothing like walking through their fresh flower market on the way into the store – with all the scents of the season enveloping you. Their apothecary section is tops – with a winning assortment of products at all price levels. And I also especially loved their scarf bazaar and the creative assortment of vintage furniture retooled with their signature Liberty of London fabrics.

Wolf and BadgerFor specialty stores Brown’s has a impressive roster of emerging and established designers, but the main store on South Molton needs a brush-up. The well worn carpets and walls distract from the merchandise. Dover Street Market is worth checking out – but the industrial minimalist displays, art installations and effected salespeople all read a bit dated. On the other extreme Wolf and Badger (pictured right) had a well curated assortment of hard to find men’s and women’s accessories and the manager Joshua was delightful to chat with. The Conran Shop is alive and well in the UK and their shop in Chelsea has a really neat selection of modern home goods. Jim made a detour to The Refinery to find men’s skincare products he can’t buy in the states. And finally we both loved the well priced men’s and women’s pieces at Margaret Howell.

Rules Restaurant LondonAnd it can’t all be about shopping. Our hotel, The Pelham London, provided a chic and comfortable home-base for walking everywhere (and their head concierge Jamie had the very best tips). Our big night out was entirely old school. Pre-dinner martini’s in the art deco Beaufort Bar at the Savoy Hotel were it is 1930s Hollywood glamour all the way. I couldn’t stop staring at the Lalique lighting fixtures or the exceptionally well dressed clientele And dinner at Rules (pictured left) hit all the high points. With the strength of the pound the tab was a bit crushing, but I literally felt as if I was sitting in the midst of a Merchant Ivory production. The oriental carpeting, red leather tufted banquettes, and walls covered with art and memorabilia from the two plus centuries they have been in business, create an unbeatable ambiance. The food is traditional British fare and all of it was exceptionally well executed. A delightful split pea soup, beef raised on the restaurant’s own estate served with chips and Bearnaise sauce, and a text book quality sticky toffee pudding. The tuxedo clad waiters had the perfect touch and the intimate upstairs bar was perfect for a nightcap by the fireplace.

All and all, a perfect journey to what has to be my all time favorite city.

Doe’s and the Delta

Does Eat Place in Greenville Mississippi

doe's eat place greenville mississippiMuch of my family hails from Mississippi. On a recent visit down south I led a sojourn up to the Delta for a visit to the legendary steak joint Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville Mississippi. Doe’s seems to consistently merit a spot on many a national top steak house list (from Gayot Guides to Bon Appetit). They have been lauded by the nation’s top food writers and even won a coveted James Beard Award in 2007.  In fact delta lore reports that people have come from as far as London to specifically eat at Doe’s. So it is no surprise that I have been intrigued by this small family restaurant deep in rural Mississippi and the legendary status it has attained. Lucky for me my partner Jimmy, my mom Lucie, and my surrogate sister, and fellow foodie, Amanda Puck (thefoodarazzi.com) were willing to come along for the ride.

Does Eat Place started in 1903 as a grocery store in a small house, one literally situated on the wrong side of the tracks. In 1941 Big Doe Signa retired from bootlegging and converted the small family grocery into a honky tonk where his wife Maime also sold her signature tamales. Pretty soon thereafter Doe started serving local doctors dinner between their area house calls. He cooked them steaks on a large open gas broiler. Word spread about the steaks and soon the Honky Tonk was closed and the eat place was born.

Interior Does Eat Place Greenville MississippiDoe and Maime have since passed away, but today their sons run the business and have franchised the concept into other Southern cities.  But the Greenville location remains as if preserved in time, featuring the same limited menu of 8 items; beef hot tamales, fried or broiled shrimp, garlic bread, chili, a house salad with their own signature dressing, and steaks grilled to order served with hand cut french fries. You enter Doe’s through the back kitchen where the giant broiler is roaring and sit in one of two dining areas – a larger room with a working service kitchen in the in the center or a smaller dining room with larger tables.

After driving for an hour across the delta from our hotel in Greenwood (the amazingly posh and chic Alluvian) we were seated in the smaller dining room. To say the place is run down would be understatement. However although it is poor in appearance, it is rich in charm. The tables are covered in mismatched vinyl cloths and the walls in Delta ephemera. Our waitress was not rich in charm – but her gritty no-nonsense attitude seemed to suit the place perfectly.

Hot Tamales Does Eat Place Greenville MississippiShe inquired if we needed menus – a “we don’t take kindly to newcomers” battle cry that I also recently experienced at another legendary steak house, Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn (also, like Does, a James Beard Award Winner).  We did not, we had already formed our game plan in the car ride over.  We started with a few bottled beers (the only liquor on the menu – but you are also free to bring your own) and a half dozen hot tamales. These tamales were unlike any I had experienced at home in Chicago or during my childhood growing up around a lot of Mexican food in Colorado. But in this case different was delicious.  Unlike most tamles, which are wrapped in corn husks, these came in sheets of parchment paper tied with string.  They were skinny like cigars, light on corn (white meal vs. masa) but rich in a chili like beef filling. The juice from the steam pot covered the wrappers and our fingers – which everyone seemed to be licking unceremoniously. They were phenomenal.

Fried Shrimp Does Eat Place Greenville MississippiNext a basket of shrimp – each delicately fried, with a minimal amount of batter, allowing their fresh flavor to shine through. Quickly the basket was empty. Then the salads – a house specialty – chunks of iceberg lettuce tossed in ancient wooden bowls rubbed with a garlic and hand dressed with fresh lemon juice and olive oil.  I’m sad to report the salads were a disappointment.  The dressing was tasty but the lettuce had completely wilted in the hot kitchen and sogged out under the weight of the dressing.

What the salads lacked the steaks more than made up for.  We ordered both a giant Porterhouse and a Filet to share.  The Filet was delicious and perfectly cooked. But the Porterhouse was what really shined. The meat was a perfect cut, cooked to an ideal medium rare, dripping with natural juices, tender with a tasty seared crust.  Despite being half the price, it easily whipped the Porterhouse I had in January at the aforementioned New York steakhouse. Moaning definitely occurred during our dinner and I for sure had to wrestle my table-mates for a knife to cut the last remaining bits off the bone.  The french fries were equally stellar.  It is literally one cook’s responsibility to make the hand cut fries in small batches and fry them to order in individual cast iron skillets.  A labor of love that is evident in finished product.

Porterhouse Does Eat Place Greenville MississippiWe also commandeered an order of garlic bread after seeing a plate piled high headed to another table.  It turned out to be another example of simplicity executed perfectly – crisp and garlicky outside – pillowy soft inside.

As we reluctantly pushed ourselves away from the table locals were still streaming in. And when I was paying the check our waitress popped over and opened an ancient frigadare next to the register.  It was packed with boxes of old school ice cream sandwiches and she told me to help myself.  Perhaps it was a truce or a testament to the fact that we had played by the rules; no finicky requests or pretentious behavior. Regardless, I accepted. And I swear she may have even cracked the smallest smile.

Doe's Eats Place Sign at Night Greenville Mississippi Lance LawsonAs we walked out to the parking lot eating the ice cream sandwiches wrapped in wax paper, a group of the restaurant’s African American cooks were lined up outside taking a smoke break.  “Y’all ain’t from around here are you?” one questioned. My mother, a native, protested, but I secretly wished I was, because what I really wanted to be was a regular.


Doe’s Eat Place
502 Nelson Street, Greenville, MS