Obviously, Laura is out of town, and I’m trying new restaurants. Tonight I was in the mood for simple but tasty. I’d heard some folks talking about Southern Fried Green Tomatoes, and thought I needed to give it a try. SFGT is a meat-n-two located on Congaree Road, behind Haywood Mall.
This place is a study in contrasts. The decor is simple, but tasteful. To be honest, it struck me as being a bit too new and tasteful to for an honest-to-goodness meat-n-three. I guess that’s because most of these places have been there for decades, many with the same decor and furnishings. SFGT is a newcomer.
That lack of age can’t be used to describe the tyipcal clientele. Most were senior citizens. I even witnessed one elderly lady slap the waiter when he dropped a dish of mashed potatoes on her table.
Oldies rock-n-rolled played constantly. I think most of the patrons would hvae prefered an even earlier genre. To be fair, a couple of younger families did come in toward the end of the meal. I was happy to see a news rack with The Beat, which usually indicates a certain level of coolness.
The menu is printed on a plain 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper because it supposedly changes daily. The standard fare is meat and two, with selections including turkey and dressing, pot roast, suasage and sauer kraut, and the requisite sides of fried chicken. Tonight there waas a selection of fourteen different vegetables. In additioon to these, there were several salads, and a few sandwiches.
The prices tended to be a bit higher than other meat-n-threes I’ve visited. The standard dinner prices hovered right around $8, but at least this did include drinks.
I ordered the pot roast and stewed vegetables. I didn’t think I needed more veggies, but since they came with the meal, I got Crowder peas and the namesake fried green tomatoes. How could I have passed that up? A big ol’ glass of sweet tea was the only acceptable beverage to wash down this combination.
The food arrived quickly. There was a plate holding three smaller dishes – one for the roast, one for the peas, and one for the tomatoes. I was tempted to dump it all into the middle of the plate, but resisted.
The pot roast and stewed vegetables were good, but needed just a touch more seasoning. With some salt and pepper, they were satisfactory. The Crowder peas were good, but cried out for an acidic accompaniment, either vinegar, or, better still, stewed tomatoes. Still, I don’t get them often, and enjoyed them as they were.
The fried green tomatoes were a new experience. The slices were breaded with what appeared to be panko crumbs. They looked more like disks of squash than tomatoes, and had a similar flavor. Since I didn’t really know what to expect, I had no point of comparison as to their authenticity. Authentic or not, I enjoyed them.
After the spilling-slapping incident, the waiter disappeared for a bit, and took a little longer getting my order. I guess he can be forgiven. Other than that, the service was acceptable.
I can see how the simple food would really appeal to some. For me, it was a bit bland, and not the savory combination I was after. Still, I enjoyed it.