Have you ever been slapped in the face with a greeting like this? "Welcome to our restaurant! May I recommend the chilled, cracked Alaskan King Crab claws and our 6-ounce, oakroom-aged, hand-carved, USDA-certified Angus beef medallions? And you must try the Spanish arugula and capers salad, finished with a delicate touch of our Montevideo balsamic vinegar wine dressing." Look at those over-stuffed words: Chilled; Cracked; Hand-carved; Medallions; Finished; Delicate. You aren't sure if you're supposed to eat it, or frame it and hang it in the hall... I mean, hang it in "the foyer." This fancy-talking, upper-crusted food banter is so common that I'm getting fed up without even taking a bite.
What happened to the basic joy of eating? Why the mouthful of big words?
We're losing our simple eating habits. We don't drink water anymore. Now we consume a delicately-balanced, hydrating beverage. We don't eat green beans anymore. Now, we get all snooty and French and partake of a demi-glace haricot vert.
Well, not me. I've had my last haricot vert, and I've sucked down my last bottle of water that has a name and a pedigree.
From now on, I just want to eat my food. I don't want to take it to a debutante ball and dance it around the floor. I just want some real, honest, no-frills, good food. And that means, I'm going to be eating a lot of barbecue. Barbecue is such a simple food that it goes by its nickname: BBQ. BBQ doesn't "finish," or "touch," or "hand-carve." BBQ just is. And that's what we need. We need more food that "just is."
I went to one of my favorite BBQ places today. I wanted a simple lunch, and Pippin's down on Highway 20 is always more than happy to help. I ate ribs. I ate fries. I drank sweet tea. And I had loaf bread. Loaf bread is good enough for me.
It's simple, and I need it for the sauce. Pippins has a rib sauce that's just incredible. They don't give it a fancy name; It's just "rib sauce." And when you take a slice of loaf bread, and you dip it in that rib sauce... well, let's just see someone try to do something that miraculous with their "cracked-and-chilled-whatever" and their five-dollar bottles of exquisite water. Let's just see them try.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org