review by Adam Brandt
When he’s not beating his eggs, Adam makes time to respond to e-mails that get past his hard-ass spam filter. You can try to reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam also has this thing called Sandwich Control.
On this week’s adventure, I have a very special treat for you.
Seldom do we get to eat at an incredibly unique and wonderful restaurant. A place so special that the atmosphere transplants us completely into the world that the restaurateurs had in mind when they set the theme of the place. It would be like if we went to eat at Outback and we had to avoid being killed by venomous snakes and spiders.
Well, maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the idea.
Nestled comfortably back behind Staples on Rogers Avenue is Nene’s Old Fashion Home Cooking. To be honest, you probably don’t even know the place is there. I sure didn’t. What you find, once you muster up the courage to check the place out, is that you are walking into someone’s home. They don’t really live there, but that’s what they wanted it to feel like. Simple handmade tables and store-bought chairs fill the place.
But, there is also a lounge area for playing games and a living room complete with couches and a big screen television. If you go on Saturday morning, it is almost a guarantee that cartoons will be on. It is like going to Grandma’s house. And like Grandma’s house, there is a sort of no nonsense approach to service. You are obviously there to eat and drink, so the waitress doesn’t bother asking if you want something to drink, she just tells you what they have to offer.
Same with ordering food.
She hands you the menu and tells you the daily specials and waits patiently for you to order. She knows why you’re there. There’s no need to beat around the bush with niceties. Not that they aren’t nice, or polite. That’s not what I’m saying. It’s just that they are straight and to the point. If you went to Granny’s house, she wouldn’t ask if you want something to drink at supper, she’d just tell you what she’s got to drink. The illusion is astounding.
Speaking of food and drink, let’s eat, shall we?
Nene’s sweet tea is by far some of the best around. Strong and sweet, but not too sweet. Like I like my women. Sorry. I couldn’t resist. Now one thing you must know when ordering is that nearly everything is homemade. So, when you order the chicken fried steak, know that they pound it out by hand, bread it, and fry it right then and there. Then, they cover it with real, homemade gravy. I could say that it is absolutely the best CFS I’ve ever eaten, but it still wouldn’t have enough gravity. This thing is ridiculously good. And tender enough to cut with a fork.
Also, the burgers are fan-friggin-tastic. Handmade patties cooked to your specifications on the spot. Want it covered with from-scratch chili and freshly grated cheddar cheese? No problem. Will your mind explode and your heart stop because you know that you’ll probably never eat something this wonderful again? Probably.
As far as sides go, the cabbage fried with bacon is astronomical. Think things can’t get better than that? Try the smothered potatoes. Think they can’t get better still? Get the fried potato balls. Imagine taking a deliciously starchy potato, making a batter from it, and making, for all intents and purposes, hushpuppies. I’m salivating just writing about them. I hope you saved room for dessert, because NeNe’s sweet potato pie is … how did I put it in my notes? … ah, “F*****g amazing!” (I have to watch my language though, or NeNe might come wash my mouth out with a washcloth sudsed up with Ivory.)
If you haven’t been to or seen NeNe’s, go find it. And eat there. Especially, if you are suffering from the football blues. She will cheer your belly right up.
Until next time, good eating to you and yours.