I hunkered down Saturday night with good friends Susan and John, Margaret and Peter at Greenwoods, the popular eatery in the suburbs north of the Land of Cotton. It’s a special place with food that is plentiful and hearty, southern comfort grub that my yiddishe mama use to make – after a fashion.
Which isn’t all that surprising since the restaurant is owned and operated by Bill Greenwood, a nice Jewish boy who has managed to pull together a menu filled with southern soul food – pork chops and fried chicken, collards and black eyed peas. But there’s also lots of mainstream comfort food – pot roast and meatloaf, crab cakes and fish specials, mashed potatoes, creamed corn and other such veggies. On Fridays, just in time for Shabbat, Greenwood falls back on his Jewish roots and adds matzo ball soup to the menu -- it ain't kosher, but it ain't bad!
The restaurant is a rambling affair, a wooden shack that has been busted out and added onto, bits of eclectic art and hippified posters, a mix and match assortment of wooden tables and chairs, all nicely blended to create a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
The portions are huge, hot and dee-licious. But when I think back to last weekend – friends, laughter and good food – it’s the pie that lingers in my mind.
Now, of course, there are all sorts of sweet pies – cream, custard and those filled with fruit. And the bakers at Greenwoods know their way around an oven. Their pies are huge masterpieces, featuring flaky, tasty crust, filled with sugary confection and oozing bits of apples, cherries and peaches.
There were six of us and after we studified the menu a bit, we wisely chose two slices to share – peach and coconut. Trust me, it was plenty! The table was cleared by our young and energetic waitress and we made small-talk as we waited for our just desserts!
There was a bit of anxious maneuvering as the slices were strategically placed at one end of the table, six pairs of eyes zeroing in on the layers of sweetness as we fumbled around chatting about the weather and waiting for someone – anyone – to strike.
Margaret and the always lovely Miss Wendy, who, btw, has a fierce dislike for the distinctive flavor of coconut – her loss, our gain – dipped into the dessert, scooping up a bit of the chunky and fluffy stuff, then passing the slices on to Susan and Peter, then John and, finally, me.
Everyone sat in silence, the merry-go-round of goodness circling the table a half-dozen times or so, bits of peach goo and flaky coconut dribbling from our smiling mouths. I’m not sure, but I fear the last little taste was just one bite over the line, sweet Jesus!
Okay, I imagine this sort of thing happened with some sort of recreational drugs years ago in someone’s past. (I swear Peter, your secret’s safe with me.) But I think all of us, serenely sated at Greenwoods, can manage our sugary highs today.
Next time, I’m thinking Apple and Key lime might be the way to go. I mean, you know, just in case I’m near the restaurant like, ahhh, tomorrow!