Saturday, July 26, 2008

Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Part 2

Now for some details of our trip to and from Montgomery.

As I mentioned in the previous post, we set off last Friday morning, about 10:30, for Montgomery, Alabama, about 175 miles north of Pensacola, via Interstate 65. Heading for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

When we passed by the Alabama town of Evergreen, it was almost lunch time and the halfway point of our drive. We decided to stop in the next town, Georgiana, and have lunch at the Georgiana Family Restaurant. We had eaten there before and liked it a lot. A typical southern country restaurant, open only at lunch time and serving "meat and two." That means a meat dish -- your choice of fried chicken, catfish, chicken fried steak, meatloaf -- and two side dishes such as collard greens, fried corn, black eyed peas, sweet potatoes, etc. Sometimes rolls or cornbread are included too. Drinks are usually extra. All of it is at a very reasonable price, between $6.00 and $8.00 each.

We were ready to eat but when we got there the restaurant was no longer there. And the building said "Georgiana Used Cars." And it had a sign saying it too was "out of business." Sadly, for us, Georgiana is so small there are no other restaurants except for a hot dog stand at the gas station.

Business card, The Chef's TableHungry, we drove up a side road the 15 miles to Greenville hoping to find somewhere to eat. Anywhere. Anything.

The side road was deserted and we decided to eat at the first likely place we could find in Greenville. Halfway through Greenville we saw a bright, fresh awning and a sign that said "The Chef's Table." The food was good (meat and three!) and the location interesting. There were several old, beautifully restored Victorian homes nearby just down from the village square with its brick city hall.

We had fried chicken, corn bread, greens, braised cabbage, blackeyed peas, chess pie, banana pudding and iced tea. The price was $7.98 per person.

About an hour later we had checked in to the Hilton Garden Inn in Montgomery with plenty of time for a shower, nap, and dinner before the show at ASF. We had already searched the Internet and made a list of likely restaurants, looking for a casual, nearby place with a local feel.

Chappy's Deli logoThe best casual dining spot close to the Hilton was Chappy's Deli on Perry Hill Road. It was just down the street a couple blocks and had a great menu of creative light meals and deli classics. Chappy's is a small chain with four other delis in the area. It's very popular with families and early on a Friday evening it was packed. But the large size of the place and the fast service meant there was no wait at all.

Then we were off to ASF to see West Side Story and we were pleased to find it was a excellent production in every way.

Sinclair's logoThe next day we needed a hearty brunch before seeing ASF's The Beaux' Stratagem at 2:00 P.M., so we ate at Sinclair's East. It was close to the ASF grounds and had great food.

The decor and furnishings are very nice and the food is well-prepared, not inexpensive -- reasonably priced for the quality -- but not cheap. However there is something strange about Sinclair's atmosphere -- the young staff dress like pigs. Sloppy tops, grungy blue jeans that don't look clean (maybe they are, but...) and a hostess wearing short shorts that were not appropriate with her more than ample figure. They must be be the owner's kids.

Like Chappy's this restaurant is part of a small local chain with two other Sinclairs' in the area. After the play, which we really enjoyed, we were on I-65 heading south for home at 5:05 P.M. It had been a quick trip and we got to see two excellent productions by one of the best Shakespeare Festivals in the country.

Krystal logoWe picked up our evening meal at the Krystal drive thru in Ft. Deposit. We each had a sack of burgers and a Dr. Pepper. We ate them while racing down I-65. For more information about the Krystal chain go to Krystal's Wiki page.

We arrived home at 8:30 Saturday night. The total mileage for the trip was 384 miles.

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