22 June 2007

Paean to my old flame 'Vickie'

Kate/Susan is searching for the perfect sub sammich.

Loveuhmylife Seraphim is questing for 'cue.

Me? I've been in coastal Georgia for going on seven years (July 29 to be exact), and I have yet to find a good Friday night fried seafood buffet around here.

Folks, there weren't a whole helluvalot of things I enjoyed about Troy, Alabama toward the end of my time there, but one thing I lived for on many a Friday night was taking a short drive down to a tiny settlement called Victoria, in northern Coffee County. A converted former grocery store/gas station combo housed a place called Green's Country Kitchen. Your basic meat-and-three Southern "comfort food" diner by day, but Friday night was a different story. $9.95 a head bought you all-you-can-eat fried seafood, fried chicken, perfectly-done crinkle-cut fries, and sweet iced tea (yes, the drink came with it).

I would've paid the ten smackers just to be able to walk in and smell it.

I didn't call it Green's, I just referred to it as "Victoria." As in, "I'll be heading down to Victoria for supper tonight." I first discovered it along about 1994. I didn't eat there too often at first, as Whatzername, my first wife, wasn't too crazy about it (her idea of a dream seafood buffet was the frou-frou places where they charge $30.00 for fish they barely cook, or do other weird things to. Sorry, but I'm Southern; God intended for seafood to be deep-fried to a point where you can feel your arteries constricting shut as you eat). But after the divorce in late '97, I made "Victoria" my Friday night supper host on those every-other-Fridays I didn't have my son Tiger (then, and now, he reviles seafood). Her seafood gave me peace and solace during a time when an empty weekend was staring me in the face.

Green's seafood buffet never failed to please. It was that good (I seem to recall brochures at the cash register for all the hospitals in Montgomery and Dothan ... touting the superiority of their cardiac wards). Of course, I soon met Seraphim and on those non-Tiger Friday nights I began heading in the other direction: toward Columbus.

But Seraphim loved "Victoria", too. On Fridays when she had the day off, she'd usually come over to Troy on Thursday nights, often showing up at WTBF while I was doing my classic rock program. And on those Fridays, we both went down to Green's and chowed down. Now I had a woman who knew and appreciated the fine art of seafood.

It's now been nearly seven years since I last partook of Green's buffet. Hell, I don't even know if it's still in business. I hope so.

Maybe one of these days I can get over there soon enough where I can find out for myself. My son still doesn't like seafood, but I can get him Burger King and just let him sit in the car, jamming out to whatever on his MP3 player while I go in and enjoy deep-fried nirvana.

In any event, all this doesn't change the fact that I have not found a good inland small-town diner which offers a good AYCE seafood spread on Fridays. Seraphim and I thought we had a couple of years ago when we drove up to Sylvania (~50 miles up highway 21 from here). But the restaurant was not an AYCE format. Hell, the portions were tiny. And the fish wasn't that good.

But the search continues. I'll bet SOUTH BY-GAWD CAROLINA has one somewhere.

This is more than a yearning. It's a quest. It's a quest for fish. I'm gonna eat fried fish and you're gonna eat fried fish. We're all gonna have so much fucking fried fish we'll need triple-bypass surgery just to....

Geez ... I gotta be crazy! I'm on a pilgrimage for seafood. Praise the Henny Penny fryer! Holy Shit!

Which reminds me, it's Friday night and we haven't eaten yet.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "My undersea kingdom for some fried scallops" Gleck


nettiemac said...

Of course there's good fried seafood to be found here in SC!!! Can't vouch for any of the places in the lowcountry, but we have a few good places here.

Unfortunately, none of them that I know of are AYCE's ..... :( But I'll keep the ears and eyes open.

Talmadge G. said...

One problem, of course, is we're near the coast. And near a major 'touristy' town. The only rural eating out here, though, tends to be BBQ -- and very middling at that (right, Sera?).

There's supposedly a place in Jesup which has a Friday night spread. About 70 miles from here on a good night. I've been tempted more than once ...... otherwise, I get the feeling I'll have to stumble upon it by accident.

Maybe someday. Perhaps this Fall the two of us will go on a little joyride into the upper Lowcountry (i.e. west of US-301) and see if we can find anything.

PS - I love Cracker Barrel's fish plate they serve on Friday nights, but it's not AYCE. Now if THEY start something ... phew .... I'll be knocking down interstate mile markers like dominos! :-D

Kate/Susan said...

What's the big deal with Calabash seafood?

When we were in Sunset Beach last year and Myrtle Beach any of the times we've been, we see signs screaming CALABASH SEAFOOD! We've been to a few buffets and one place in Calabash (I think??) and I was just like "Whatever" about the whole experience. If you find the place, Tal, I'm going.

nettiemac said...

Would that Williams were still in Savannah..... I can't remember if it was AYCE or not, but it was good eating! We roadtripped to Savannah one weekend in college and went there ... last time I went there was with the Goon.

We shall find y'all something. I promise!

Talmadge G. said...

Kate/Susan: Dunno about "Calabash Seafood" -- that's the first I've heard of such a thing (could this be what Jimmie Durante was addressing at the end of his TV programs?).

Nettiemac: I highly suspect William's will NOT rebuild. I have a theory about it, and it's not a pretty one: they were having some financial issues, but to have closed would raise a big stink. Oh NO! A fire reduced the entire building to ashes! What will we DO?

That was - how many years ago, Seraphim - THREE or more??? Not a thing has been mentioned about rebuilding. No investigation for arson. It's been curiously quiet. The paper has said nothing. TV, nothing. And the Williams name, I understand, is pretty big in Savannah.

Draw your own conclusion. :-/