Monday, January 4, 2016

Adventures at the Smokey Hollow Restaurant in Jemison

One of the places Dianne and I visit from time to time is Petals from the Past in Jemison. She's the gardener, but the business does feature "heirloom" and "antique" plants, so there's some natural history there. Recently they have begun specializing in plants native to and once common in Alabama and the South. To get there, take the Jemison exit at Chilton County 42, go west, and turn left at County 29. Drive a couple of miles and Petals will be on your left.

However, the best part of such a trip is a stop for breakfast, lunch or supper at the Smokey Hollow Restaurant. You can't miss it; the place is on the right where you turn left to go to Petals. Nothing fancy there, just good food and lots of it. We've eaten there many times in recent years and never been disappointed. The interior has a neat decor; the photo below only gives a taste of the interesting signs and posters all over the walls.

I do have one funny story to tell about the place. One Sunday afternoon back in September, on our way to a talk on native plants at Petals from the Past, we stopped in for lunch. We had been seated for a few minutes when an older gentleman in overalls, ball cap and several days growth of beard came in alone and sat in the booth behind Dianne. Soon the young lady who had been waiting on us went up to him and asked what he wanted.

He wanted a steak, and he wanted the waitress to bring the meat out for him to examine before it was cooked. "Sir," the waitress protested, "I can't bring raw meat out here." He didn't miss a beat. "You go back there and tell so-and-so [he gave the cook's first name] and tell him so-and-so [he gave his own name] is out here and wants to look at his meat." 

The poor waitress, who must have been new enough not to have dealt with this customer before, dutifully went to the back and soon brought out a steak wrapped in butcher paper to show him. He approved. She asked how he wanted it cooked. "Almost that raw," he replied. 

I wonder if Highland's Bar & Grill has customers like that.

The town of Jemison had about 2500 people in 2010. You can read about its history, much of it involving the state's early railroads, here. Jemison was incorporated in 1907. 

This photo of Smokey Hollow Restaurant and the one below are courtesy of TripAdvisor

Some of the decor is superb. 

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