Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Lunch at Lloyd's

Dianne and I made a rare trip to the US Highway 280 area recently and decided for old time's sake to have lunch at Lloyd's Restaurant. The place is legendary in central Alabama, having operated at its current location since 1978. The original Lloyd's opened in Chelsea in a modest building in 1937; the owner was Lloyd Chesser. After his retirement in 1971, the new owners eventually relocated the business. 

At the time of that move, the place was "out in the country". The only other business at the time in that area may have been the one across the highway, Perrin's Grocery, a gas station & store with a stone face that's still operating. I believe there has been a bit of growth around those businesses in the past few years.  

I remember eating at Lloyd's probably in the early 1990's when our kids Amos and Becca were pretty young. Dianne and I could not really remember if we had ever eaten there another time. 

Frankly, I was rather disappointed. I had a chopped pork plate, which arrived with some sort of weak-tasting sauce ALREADY ON IT. Yikes. The pork wasn't all that flavorful, either. A couple of weeks earlier brother Richard and I ate at a Gibson's Bar-B-Q in Huntsville, and I had a choice of red or white sauce to go on the excellent pork. White it was, by the way. 

The turnip greens, corn on the cobb and butter peas were pretty good. Dianne enjoyed her grilled snapper, so maybe I ordered the wrong entree. I'm afraid the place and its food just struck me as rather tired. If you want a 1970's time machine, Lloyd's will do. 

In today's varied culinary and nutrition conscious worlds, traditional Southern food seems passe and lots of it is not that healthy. I say that as an Alabama native who has lived here all my life and eaten who knows how many such meals over the years. These days our eating choices are so much wider, and I like a lot of them. Let's go get some sushi!

Every now and then I do want some of that "comfort" food and much better can be found at Niki's West and Sweet Tea Restaurant in Birmingham or Sarris Cafe in Pelham. Strangely enough, those three places are owned by people with Greek roots. Immigrants from Greece began coming to central Alabama over a hundred years ago. Now that's Southern!

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