Monday, December 26, 2016

Followup to "The Greatest (Chowhounding) Story Ever Told"

The wildest and wooliest story of the entire hyper-ambitious "Chow Tour" I undertook for CNET (which started here) was reported in installment #31: "The Greatest (Chowhounding) Story Ever Told". It was an agony/ecstasy tale of driving all day in pursuit of multiple holy grails which all fizzled, only to find redemption and divine consolation at the very moment me and my friend JB were sure we'd have our yankee asses trotted off to jail by law enforcement in the hamlet of Mount Vernon, Kentucky. God bless you, Officer Bill, wherever you are.

After you've read it, check out JB's notes from his recent follow-up visit:
10 years after "The Greatest Chowhounding Story Ever Told" I am finally in Kentucky for a Christmas family weekend when Derby City Truck Stop is open for fish fry Friday.

Forget the fresh-from-the-freezer crinkle fries; the store bought coconut cream pie; the overly bread-y hush puppies, and the indelicate frying of the okra. These are only signs that Derby City Truck Stop lacks the staffing to do all things right (with one man in the kitchen and one woman staffing the rest of the restaurant on her own), not that they have lost their touch, which was so evident 10 years ago.

The fried catfish was the experienced headliner, well worth the hour long drive. Appropriately greasy, flavorful, fresh, and apparently limited in quantity -- only three orders available to be hungrily shared by our party of six.

A bonus from the fryer: fried green tomatoes. If the fish wasn't quite the best (those memories of 10 years ago are so hard to top), the tomatoes take that trophy this time. Delicately crunchy, deceptively sweet, savory without being salty, I've never before had food appear as if one more moment in the fryer could have ruined it and one less wouldn't have been enough.

Dessert starred, as well. Cobbler was a touch low on fruit-to-crust ratio, but was the best from first bite to last; fully ripe fruit with an almost savory balance. Bread pudding was indescribable in detail, the heady taste of forgotten nostalgia. 

- JB
Click on each of these to expand for full mouthwateringness...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice piece' I felt like I was there!

I think this is the Col Sanders you were looking for I've heard tell it was good but not somebody I particularly trust. In my experience, the best southern fried chicken is made by grandmas, the sort of meal you don't go out for.

Couple of usage quibbles:

chowhound is 20th century army slang for somebody like a hungry GI athlete in training with an indescriminate appetite for cafeteria chow in quantity, always first in line,eats when hungry which is always, not a self-starved gourmand in search of only exceptional food

And on that occasion I wouldn't say you were bereaved over a loss of spoonbread you'd had, so I ixnay on bereft

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