I am making a list of all the places I ate while in Tallahassee. Since most of my friends work, they sensibly wanted to meet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I found myself with a full schedule of eating! This is not a bad thing since breaking bread with friends is not only pleasurable, but sustaining in many ways. Of course, I also ate at the home of a long-time teaching colleague, my good friends Robin and John, book club brunch at Loree’s, and meals with my cousin, Jill, with whom I was staying. Lynda, in Weaverville, kindly made fabulous and fabulously healthy meals while I was in North Carolina. Here goes — my list which covers chain and privately owned restaurants!
Seminole Golf Course, Carrabas, Hopkins Eatery, Kool Beanz, Siam Sushi, Village Inn, Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden, Up in Smoke, Dog Et Al, Bonefish Grill, Sage (twice), Sweetgrass Dairy, Panera’s (twice). When I got home, I had an invitation to go to dinner at The Boathouse in Lake Wallenpaupack, but declined — I think I need to know exactly what I’m eating for a while. The act of “eating out” is one that provides a place to meet, drink, and eat and is especially convenient when staying at someone’s home. It gave my cousin time for her to keep up her own schedule and gave me time to have nice long visits with friends. However, noise is a factor, as is the tendency of all Tallahassee restaurants to think you want to eat as a means to an end and get out fast. “We’re not in a rush,” became the mantra of dining in Tallahassee, but there was no way to mitigate the noise in some places. Surprisingly, Dog Et Al provided a nice quiet place to catch up with Robin at a place we met for lunch now and then — far enough from the university and familiar faces, close enough to be convenient. My first day in Tallahassee, I met Kim for lunch at the Seminole Grill; late enough to avoid former colleagues, we sat outside to enjoy the weather and to find quiet. Each venue had a different ambience that added to the experience.
I am so fortunate to have many friends and miss them terribly. February will be my next trip south I hope if the timing works out for my hosts. I am already thinking about where to eat on this next trip — my friends and I tended to eat at the same places we went to when I lived there which was fun. Must admit — the Sweetgrass Dairy lunch of cheese, crackers, olive oil and toast points, and beer, was a high point. Old fashioned ice cream sodas at Lofty Pursuits with Jill also a fun stop and, by the time I return I will be seriously looking at the vintage toys they are famous for.
While “breaking bread” has biblical connotations, I like to think of it in a more general way — not just sharing a meal, but sharing stories, ideas, laughter, and memories. What could be better?