I don’t know what it is about Mississippi and restaurant names, but any eatery in the Magnolia state that has the word “grocery” in it is bound to be a winner. Examples: City Grocery in Oxford, Pizza Grocery in Corinth. And Romie’s Grocery in Tupelo. A meat-and-three by day, Romie’s turns into a warm and friendly dining experience at night featuring a creatively eclectic menu of fresh Southern favorites. And then of course there is the ladies’ room — you know that’s one of my top priorities for a restaurant. And Romie’s gets top grades for its home-like decor, cozy lighting and whimsical art work. Also: I sort of want to take this sink and the bathroom counter home with me, but a) that would leave a huge hole in the Romie’s ladies’ room and b) my Dear Husband consistently turns his nose up at bowl sinks. I say they’re an imaginative way to add some personality and style to a bathroom. He says, “They’re just weird. And wrong.” But I believe, with all due respect, that in this instance he is wrong. I mean, doesn’t the contrast of textures among the sink and the mirror and the counter just make you believe that the whole world should be this cool? Imagine, if you can, what it would look like with your typical white bathroom sink. Ugh. However, Dear Husband and I do agree that Romie’s is delicious and we should eat there as often as we can.
I don’t care what you say — I think this is a balanced meal. Look, you’ve got your dairy (cheese dip) and your grains (tortilla chips). Hot peppers are full of nutritional stuff, and didn’t I read somewhere that beer is pretty much almost nearly just as good for you as red wine? And of course, you can never have too much salsa. This is an example of the weekly date night my husband and I cling to no matter what else is going on. But not just any Mexican restaurant will do. We head to a specific one that we’ve gone to for years. In fact, the waiters don’t even ask us what we want anymore — they’ve practically got it on the table as soon as we sit down. My husband pours the beers and squeezes the limes and always makes sure I get the coldest mug as we munch chips and dip. Sometimes we order actual food. Sometimes not. But we always have a good time.
Random thought — Welcome back, Tiger Woods. Hope your knee is better.
Blog recommendation — For a different take on Lent, visit today’s post at A Day That Is Dessert , http://www.leciawphinney.com/. Lecia passes on a wonderful Lent idea from her pastor. Don’t miss it.
As Liz Lemon says, don’t you “want to go there?” This is Sol, a funky and fun restaurant on Main Street off the square in Franklin, Tennessee. My husband and I wandered in on a recent late-night meander and instantly were captivated. Only the bar was open so we plopped ourselves down and enjoyed exploring the whimsical Mexican menu — and decor. Both are sort of casual-cool with an eclectic twist. It’s Frida Kahlo meets Iron Chef and obviously a popular gathering spot for the young and hip. We felt right at home (!) and happily devoured some deliciously fresh nachos washed down with cold beer — one of our favorite meals — and vowed to come back when we could work our way through the dinner menu: salmon wrapped in a banana-leaf, fish tacos and a poblano-potato cake especially looked good. We remember this same space when it was an upscale Italian sort of restaurant and marveled at the transition. Downtown Franklin is a happening place, worthy of a visit just to walk and eat and shop. Check out Sol at http://www.solonmain.com/ (that’s where these photos came from — it was way too dark, in a good way, for pics the night we were there) and learn more about Franklin at http://www.visitwilliamson.com/
On that same trip to Franklin, we also ate at Basil Asian Bistro, on Carothers Parkway across I-65 from Cool Springs Galleria. If Sol is vibrantly energetic, then Basil is calmly zen. It’s white tablecloths and quiet conversation but with the same appreciation for fresh ingredients and authentically prepared food. The extensive menu offered sushi, pad thai, curry and other classics. Luckily, we were with our friends Ted and Elayne, who had picked Basil for our lunch and steered us to their favorite dishes — and they were right. My husband and I especially loved the inventive sushi, the crisply cooked vegetables and the strong and fragrant hot tea. Good food and good company can’t be beat. We’ll be back. Go to http://www.basilasianbistro.com for details.