Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Feasting on Asphalt

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Jive Talkin’

And if there’s somebody
You’ll love till you die
Then all that jive talkin’
Just gets in your eye
The last few nights, I’ve been watching repeats of “Feasting on Asphalt” on the Food TV Network. I’m a big fan of Alton Brown and “Good Eats”. He’s adorable and entertaining.

Traveling via motorcycle from the east coast in South Carolina to the west coast in California, Brown hit a few hot spots – the first Harvey House and where Colonel Sanders fried up his first commercially prepared chicken to name a few. He also didn’t shy away from trying local specialties; the pickled pig’s foot amused, but the deep fried brain sandwich disturbed (pork brain, btw; can’t serve beef brain anymore apparently due to mad cow disease). I don’t know that he’d eat fried brain again, but he had more than one bite – if he threw it back up, that part didn’t make the broadcast.

Brown also took a spill off of his motorcycle swerving to avoid a rabbit on a gravel road. Broke his collarbone or his shoulder or something.

What I find most enduring in the show are the people. From the kids serving up ice cream to the two septuagenarian waitresses (74 and 76) who had raised their children single handedly on a server’s salary. These are real people, living real every day life, making real biscuits and red bean gravy and serving it to real folk. Where the menus are posted on the wall and the portions slop over the plate.

That’s the genius of the show, I think. Yeah, I enjoy learning the history of waffle cones and soda fountains, but I loved listening to the myriad characters met along the way. And Brown did them proud – he doesn’t come off as a television personality. He presents as a guy documenting his love for food and the people that make it.

It has made me want to take a vacation and travel the back roads of our great nation and sample some of these great people. Well, after my true dream of a storm chasing vacation. Gotta do that first.

“Only he who has traveled the road, knows where the holes are deep." - Chinese Proverb


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