August 30, 2011

La Dolce Vita - Deep South Y'all

One of the funnest (is that a word?, well, today it is!) times we had visiting the United States, was taking our little road trip through the Deep South into Georgia, Alabama & Mississippi. I wanted Antonio to experience part of the real America that many never see. The good ole' USA is not just big cities with big skyscrapers with people who work too much. It is also filled with thousands of little small towns with little small shops, where Mama's & Pop's are working hard to make a living for their families.


We decided to stop in Luverne. For those that don't know Luverne (because why would you?) it is pretty much in the middle of nowhere in Alabama. It is almost impossible not to pronounce "Luverne" with a deep southern twang like "Looooooooo Veeeeeeeeern".

Thanks to Michael's marketing on the rickety billboard outside their little town, we found his restaurant with no problems. It was a Sunday so I was explaining to Antonio that we barely beat the church folk who would be pouring into this typical Southern restaurant a few minutes after Noon. Sure enough, 15 minutes later, small groups of people were packing into Michael's restaurant. How refreshing it was to see people hand & hand, saying grace before they ate. One tradition that was the same as in Italy was the people say "Good Afternoon" as they walked in, similar to how the Italians say "Buon Giorno" as a sign of courtesy to one another.

Michael's restaurant smelled like a combination of chicken grease & biscuits. A true sign we found the right spot for Antonio to experience his first true Southern grub! The owner Michael was very funny, and got all excited when I started taking photos of his food. He was hoping I worked for a travel or TV show, I explained that unfortunately I just write a personal blog about the fun stuff that happens in my life. He did however have tons of fun attempting to talk to Antonio. They could not understand his accent in English, so for the first time ever, I had to translate from English-twang to Italian-english. I still laugh about how fun this was, two cultures, two voices, but both with smiling, charming faces. Laughing is truly universal.

Once again, we did what we do best = wolf down our fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, maccaroni & cheese, then a sampling of every vegetable Michael had available. Sweet tea to drink for both, and delicious ice cream & blueberry cobbler for dessert. With our taste buds fullfilled and only $21 later (that is only 15 euro, which is unheard of for that amount of food!!), we headed back on the road.

A sweet stop in deep south yall!

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Murissa Maurice said...

Love this post! I am really enjoying following your trip throughout the South. Anthony Bourdain just posted a blog about his trip into Cajun Country and made a good point that the best food comes from the people who had to get creative with dishes as they had so little. In this way one can draw a connection from Italian food to the Cajun Southern style food. Simple, soulful and the best!

The Wanderfull Traveler

Why Rome? said...

Oh how I miss the tastes of the south! Did Antonio fall in love with the food? I had the same thing when my husband visited the south...I had to translate for him in English. He just couldn't understand southern twang. One thing he did understand though was the food...he LOVED it! So glad you guys had a great time!

Christy said...

Murissa, I love your connection of the Italian & Cajun cuisine! Completely true!

Andrea, yes, he loved the southern food! He even gained some weight while he was in the US! Fried food will do it for ya!

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