Pork-Guilt & Southern Hospitality

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My life is changed. I have found my last supper.

What? No, I'm not dying. I'm just saying that if I were headed to the lethal injection chamber, I know how I'd want to spend my last culinary moments - at Eatonville.

Wild and Crazy Pearl once called it "The Nordstrom of Low-Country Cuisine" & posted foodie photos so delish I could hardly resist; @MissAllisonG & @drawstring's tales of dining from rocking chairs sealed the deal. So tonight, I happily accepted an invite to join friends in their Eatonville outing, braving a District blizzard ("OMG! We have, like, two inches of snow! Stay in your homes & stock up on food like it's Y2K!") to make it happen. This Midwesterner was about to take an experiential trip to the dirty south for supper.

There were still 16 minutes of happy hour on the books when we arrived, so I ordered a Grown & Sexy (Grey Goose, pomegranate & lemonade) at half price. Although the name sounds like the subject line of a post you'd find in the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist, the drink was a mere $5 & so tasty that @weiserj ordered a second round before finishing the first. I, of course, nursed mine throughout the meal because - haven't you been paying attention? - I'm a wuss.

Everything was good. Seriously, everything. I assembled a meal of three side dishes:
  1. Some sort of uber-cheesy mac & cheese with a baked top, like a cheesy crème brûlée - the fatten-you-up kind, as though I need it!
  2. Colorful Hoppin' John, which will taste even more amazing tomorrow when mixed with my newest obsession, sriracha
  3. Sweet potato & andouille sausage hash, a.k.a. the BEST THING I'VE EVER PUT IN MY MOUTH (yeah, yeah, that's what she said). Sorry, fellow Members of the Tribe - any would-be pork-guilt was 100% drowned out by my sheer joy. Somewhere, a pig in heaven is squealing with joy that he provided my taste buds with such delight.
Our server (we ate at the bar) was either the epitome of Southern hospitality or the epitome of hitting on us. He was jovial, generous & interested in joining our "Lost" discussion - & also in giving us a a few freebies, including cornbread (I want to eat this every single day) & a little absinthe (hallucinations not included, much to my dismay - "Moulin Rouge," you lied to me). YES, PLEASE. He asked whether we'd be returning tomorrow, & if the meal hadn't cost me such a pretty penny (fine, it was only $22), I'd be all over it.

In short, while this is one of the least eloquent blog posts I've ever written, I don't even care because I'm still on a food high from the deliciousness that was Eatonville. Let's go there. I'm in love.


  1. I'm glad (and surprised) to read that you enjoyed it-- I had high hopes for it when it opened, but two different sets of friends went and each party ended up disappointed, so I stopped looking forward to it. I might reconsider such a hasty judgment, for the delightfully-named/composed cocktails alone (especially since it's right down the street!). ;)

  2. that all looks mouth-wateringly DIVINE. i'm a sucker for andouille, and mac & cheese?!?!?!?! YES. my breakfast is looking less and less appetizing by the second.

  3. ... mmmmmmmm.... and one more word. Hushpuppy!

    Welcome to the addiction :)

  4. Sigh. Oh to live somewhere there is original food. This sounds wonderful!

  5. Wow! That looks and sounds fantastic! We don't have anything like that out my way (that I know of).

    (And it was most likely the epitome of hitting on you, you being so pretty and all.)

  6. I was just across the street at Busboys the other night, lamenting over the fact that I'm from Orlando, know exactly where Eatonville is on the I-4 corridor, and yet still have never been to the restaurant. Glad to hear you had such a great experience! I can't wait to check it out!!!

  7. I really like Eatonville too. I went there for my birthday dinner with friends. I like the service and atmosphere the best. I am very loyal to places with good service.

  8. First time we went, our server took the time to explain how Eatonville's theme operates with B&P's; how purposeful it was, etc. (she happened to have been an English Lit major). And so to get the food we ate plus an an actual conversation made it an all-around win.

  9. HAHA, grown & sexy. Pretty much the oddest cocktail name ever. Love it. And I think I love that mac & cheese contraption as well. CHEESE!! I can't believe your total was only $22. That's pretty much awesome.

  10. That girl in Les Plastiscines DOES look like you!!!! So weird!!!! You could play her double in the movie of her life!!! Or be a look-a-like!!!! You could get paid and everything ....well maybe if they become more famous, but still!!!!

  11. "Our server (we ate at the bar) was either the epitome of Southern hospitality or the epitome of hitting on us."

    Really, though... does it matter which? ;-)

  12. OMG THAT MAC N CHEESE LOOKS LIKE THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER AND I WANT IT IN MY MOUTH RIGHT NOWWWW!!! also, i shouldn't be looking at this before lunchtime! i'm not even hungry but i want all the mac n cheese here at my desk with me! thanks for making me SO jealous of your Southern waiter AND your amazing-looking meal! i would go to that place with you anytime. if only for the horny waiters. i mean the mac n cheese.


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