I Eat (Too Many) Things: From Shoney’s to Chez Fonfon

Shoney’s. It was a childhood institution when I was growing up. On drives to and from visits to family in Nashville and Alabama (from our home in Ohio), Shoney’s—usually the one in Elizabethtown, Kentucky—was the place where we stopped to eat. I thought Shoney’s had disappeared, but one has opened recently just off I-65’s exit 267. We’ve been there twice now with my father and stepmother. The first time, the kids and I all indulged in the Breakfast Bar, that delicious mockery of self-command. The second time was more moderate: I got a Philly steak omelet with hash browns and a biscuit (subbing Swiss for American cheese). It was quite good, actually, and combined with the potatoes on the plate reminded me just a little bit of one of the potato dishes at Brother Juniper’s in Memphis–which sounds a bit crazy. The connection is imperfect, but between the texture of the meat, the mushrooms, and the cheese, it still reminded me (just a bit) of P2 at Brother Juniper’s.
Chez Fonfon. Chez Fonfon is Frank Stitt’s French bistro, and it’s right next door to his James Beard-award winning Highlands Bar & Grill. We’ve never been to Chez Fonfon and been less than thrilled with the experience. On our last three visits—and please don’t get the impression that we’re there all the time—I’ve gotten the croque monsieur twice and the burger once. The croque monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich made with Very Fancy ham and Very Fancy cheese. It’s delicious. To the extent the restaurant has a signature dish in our eyes, it’s their fries. Served with house-made mayo, there’s something about them that just feels indulgent and delicious, especially when I share them with Shannon. On our first of these three recent visits, they provided a nice lesson in making things right. It was taking a long time for our food to arrive, so they brought us gratis fries. We’re easy to please.
Stuff I’m planning to keep at my office
Epic Wagyu Beef Steak Strips. These are delicious. For some reason, I balk at paying almost $1.50 each for them but wouldn’t bat an eye at dropping a dollar or two on a bag of Skittles or Reese’ Pieces.
Brad’s Plant-Based Organic Crunchy Kale. These are actually delicious. I’m trying to eat better. I couldn’t care less about the “organic” designation—I think “organic” and “non-GMO” are marketing scams—but there’s near-total overlap between organic/non-GMO and veggie-based convenience foods I’m trying to eat more of.
V8. I’m officially old, I guess, because I like this stuff. It’s like drinking tomato soup, and I love tomato soup.
Wonderful Almonds, Roasted and Salted. I was about to link to the raw ones, which I was subscribed to for quite some time but which piled up and piled up and piled up in my desk drawer. Then I saw that roasted & salted are eligible for subscribe & save. I’m excited.
Bumble Bee Premium Light Tuna pouches. I have a ton of these in my office, so I canceled my subscription. Eating tuna for lunch every day does get kind of old.

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