Back in March, a co-worker and I went to North Greenville University (which is actually in Tigerville, S.C.), to host a booth for our ministry. The first day, we tried a gas station-turned-restaurant called The Thai and I across the street. We were that hungry.
First, let me advise that no matter how hungry you are, you should NOT eat Thai in Tigerville, S.C., which, according to the 2010 census, has a whopping population of 1,312 Tigervillians. None of whom, I’m guessing, are Thai.
Most of the menu was devoted to things like hamburgers, chicken fingers and tater tots. People stared as we walked in, probably thinking, “Hm, not the regulars,” and our waitress took her sweet time coming over before bending down at our table wearing short shorts and a tie-dyed shirt with a hole in it.
Nothing about The Thai and I said “Thai,” except a sad attempt at some leafy decorations, a bottle of soy sauce next to the ketchup and a small Thai section on the menu. A few guys sat in swivel bar stools at the front counter while we ordered, chatting up the young cook who wore a camo hat and talked with a toothpick in his mouth. (Not the wooden kind of toothpick; the kind with a half-inch piece of floss on the rounded end.) A couple of our fellow customers talked about raising squirrels, and one guy had a shirt that said “Eat Sleep Hunt.” He used words like “bigun” and “right down’ere.” I swear it was like a scene out of a movie where two misguided out-of-towners take a wrong turn and end up in the backwoods of some no-name town where people eat roadkill and everyone is related. … OK, maybe not that bad, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the case. (By the way, I found the picture online because I didn’t want to take one myself, afraid that someone would see me and think I was mocking the restaurant … which I just did.)
I will say that the Thai food wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, so semi-props to them. … And just so I don’t sound like a complete uppity city girl, no, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with camo and “bigun,” but when you try to mesh that with spicy noodles, I’m a bit hesitant.
Oh, and here’s another photo I found while searching Google Images for “The Thai and I”:
I bet this guy had no idea he’d end up on my blog one day. Yes, I make dreams come true. …
Now it’s time to share a second restaurant story, which also took place in South Carolina. This happened last month when Sara and I took a road trip to Florida to visit our other friend, Sarah (with an h).
On the way down, Sara saw a sign for Lizard’s Thicket and said we must stop. I obliged and we moseyed on in and sat down to a menu that said “Country Cookin’ Makes Ya Good Lookin'” on the front.
“OK, this looks good,” I thought. “Not the way I want to eat every day, but everyone can use fried chicken and okra once in a while, right?”
But then I turned to the “vegetables” section, which listed items like macaroni and cheese, applesauce and Jell-O. The menu even said “Macaroni and cheese IS a vegetable!”
Is it? When did that happen? I leave school and all of a sudden Pluto is no longer a planet and macaroni and cheese is a vegetable? What are we teaching people these days?!
Sara, of course, was appalled that I, as a Southerner, would never put mac and cheese in the same category as green beans, creamed corn and mashed potatoes. … You know, actual vegetables.
“Saying ‘vegetables’ is the same as saying ‘sides’!” she demanded.
“Definitely not,” I said. “If they want to list sides, why don’t they just say ‘sides’?”
“Because this is the South!” she said. “You’ve never seen that before? What’s wrong with you?”
We later got into a fuss about which is better: cornbread or rolls. I say rolls; Sara unequivocally says cornbread.