Friday, March 12, 2010

Eating On The Road - Day 4: Andy & Barney never had it so good

Determined to get to my brothers place in North Carolina, we continued drive through Virginia as the afternoon got late. The amazing views from the interstate of the valleys and mountains was a dramatic reminder that not all of our nation is flat. The beauty of this countryside, so steeped in history, was exceeded only by the kindness of the fine people we encountered along the way. (Pictured: The real live Snappy Lunch located on Mt. Airy's Main Street)
(Pictured: My plate - up front between the hush puppies and fries is the wonderful BBQ cole slaw)

Finally crossing the state Virginia-North Carolina state line, we still had about a two hour ride ahead of us to get to our final destination, the little town of Mebane, which is east of Greensboro. One of the places we wanted to stop that was just inside NC, was Mount Airy. (Pictured: Ralph's plate - pork BBQ, pintos and green beans)

What's interesting about Mt. Airy is that it is the hometown of Andy Griffith, and he modeled "Mayberry" very much after Mt. Airy. Unlike the movie set where "The Andy Griffith Show" was filmed, Mt. Airy, NC has a real main street with a real Snappy Lunch and Floyd's Barber Shop. Yes, it is a tourist destination of the highest order, and regardless of whether you liked the TV show or not, or ever watched it, Mt. Airy captures small town America in a grand way. (Pictured: They serve Pilot-Knob coffee at Aunt Bea's)

When we got into town, it was after 5pm and, no surprise, most things were closed. While I had my heart set on a pork chop sandwich and a piece of peanut butter pie at the Bluebird Diner (I had eaten that meal there many years before), we were going to have to find a place to get a quick dinner. Thinking about it, if you're a hungry stranger in Mayberry, where would you turn to get a hot meal? The answer seemed obvious - Aunt Bea's. And that's just where we went. (Pictured: Floyd's City Barber Shop on Main Street)

Now, we didn't pull up to the old Taylor place and knock on the back door. Aunt Bea's is a local restaurant, there are a few in the area, that serve up barbecue and all the fixin's! Ralph and I both got the barbecue - a pulled pork with Aunt Bea's hot and tangy sauce. Then there was the sides. We got hush puppies (what a treat!), BBQ cole slaw (it had sauce in the slaw), pinto beans, green beans, fries and peach cobbler. The food was fast, hot and tasty! While I still wanted my pork chop sandwich, Aunt Bea came through with a good hot meal to fortify us for the rest of our day's journey! (Pictured: Aunt Bea's Peach Cobbler)

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