Sitting here eating a light soup and a glass of milk so that I can save plenty or room (and calorie allotment) for the Nicaraguan supper at Pie Lab tonight, I decided to make up for my recent lack of attention here to Pie Lab visits.
That's a picture of Kelley and Seaborn Whatley, owners and chefs. They happen to be two of my favorite people in the world, and they happen to be great chefs. A few weeks back they inaugurated a "meat and three" for a reasonable price for lunch every day except Monday (when they are closed) and Saturday (which is personal pan pizza day).
Pies, while we are on the subject: so far my favorites have been the aforementioned coconut cream, the brown-sugar buttermilk, and the various pecan pies (tipsy, butterscotch, and most recently chocolate: I had avoided that one for a while because I've not in the past been happy with chocolate pecan pies I've encountered at picnics and funerals, but that one was wonderful with just enough chocolate bits but not enough to overwhelm). I can certainly scarf down the lemon and the key lime pies as well.
I've developed this unfortunate habit of checking the Pie Lab Facebook page late every morning to see what will be available on the meat-and-three. Too often I find myself talking myself into riding in to town to eat at Pie Lab. Oh, well. You're only old once!
I won't try to detail all of my meat-and-three indulgences, but I must comment on just a few items. Their pork loin is as fine as it gets. The meat loaf is in the same ballpark as what my Mama used to make. Something surprisingly tasty is the cheeseburger pie. I have had the baked catfish once and loved it, in spite of my not generally liking the taste of catfish unless deep-fried. The spicy cabbage is both spicy and delicious. (If these folks label something as spicy, they tend to mean it.) Collard greens are always great, and they prepare them in several different ways, including spicy. Any potato casserole, whether sweet or not, is good. One day last week they cooked some wonderful home-grown kale. And Friday I had their corn pudding for the first time and am looking forward to it again.
In all honesty I must confess: when the appetizer was brought out I simply went crazy. Bowls of freshly-baked German bread (Kelley comes from a line of German bakers in Birmingham)accompanied by platters of thin-sliced meats and sausage and cheese and butter. Maybe had I not overindulged at the front end I'd have had more appreciation for the back end of the meal!