Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Snappy Porcine Goodness

I'd like to welcome DH as a guest blogger. DH drove the SAG wagon for me in 3MM. His support on these adventures is greatly appreciated.

Recently I was in Mount Airy, North Carolina, which was the inspiration for TV's "Mayberry". Apparently the only real business mentioned in the show was the Snappy Lunch, which is now famous for a breaded pork chop sandwich.

I arrived in town around 10:30 am, which was much too early for lunch. So I decided to explore Main Street. There was an amazing assortment of kitsch. Many shops were blaring the "Mayberry" TV show theme (It's in my head. Get it OUT!), and the shops contained all things Mayberry. Andy Griffith's eighty-something birthday was coming up, so one shop had a big birthday card to sign. Whew.

It was a big mistake to loiter. When I went over to Snappy Lunch at 11:30, the line went down the street, and the day was getting warm. Apparently a bus load of tourists was just dropped off. Luckily I bought a book from a local shop, which I could read while in line.

As the line shuffled slowly forward, you could see that there was a window at the front of the restaurant. Through the window you could see the cook cooking one and only one thing: the pork chops. Employees would bring piles of the raw, breaded pork in pans from the back of the restaurant to the front. The cook would throw them on the grill, flip them, then toss them into another pan. The cooked porcine goodness was taken to the back where the sandwiches were assembled. Toss. Toss. Flip. Flip. Toss. Toss. At least the sandwiches aren't deep fried.

When I finally got into the door, I was able to find one open chair at the counter. The menu is spartan. There are really only three lunch choices: the famous pork chop sandwich, a cheeseburger, and some breaded hamburger concoction that's apparently a holdover from the Great Depression. The official menu lists a couple more items (bologna anyone?), but I only ever saw people order the pork chop sandwich.The available side items? A bag of potato chips.

Snappy Lunch did have fountain sodas. But, is that LIPTON tea I see on the fountain?! I never learned to like syrupy, teeth chattering sweet sweet tea (I would rather use those calories for beer or a great dessert and I DO like pecan pie), but I've heard that Lipton is the bottom of the barrel in the tea world. And from a FOUNTAIN? Seems so wrong since good tea is brewed. Diet Coke for me, thank you.

I ordered the pork chop sandwich, loaded of course. A couple short minutes later, it was plopped in front of me. There it was. And it was something to behold. A big honking pork chop sandwich all wrapped in wax paper which also came with a plastic fork. I took the top bun off, and saw that it was loaded with cole slaw, a sweet chili, onions, mustard, and tomato all on a white bread bun.

While munching away, I noticed an elderly gentleman pacing back and forth behind the counter, obviously keeping an eye on things. He must be the owner. Much to my shock, someone at the counter waves their empty soda glass and shouts "DIET. I HAD DIET". The poor man could hardly hold the glass. They only needed to wait a minute for one of the other employees to take care of them.

The verdict: the sandwich was very good, but not worth a special trip. If you are in the area, give it a try. But don't get behind a bus load of tourists.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, it's an experience, from the sounds of it. The sandwich does sound very good. It all reminds me a bit of Schwartz's in Montreal: you only go there for a smoked meat sandwich, which comes with excellent fries. Very small place, quick turnover and big line-ups.

    As for Lipton, I can tell you that, as a hardcore (hot) tea drinker and the child of British parents, Lipton tea rates right up there amongst the worst tea I've ever tasted.

    I enjoyed the Snappy Lunch review and suddenly, I am craving a sandwich...