Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sunny and Soulful

It seemed like the right day to support at Church Hill business.

Everyone is understandably distraught about the fire at Sub Rosa Bakery last night and it looks like benefits galore are being planned to help Evrim get the place back up and running.

So when a Church Hill friend suggested lunch at Johnson's Southern Comfort, I headed down and back up the hill.

The door was wide open to the afternoon sunshine with a "J" left from the Jumpin' J's days still embedded right in front of the entrance.

We were both impressed with what a nice-looking space it as, with dark booths and bar and an impressive tin ceiling in half of it.

The ABC application was pasted to the front window, explaining the bar devoid of either spirits or stools.

We needed neither.

I'd come especially for chicken and waffles and my lunch buddy wanted one of the lunch specials with two large pieces of fried lake trout, collards, mac and cheese and a dinner roll.

The batter on the fish alone was worth the visit. When he complimented it our affable server agreed, saying he couldn't share the recipe.

Originally, he'd asked for collards and cabbage but our server suggested the mac and cheese, promising it would be "just like your Mom makes."

My friend clarified that his Mom's mac and cheese came straight out of a box.

"Okay, your grandma's then," he said, cementing the adjusted order.

He'd also hoped for cornbread, but that's only served after 5 p.m.

Despite choices of  fancy waffles (cinnamon, blueberry, red velvet), I wanted just a plain waffle with fried chicken on it.

I was offered an array of toppings for my waffle (whipped cream, blueberries, strawberries, bananas  or fried apples) but all I wanted was butter and syrup.

My chicken and waffle needs are simple, really.

"You got it!" our server promised as he headed to the kitchen.

On the sound system was a local gospel station, not usually a favorite of mine, but between our server's voice singing along to every word and the inspiring nature of the music on this beautiful day, I listened along happily.

As we ate our soul food lunch, we talked about the shame of a new business like Sub Rosa having such bad luck.

He'd already been by and seen the broken windows and soot-smeared roof, but I hadn't.

And I don't know if I will, but I do know I'll support every fundraiser I find out about to help them get back up and making all those lovely breads and baked goods again.

In the meantime, I enjoyed a nearly perfect lunch with my Nashville-bound friend eating on the Hill.

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