Hello sweet friends and welcome to another great edition of Travels in the South. This past weekend, my mom/dad had to go to Alabama for a quick trip. While they were gone, they stopped at a restaurant called Top O’ The River in Gadsden, Alabama. Now this restaurant has special meaning to mom/dad. You see it was over 20 years ago that dad and his family ate here. They then told mom about it and mom and her family ate here. But mom/dad together have never been here. So going to this restaurant was kind of like a coming home if you will.
When mom/dad arrived at the restaurant, there was not a single available parking space in the entire lot. It was barely 5:00pm and there were 100’s of cars. Mom says this is a sure sign of good food to come. Finally mom spotted a parking space, they parked and entered the restaurant. That’s when they saw lots of people waiting in line. Mom/dad knew they were going to be in for a long wait so they put their name in and started looking at the menu. You can see the menu here. Amazingly, mom/dad might have waited less than 15 minutes and their number was called. Mom/dad were ecstatic to say the least. There were lots of big parties here that night so thank goodness it was just mom/dad.
Mom/dad got a fantastic seat at a booth next to the windows which was what – overlooking the top o’ the river. Cute huh? And what a view they had that you can see from this picture. Beautiful and serene, lots of green trees and there were some ducks swimming around in the water. Can you imagine what these trees are going to look like when Fall finally decides to get here?
The sweet little waitress came to the table and mom asked her what was good to get. She said that there platters were awesome and way more food than one can eat… although the platters say for one. So mom/dad said why not and went with the platter to share. Boy, were they surprised when the waitress came back with some starters in the form of cole slaw and cornbread.
If you have never had southern cornbread, you are in for a treat. Cornbread is one of mom’s specialties and dad says she makes the best. In fact here in the south, a good cornbread will get you a good man… so says mom/dad – snorts. But mom said this cornbread was fantastic! Cornbread is made with cornmeal, milk, eggs, some people add a little sugar although mom doesn’t, and this cornbread had corn and jalapeno peppers. This cornbread was served with a delicious creamy cole slaw and sliced onions on the side. Mom/dad said they could just eat these starters and be just fine. That’s country folks my friends – simple food for a fantastic experience.
But mom/dad ate all they could and before they knew it, it was time for the main course. Remember the platter was suppose to be for ONE person? Well here is that platter in it’s glory. There is boneless catfish fillets, popcorn shrimp, fried shrimp, chicken fingers, hush puppies and french fries. Doesn’t that platter look simply amazing! And the size of it compared to dad’s hand. Remember, the platter was for one person. There is no way! Mom/dad were so glad they decided to share the meal.
They ate to their hearts desire both of them afterwards being so full and happy. That’s what this experience was all about. Enjoying each other, sharing a wonderful experience and just enjoying the time and scenery. For a while, time stopped and mom/dad sat for a while and just relaxed for a bit away from everything. And of course, you all know my daddy. He’s never met anyone that he can’t talk to. Today was no exception.
On the way out of the restaurant, he met the restaurant mascot, Mr. Catfish at the exit door. They had a moment to discuss politics, the secret recipe for those wonderful catfish fillets and dad got directions home… that is after they visited the back deck of the restaurant for one last final view.
And that final view is what I leave you with today my friends. A reflection of a great meal with some wonderful memories made. And I have to ask you. When was the last time that you had a dinner with family that you just sat in comfort with each other, laughed and just let everything stop for a moment. Enjoy my friends.
09/28/2016 at 12:47 pm
We will have to make a point of going to this place when we get back to your part of the woods.
09/28/2016 at 1:52 pm
Deal! It’s about 2 hours away and a great field trip for sure. Great food. Great scenery. I’m sure we would all have such a blast! June
09/28/2016 at 12:47 pm
Bacon, your Mom and Dad sure do know all the good places to eat. It’s good to see a married couple enjoying themselves!
09/28/2016 at 1:52 pm
aaww thanks sweet friend. Mom/dad do like to have their adventures. There is no telling where they will end up at – ever! Snorts with piggy laughter. XOXO – Bacon
Photofinland by Rantasalot
09/28/2016 at 2:30 pm
Bacon, your mom and dad had a perfect day. I have never tastet cornbread, have to make it. I would like to have a platter like that, it is fantastic!
09/28/2016 at 2:59 pm
Squeals. Mom makes the BEST cornbread ever… well we think here at the Hotel Thompson ❤ In fact, she is making some tonight for dinner. Maybe I'll get a picture of it for you 🙂 XOXO – Bacon
09/28/2016 at 3:00 pm
Does your Mom share her cornbread recipe? P.s. I haven’t forgot about sending you jelly. I just had a hard time finding a box that doesn’t disappear. . .
09/28/2016 at 3:01 pm
Snorts with piggy laughter. Mom is making some tonight. I think I will take pictures of the steps to share with everyone – maybe next month for shopping around the world 🙂 XOXO – Bacon
P.S. I know you’ll find a box my friend. And I can’t wait to try it!
09/28/2016 at 3:33 pm
That sounds great. What about hush puppies? We haven’t had those in years.
09/28/2016 at 4:30 pm
mmm hush puppies are good. Daddy has a good story about hush puppies. I need to get him to share it. XOXO – Bacon
09/28/2016 at 3:25 pm
Hey, what a perfect meal and experience!
09/28/2016 at 3:26 pm
It was totally fantastic – great food and company. And look at that awesome view! XOXO – Bacon
The Canadian Cats
09/28/2016 at 4:38 pm
This restaurant sounds like something I must see but you were so descriptive in your post, I was right inside the restaurant with you. Everything on that platter looked delicious except for Jimmy’s hand…LOL
09/28/2016 at 5:41 pm
Snorts with piggy laughter! I had to have his hand in the pic just to show how HUGE that platter was. It was totally awesome. I think all of us would have really enjoyed it sweet friend. June
09/29/2016 at 5:25 am
WOW…..now that’s what I call a BIG MEAL! It all looks delicious though – my Mom is a major cornbread lover as well as hush puppies……oh let’s face it – she just loves food! Glad your Mom and Dad had a fun “foodie” experience…….!
09/29/2016 at 9:16 am
Oh cousin. That meal was the highlight of mom/dad’s trip. It was delicious and great scenery/company. And the cornbread was extra yummy with that cole slaw… so mom/dad says. Not that this piggy got a piggy bag or anything. I’m just sayin’ XOXO – Bacon
09/29/2016 at 8:27 am
So happy your Mama doesn’t put sugar in her cornbread…..sounds like a lovely adventure and meal.
09/29/2016 at 9:17 am
NO WAY! That’s so uncalled for… well mommy says. XOXO – Bacon
09/29/2016 at 10:05 am
….ohhhh please hold that tasty plate a little closer to the screen… I love it… and we need smell-sharing … not for all things, but for this fabulous southern menu :o)
09/29/2016 at 10:35 am
Oh brother. Mom/dad came home and are *still* talking about that place. I see another field trip coming up in the next couple of weeks for sure. Maybe this time I’ll get a piggy bag, you think? XOXO – Bacon
Tails Around the Ranch
09/30/2016 at 11:33 am
Oooh, cornbread?! Bacon, any chance your mum would share her recipe so we can all enjoy some?
09/30/2016 at 11:50 am
Yes ma’am my sweet friend. I think that October’s Shopping Around the World will include her awesome cornbread 🙂 XOXO – Bacon
Tails Around the Ranch
09/30/2016 at 11:54 am
Oh hurrah! Can’t wait!!!