Growing up in southern Virginia, one of our very favorite family outings was to drive the winding country roads out to Catawba to eat at The Home Place — a picturesque farmhouse situated among the rolling hills of the Virginia countryside that serves traditional southern fried chicken, gravy, mashed potatoes (the real thing, y’all, no instant taters here), green beans, pinto beans, and of course homemade buttermilk biscuits family style in a comfortable, homey atmosphere.
While waiting to be seated, you can relax on one of the large wooden swings suspended from the ceiling of the generous wrap-around porch, or you can hang out on the lawn and enjoy the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is THE quintessential down home country dinner. And y’all. It don’t git no better than that.
It’s been years since we’ve been out to The Home Place, but ever since we made plans to come to Virginia this summer, my husband has been planning that we would make the trek. And today was the day.
When we arrived, it was just as I remembered. I hoped the food wouldn’t be disappointing (you know how sometimes your memory can play tricks on you) and it wasn’t. Only the biscuits were lacking, and judging from the way the rest of our clan was devouring them, that could just be my own issues at play.
When the waitress came to the table with our food, my husband immediately started snapping pictures.
She was a good sport and held the tray until he was finished while I remarked, “We’re not from around here, can you tell?” as if it wasn’t totally obvious from the way my husband was obsessively snapping photos.
We dove in, and let’s just say we made the most of the price-fixed, all-you-can-eat pricing. At least, most of us did. I have to be careful, lest I find myself pulling my car over on the way home to the side of that twisty country road to play Down Home Country Meal on rewind. But the rest of the fam made up for my meager appetite, and they didn’t look any the worse for the wear.
That, my friends, is a vacation.