Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fast food from my youth ...

Hey all! I'm on the road again shooting the new show that starts in liiiiike 2 weeks? July 7th, but I did see somewhere an email about there being a July 6th showing ... like a sneak peek. I'll let you know as the date rolls near.

Anywhoo ... this week the crew and I are down south and chillin in the heat. lol ... yeah right, chillin'. I think I sweat off about 10 pounds in a tomato field somewhere west of Charleston, SC. Ok, lemme tell you the neat thing about the traveling ... I've lived so many places and been so many places that I'm getting to see people and places I don't normally get to see. So, the first stop this week as I mentioned was South Carolina. Well, my grand-daddy and actually one half of my fam is from there. At first I got really excited to know I'd be close to relatives and then I looked at the schedule and realized there would be no way I could squeeze time to trek out to the sticks to see them. So you ready for this??? Between locations we had to catch lunch on the go because the next part of the shoot, the tomato factory, was like a jillion miles away and we had only one day to do the farm and the factory. At first, we pulled into here ...


Now, I wanted to try this out cuz boy did it have the look of a place that knew how to make a bangin' meal. But one quick trip inside by one of the crew turned the almost "hit" into a miss ... it was more of a relaxing meal spot and not an on the go meal spot. I coulda said that right as we pulled into the parking lot, but really if there is new food available I almost never find a downside lol, so I kept my mouth shut and hoped it would fit in the schedule. It didn't.

So we got back on the road and no sooner did we start to scope for a new faster spot to eat at, did I see a logo I hadn't seen in years. Then, the craziest thing is, I was jusssst talking about this fast food place not 2 weeks ago when I was in Hawaii. I was chatting with the cocoa farm owners who were from South Carolina and all we talked about was what we missed. They moved down to Hawaii 12 years ago and didn't look back, a real cool husband and wife team that chose to spend the rest of their life making chocolate and having wine at sunset everyday. So, just 2 weeks ago we were talking about South Carolina hash, South of the Border, the people, the weather and BOJANGLES!!!! I brought it up to them and when I did their eyes lit up and the wife sez to me "that's just about the only thing he misses, Bojangles". I thought, these are my kind of people!!! I only got to see my grandparents in North and South Carolina a teeny bit growing up, so I tend to repeat the visits in my head alot and one thing I remember was Bojangles. Look, I remember much more poignant things, but we're talkin' food on this one. This place was always colorful growing up, with decorations n stuff and I think that was mostly the allure as a kid, check the pallette of colors and this is just the counter menu view.


Ok, so anyway back to Bojangles, really neat to be pining for it just 2 weeks ago and now I see a sign for it from the highway. We pulled off the highway and the sign at the off ramp said 7 miles to the little town my family is from. I instantly started to get a bit emotional. It has been forever since I've visited and mostly my fault as an adult, lemme tell ya I worked really hard for the last 15 years and barely made time for life. Things are different now and I'm making changes here n there to actually live and take time to enjoy it. Ok, so knowing a 7 mile detour so I can see some family is out of the question. I am really just happy to be in the vicinity and repeat it to myself as a mantra to try to not break down and completely cry. I get inside and order my lunch with the crew and begin to chat up the girl at the counter ... turns out she knows ALLLLLLL of my family!! We were just dropping names and stuff, talking about the church behind my grand dad's place she goes to that our family goes to as well, my aunt was married there. Crazy. I started to cry. Just felt so good to meet someone that had just seen my cousin last week at church. Small world and crazy coincidences. What makes me open my mouth and say to the farmers I missed Bojangles, then 2 weeks later to see a sign for my family hometown and know I can't go, but to pull into a Bojangles and meet someone that sits next to and with my family on a regular basis????? Man, was I a happy and teary eyed chick. I wear my heart on my sleeve proudly and cried a happy and sad cry at the same time. Well, there was just enough time to order, chat, exchange numbers, cry and jet. Here's my lap of a tabletop cradling a biiiiig biscuit, grilled chicken nuggets, and a container of mash n gravy.


Ahhh eatin on the run, some may complain about having to eat fast food on the run while pulling a long, hot day of work, but for me it returned me to my youth and visiting family we didn't get to see on a regular basis due to my dad being in the Army.
Ok, If you read my blog regularly, a coupla weeks ago I promised a post about the brains behind many of the plates, bowls, spoons, etc you see me using on Cooking for Real .... it's still on the way. Also, real soon there's some stuff I'll be doing to promote the new episodes and as soon as I can Iet ya know where to catch me on the tube, stands, airwaves and blogs, I will. BTW Jacob, just a blog-public thanks for everything, you've been so honest and supportive. I had such a good time chatting in close quarters of my fave teeny bistro spot and glad we shared a sugar high in the heat/rain/heat of NYC. :-)

29 comments:

Complaint Department Manager said...

I must ask if you have ever heard of/been to Lamberts Cafe? They have 3 locations in the south and I happen to live very close to one of them. This place made travel channel's "Top 10 Places to Pig Out".

There's nothing like good conversation about restuarants that you miss, but will be visiting as soon as possible. Nothing beats a really good greasy spoon spot. Bojangles actually had a location near me, but for some reason, it didn't last long, Grand Opening...Grand Closing. I personally miss Jack in the Box and 7-11's. It's more of a nostalgia type of missing somethingrather than missing the quality of food.

jacob said...

Thanks a lot to you too, Sunny. You deserve all the good things coming your way.

My friend from North Carolina told me about Bojangles (guess there's one in Southern Maryland, close to DC) and some place called Biscuitville??? I'm from Illinois-- we just know about corn.

NuJoi said...

Oh how I miss Bojangles. We used to have two in Little Rock and then they went away :-( Best biscuits I ever had. My favorite things were a plain biscuit with cheese and the chicken fillet biscuit. With some sweet tea?!! Man please.

Darius T. Williams said...

Ahhh - great post Sunny. I'm a mid-western boy (I sound like Nipa don't I? Was that Baliwood dance hilarious or what?), so we don't have Bojangles over here, just like we don't have Chik-fil-a either.

either way, it's good to know that memories move you the way they do. I can totally understand your experience. We're like two peas in a pod - you know, like brotha and sista from anotha motha. Last night I made some fried corn - you know everyone has fresh corn on sale for the bbq holiday. Anyway, my granny used to make the BEST fried creamed corn ever. Well, I can't make it like her - but she'd be proud of my recipe (you've also inspired me in a few ways - I wrote down the recipe this tiime for a project I'll be doing a little later in the year). When I sat down to eat (all alone) last night, the taste of my corn reminded me of my granny in soooo many ways. She'd be really proud of me.

So, I can understand exactly how you feel. This is what food is about for me. It's a full experience. It's not something you just do. But it's memories, it's family, it's goodness, it's an experience. LOL - my new slogan "Food...It's An Experience!"

Aiight, I've said enough. Gotta work on getting some Bojangles!

Two Fingas,
-Darius

Gemma said...

Hi Sunny. This is Gemma from New York City. Anyhow, I love that you were able to reconnect with someone who knows your family well. What a great feeling that must have been.

The Bojangles platter looks delicious. Grilled chicken nuggets?! WOW. McDonalds needs to catch up.

Sunny Anderson said...

com. dept. mgr, never heard of it, but places to "pig out" sounds like a show i'm mad i missed! lol on the "grand opening, grand closing" ala chris rock and everyone knows 7-11 burritos r the best :-)

jacob, :-), biscuitville?? all i can say is yummy and where's my honey. love honey and biscuits. corn ain't too bad, isn't it sweet corn time???

nujoi, reading the comments looks like bojangles does the open, then close thing alot huh? and i'm mad i didn't see the chicken fillet biscuit on the menu, might've had that, but my nnuggets were vurrr good.

darius, makin grnadma proud is cool huh? blew my mind when mine said she was gonna download my recipe for pork chops, i was like huh? 1st, download grandma??? and she was like well, your aunt is gonna download lol, and i was like ok, but myrecipe??? crazy. 2 fingers and a wink man ....

gemma, yeah mc d's gotta bring back the mc rib teeheehee ... remember those???

Roobee said...

I'm so excited about Cooking for Real and the plate show!!! I recently moved from DC to Atlanta and find myself cooking up a storm because I just can't find many good restaurants :-(

Hope there will be a Cooking For Real cookbook soon!

Sunny Anderson said...

roobee, uhhh r u serious ... you can't find spots to eat at in atl??? is u blind??? :-), just kiddin, but for real ... lemme get a list for ya, i once did a top 10 places to eat in the country for a magazine i worked for and if i remember, there were 2 from atl. plus a friend of mine from atl is a foodie and we can get some good spots together for ya. btw, i'm in atl right now! what weather today huh? hot n humid. and i'd love to do a cookbook, gotta see if it comes to fruition, another goal/dream to accomplish.

Alex Lopez said...

Hiya Sunny...sounds like the law of attraction workin for ya...you were craving something, then saw it, then thought of family and it came up,...synchornicity at it's finest...and I too wear my heart on my sleeve. Hope all is groovy with you.

Sunny Anderson said...

alex ... word. i have to be honest, i always watch what i say because i know speaking it is asking for it to come and words and intent are very powerful. i must say, law of attraction is quite my life story. gotta be open to the world, it's force and it's possibilities ... glad i know another "town crier" too lol ... oh boy do i cry. i wish i could come back a non crying person in my next life. really. i mean my happy cry can come if i just get a pretty plate of food at a restaurant, you know? or i can hear a song and if it just makes me feel good i can cry. makes me look crazy lol ...ahhhh good times. hope u r groovy too.

Anonymous said...

Your post made me hungry. I had Bojangles last week for the first time in a long time. They make the best biscuits! Wish I could make 'em like that. Love your show, btw.

Missin' the biscuit in Upstate NY.

Darius T. Williams said...

I was reading thru your comments - you know I love how real you are - but um, someone mentioned Lambert's Cafe. Here's a REAL sign of a foodie - someone can mention a restaurant miles away from your home - and you've been there.

So, how about I've been to Lambert's on MANY occassions. It's about a 6 hour drive from Chicago. It's a place where they dump southern fixin's on your plate - without you even ask. Seriously, the waiter just comes over with a big bowl of fried potaties, macaroni & tomatoes, fried corn, okra, whatever, and just dumps them down. They also throw the hot rolls to you CLEAR across the room. You have to catch them. If you miss, no worries, there are plenty more. That was my first taste of sorghum (sp?) it's like this honey, syrup mixture - pretty good! You basically order your entree protein and they've got plenty to choose from - chicken fried steak, fried chicken, baked chicken, catfish - I mean, whatever. It's a really good place. Everytime I drive south from Chicago on I-57 I stop. EVERYTIME! But, take it from me - you want to get there about 20 minutes BEFORE they open. We got there at 11 on the dot - got a great seat. We left at like 12:15 and THE LINE WAS AROUND THE CORNER!

I went to the one down in Missouri - where I-57 and I-55 merge together.

Darn...that's a shame I know about restaurants way outside of my home.

-DTW

btw - I used to live in Jersey City and my FAVORITE joint was near the village called Tio Pepe's...WHEW, they had this shrimp and lobster stuffed lobster (redundant, but wonderful)...okay, I'm getting hungry.

Alex Lopez said...

Crying is a beautiful thing. That is why you do what you do..you are a creatvie person full of passion and memories, aromas, sounds and such trigger those memories and then the water works come..cry it out girl!! It's better than being some meany with a grumpy grump attitude. I'm not only a crier but way goffy....always dancin' around and either singing, whistling, or humming a tune...I'm sure you're that way too...yes all is groovy!!I had the honor of being Chef Marcus Samuelsson's culinary assistant on Thursday for a TV show and live demo, very humbling, but amazing.I will post about that later.Have a great weekend! Looking forward to "How'd That Get On My Plate?"!

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

I KNEW I liked you the 1st time I saw you! BOJANGLES!!! Or as it's called around here in my part of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Bo-Han-glaze, an hommage to the burgeoning Hispanic population.

Thanks for being real: about your work, your family, your feelings and emotions. I can't wait for the new season of Cooking For Real to start. Oh, and How'd That Get On My Plate, too.

Sunny Anderson said...

anon, my post made me hungry rereading it, funny thing is i took a pic of the biscuit, but it didn't save cuz my cell memory was full and i left my professional camera home cuz i can't find the charge cord all of a sudden. so, i'm a bit mad at myself that i don't have that pic of the biscuit split open and steaming. ooooweeee!!!

darius, tip pepe!? been there!! loved it, i know you did crown fried chicken on communipaw too!!! the hood was mad when the city ordinance made biz owner's shut down at 11pm (or12 i think) we were like what???!!! where do we get out late night chicken??? teeheehee ....ahhh man, an after your brief description i neeeed to go to lambert's soon, it's on my short list now. thanks!

alex, glad you are keepin yourself busy out there. productivity is the key!

nikki, lol i'm sayin though ... bojangles is great right??? we used to go in fayetteville, nc too my grand ma loves it! shooooot .... and i love the spanglish pronunciation! cute. and guess, what?! i can't wait for the shows to run too, it'll be the 1st time i see them :-), wanna see if i got any better since the last 6. had some things i wanted to fix after watching. ick, i'm nervous ...

Complaint Department Manager said...

Darius, all you can eat cheeseburgers, ribs, steaks, etc...what's not to love about that?!?! You're dead right about the wait too. I live by the one in Ozark, but have been to the one in Sikeston. After I lost 30 lbs, I celebrated in style with a cheeseburger pig out complete with those awesome rolls. I always make them throw me one from clear across the room, it's just more fun that way AND I have a perfect record on catching those things, behold the skills of a hungry man.

Sunny, you now have endorsements from both of us and like the man said, get there early or it's like an hour wait, no joke. I've seen close to a 2 hour wait here in Ozark, that was crazy! I will say that the middle of the week during the fall isn't so busy here(there's a tip). One other word of advice, let someone who isn't going to eat much drive, you may succumb to the "itis". Best to call ahead and ask if there is an extended wait, they are more than happy to tell you.

Lambert's Cafe numbers:
573-471-4261 in Sikeston,Mo
417-581-7655 in Ozark,Mo
251-943-7655 in Foley,Al

Complaint Department Manager said...

Oh, I forgot to mention one VERY important little tid bit of info on Lambert's. If you go on your birthday you get anything on the menu that is 10 bucks or less FREE! If you want something else that's more, they of course take 10 bucks off of that. They even throw(figuratively speaking) in a free cinnamon roll. By taste and texture, they use the same dough as the house rolls and of course, it's good. I'm gettin' the "itis" just thinkin' about it.

Sunny Anderson said...

complaint dept. mgr & dtdub, it's now on my very short google & internet search list for stuff and i'm sure i'll get there shortly. i love a good food trip. just did boston and if i can find it by train, i love it. i'm such a train taker! just gotta get some free time, we are workin hard to get these shows done. i'm getting my meals in though ... :-) don't think i'm not.

Roobee said...

Hope you had fun in the ATL! For serious, I seem to end up at all the bad restaurants so I def. need recommendations.

Darius T. Williams said...

Dtdub? I love it!!!

Oh yea, cdmanager was soooo right about that itis. It sets in EVERYTIME!

-dtdub

PS...I never did fried chicken in jersey, or chinese food for that matter. When you've grown up accustomed to your chicken order being "five wings, fried hard, with salt, pepper, mildsauce (extra on the fries with the bread on top to soak up the goodness) and a pineapple pop (not soda)" then u understand how I feel. No one does that hood meal better than colemans, harolds, or uncle remus here in chicago.

But, I can tell you this. After seeing so many checkers close in chicago, I STAYED in checkers over on communipaw!!!

Sunny Anderson said...

dtdub, i know all about "pop" learned it while i was in detroit for 3 years and had to un learn it when i moved to nyc, too funny.

roobee, a list is on the way... and i had a grrrreat time! it was hot though.

kcps6277 said...

Hey Sunny....this is my first time commenting on here. I actually was reading through this blog, because I googled more info on you thanks to my daughter. She will be playing you as a little girl soon for a commercial and I am proud that she's playing someone that has worked so hard to become successful and has done it! I used to listen to you on Hot 97 all the time and now I get to see the face behind the voice cooking up some great dishes! By the way, my husband is also from a very small town in South Carolina...I wonder if its anywhere near where your family's from. His family comes from a small town near Florence...would that happen to be anywhere near yours? We live in Jersey but eventually we hope to move to Sumter, SC where his Mom now lives and I gotta say, my favorite spot down there is Sonics. I hate when they play the commercials up here, because I know I can't have any of their food....lol! Anyway, I wish you the best of luck on your shows and hope you continue to be successful at whatever you choose to do and whatever brings you joy!!!

Sunny Anderson said...

kcps6277, wow. well, 1st thank you. i am so pleased to read this. and you know, we are probably talking about the saaaame little town in sc!! and my first paid gig was at sonic, i love the cherry limeade and the onion rings. crazy! well, we will meet soon ... thanks again for the continued support from the radio days :-) and thanks so much for watching.

hugrad95 said...

Hi Sunny, congrats on the move to TV. I used to listen to you on Hot 97. Great to see you blowin up.

BTW, there are two Bojangles in NY/NJ. One in Newark and one in Brooklyn.

Sunny Anderson said...

hugrad95, WHAT?!?!?! in bk???? i'm lokking 2moro!!! wow!! thanks so much for the continued support and if i find that bojangles omg .....

hugrad95 said...

Ha, Ha, your my kinda of woman, one who gets wound up over food.lol

Here's the bojangles info.

Brooklyn
1291 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11221
718-443-7913

Sunny Anderson said...

hugrad95, a tear drops from my eye ..... i am so busy i can't even handle a basic internet search cuz it feels like it isn't work ... and boy have i been workin! thanks!!!!! yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!

hugrad95 said...

Glad things are good, busy is good. Keep Hustling.lol

Speaking of fried chicken, have you tried Maroon's chicken its actually really good.

Sunny Anderson said...

hugrad95, yeah i'm busy n stuff, so it's cool. as for the chicken, haven't tried it, but i'm a fried chicken snob lol ... i think i only like mine and popeye's lol!