Alabama ‘meat & three’ defined by a Vermonter

our lunch yesterday was at Johnny's. it used to be a sandwich shop. but is now a Southern meat & three
our lunch yesterday was at Johnny’s. it used to be a sandwich shop. but is now a Southern meat & three
on the menu, you chose a main meat, then order 1,2 or 3 'veggies' to with it
on the menu, you chose a main meat, then order 1,2 or 3 ‘veggies’ to go with it
the only place macaroni & cheese, buttered rice & parmesan grit cake is considered a veggie is in the Deep South.
the only place macaroni & cheese, buttered rice & parmesan grit cake is considered a veggie is in the Deep South.
on this try are two meat & three...served with cornbread. see the mac & cheese?
on this try are two meat & three…served with cornbread. see the mac & cheese? Fried green tomatoes? Fried Chicken? Mash potatoes with gravy…
I love that Johnny's supports Alabama Farmers.
I love that Johnny’s supports Alabama Farmers.

i moved from the hippy-dippy, healthy-eating, all natural, homegrown food-eating, state of Vermont to Alabama in 1993. LONG STORY.

one day, at my new job, the ladies all gathered in the front of the camera store & asked me if i wanted to go out for veggies for lunch. I thought it would be a salad bar type of place.

it was a Meat & Three.

This is a really nice place, Johnny’s. The place they took me was in downtown Birmingham & the interior looked like it had been built in the 1960s. Everything was either fried, or soaked to oblivion. Β but they did have amazing pies. I ate pie for lunch. I didn’t mean to appear as a snob to my co-workers, I was just shocked to the core about the whole place.

As i’m sure they would have been had they gone out for lunch in Vermont.The kids & I picked the Caesar Salad w/ chicken. It was the best i’d ever had.

if you live in the U.S. & have to travel down to the Deep South, you now have the advantage. You know what to order.

Fried Chicken w/ fried green tomatoes, macaroni & cheese & parmesan grit cake with a Sweet Tea. πŸ™‚


25 thoughts on “Alabama ‘meat & three’ defined by a Vermonter

  1. I can definitely see how you must have been in culture shock dining at this restaurant. But lately I’ve noticed even our most heavy meat & three’s putting a couple of things that are healthy on the menu. Don’t give up on the South. You just have to be careful what you pick to eat!


    1. Oh, i won’t give up on the south. My whole family moved here. I’ve been here since 1993 & it has changed a great deal. The caesar salad we ordered from this meat & three was the best I ever had! ~amy


  2. I was raised southern and German. Lethal food combo but it was soooo good. I moved to California in 1965 and my food habits completely changed. I indulge now and then in an old fashioned meal from the south.


    1. It is definitely an indulgence to eat like that. I think people in the south have figured that out b/c there are a lot more healthy places to eat, then there was when i got here in 1993. It was a really great place. I hope to go back & order fried green tomatoes. My very favorite! I didn’t know you were raised in the south, where? ~amy


      1. I was born in West Virginia, lived in Tenn., Georgia and NC as well as New England and most of my adult life in California. We ate southern no matter where we lived. The can of bacon grease was on the stove and I love fried green tomatoes.


      2. You’ve been everywhere! New England? Where? I was born in Boston, Mass. & lived the first 20+ years in Vermont. But we vacationed in Mass. Conn, Maine, New York, NYC… I love fried green tomatoes, i’d never had them until moving to Alabama. Now I buy green & heat them up just a bit by coving them with pasta…a lot healthier then fried with the same Yum of the tomato.


    1. Thank you, Reggie. I’ve always wanted people to know what the south is like. The food has much improved over the last 20 years i’ve been here (gasp! 20 years…i want to go HOME) We have a lot more healthy conscience foodies now. I cannot tell you how pleased i am to say that. Thank you, Reggie! ~amy


  3. or: meatloaf with mashed taters and gravy, fried okra, green beans and banana pudding for dessert… meat and three of choice. Us southerners love our meat and 3 or veggie plates. Especially when you know the place and know that on certain days will be certain foods. At the Carolina Grill next to U of NC in hippy dippy Chapel Hill, on Wednesday, I knew they would have smothered chicken and their incredible baked yellow squash and onions. I’d go from Durham to Chapel Hill for lunch on Wednesdays. It was worth the 20 minute drive anyday.


    1. How wonderful! There is a meat & three near my parents house & they know the days there favorite meals are served on. I LOVE fried okra. I could eat it everyday. I don’t care for okra any other way. I have a friend that went to U of NC in Chapel Hill, she is one of my most favorite southerners. Thanks for sharing! ~amy


      1. People have gotten more conscious about healthy food preparation and a wider scope of flavors. But it is still good to find the places that time has passed by for Old South food. I indulge myself but make up for it by more non-traditional foods. of course, in the summer, you cn’t beal all the local fresh veggies that come on the market. Southerners were locavores when locavore wasn’t cool. I picked up today, the season’s first yellow and patty pan squashes, cukes, green beans, blueberries, and peaches. At this rate, meatless Monday will last until Wednesday! and homemade peach ice cream.


      2. Vermonters have always been locavores, that is how i was raised. Funny about the list of veggies you have. My husband came home from a local friend’s farm yesterday with a YEARS supply of potatoes, a cabbage bigger then my head & about 10 onions. I’m thinking of making a potato soup & freezing it for the fall/winter b/c there is no way we can eat all of them without becoming anti-potato!
        Our backyard doesn’t get enough sun to grow anything other then herbs & cherry tomatoes. We do have a lot of fruits growing on our few sunny locations. Nothing better then backyard fruits & veggies! Thank you for sharing your story! ~amy


    1. I think that will change soon. The more people become aware of locally grown food & its benefits, the more the want of it will be. In Vermont, that is all there really is! ~amy


    1. Exactly! These kinds of places to eat are harder to find now. Healthy is moving into Alabama. My favorite Meat & Three is the one that is based on the movie, “fried green tomatoes” That is a rare treat! ~amy


    1. It is fun, but the food is too HEAVY for me. I could eat fried green tomatoes everyday. Instead of frying mine, i toss hot pasta over them, just to warm them up a bit & they taste almost as good as the fried kind…although much healthier. ~amy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s