Montgomery, Alabama claimed the first eight years of my life. As a young woman, I migrated back there for a few years. Autumn Friday nights were spent cheering on the local high school football team but the best part was going to Jimmy’s Diner afterwards for chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy with a side of green beans. Uh-huh, now that’s good eats.
As a vegetarian, I don’t often lament the changes I’ve chosen. Truly, the variety of taste sensations I experience every day is unsurpassed by any chef, meat-eater or no. Now, walking into the Chicago Diner to see Country Fried ‘Steak’ on the menu changed my mind and sent titillating tingles across my taste buds.
In one bite, I could see that old diner and my friends Spencer and Becky sitting across from me, sipping sweet iced tea and scarfing down. Potatoes with skins on and minimal fat (tasted like they used more of the potato water they boiled in), big steaks of fried seitan covered with mouth-watering white gravy, sigh, this was even better than Jimmy’s. Not an every day meal, but comfort food in the best sense.
On inquiry, there’s a ‘factory’ upstairs that manufactures most of the seitan so it’s always same day fresh. So, I’m headed back there today for more of their seitan ‘wings’ in spicy buffalo sauce and their trade-marked SOUL BOWL™ that boasts seasoned quinoa, tofu/eggs with chimichurri sauce, flashed greens, mashed sweet potatoes & fat free black beans, avocado slices extra.
Portion sizes here are true to the U.S. norm so no room for dessert of peanut butter chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake or fountain style shakes. I wish, though, I do wish for more room in my belly.