My beloved ain’t skeered of nuttin’, especially when it comes to food. His taste buds are always looking forward to an adventure-me, not so much. Over the last 35 years, he’s thrown caution completely to the wind, dragging me and my finicky tastes behind him. Before we got married in 1980, I’d never seen or tasted a “grit” or eaten the bacon off baked beans. And I sure didn’t know what “the pig tail” in the peas meant when his grandmother talked about it. (That was scary! It was an honest-to-goodness TAIL of a PIG!!!)
When we visited his parents in Germany in 1982, he never met a schnitzel he didn’t like. He ate brotchen (hard bread) and real butter like he was getting paid for it, gaining 15 pounds in the two weeks we were there. Meanwhile, I ate French fries (Pommes Frites) everywhere we went. The one time I DID venture from my favorite food, I accidentally got fish swimming in dill sauce. (I ordered Pommes Frites straight away.)
In Poland on a mission trip, without flinching, he ate herring with onions and oil for breakfast. He gobbled up strawberries and spaghetti at lunch with no problem, not wanting to hurt the host church’s feelings. I nibbled at the same stuff, and then ate Pop Tarts I had stashed in my suitcase.
In Israel, he ate falafel, humus, fresh olives, and pomegranates straight from the tree.
In Haiti-also on mission trips, he’s eaten whatever has been put before him, including goat and an okra gumbo that gave me the willies. As I mentioned, he ain’t skeered of nuttin’!
I never know what to expect. We’ve eaten Mexican, Chinese, German, Caribbean, Thai, Mediterranean, and Southern food. We’ve eaten snails (that I was SURE were crawling back up!) and sushi-not at the same time. We have dined on buses made into food trucks and taco trucks, at diners, drive-ins and even dives…and it’s mostly been great. After all these years, I try to be quick to go with him when he is up for something new to eat.
So…when he said he wanted to eat at the new barbeque trailer across from our hollow in P’burg, I shouldn’t have been surprised. We had seen the signs at the flea market claiming “Cajun and Jamaican BBQ”. He was intrigued; I was not.
“I’m going to get some barbeque,” he had called last Saturday, “are you hungry?” At first I said “no” but then grabbed my shoes. I didn’t want to miss something good!
“I’m coming!” I yelled.
He was a little surprised. “I thought you weren’t hungry.”
“I don’t want to miss something good,” I told him, already buckling up.
I was picturing barbequed pork in a crock pot, while he was totally tuned in on the words “Cajun” and “Jamaican”.
We had seen the smoke from the road. The smell lured us in. At the BBQ camper, we met the owner/operator first thing. His name was Charlie and he made a good first impression. So did the menu! The official name is “Dno’s Po Boys, Smokehouse & Grill”. Now, I was definitely interested. I’d never had a “Po’ boy” before! “I’ll have the catfish Po’boy,” I said right away. Charlie asked if I’d like the “special sauce” that usually came on it. I wanted it on the side-I hadn’t TOTALLY lost my mind!
“I thought you weren’t hungry!” my beloved laughed, glad I was stepping out of my comfort zone. He ordered a little bit of everything, which was several dinners together. He got jerk chicken and Cajun chicken, shrimp, and catfish, plus several sides. (There are lots of choices!)
The first bite was heavenly! I added the special sauce and nearly swooned. The French bread was soft and tender; the catfish was perfect! My beloved asked me to rate it. (That’s our game of scoring what we are eating on a scale of 1-10.) “It’s a 12!” I exclaimed as I wiped my mouth.
Holy smokes! It was awesome! We will definitely go back! (We did have to wait a little bit of time because it was made fresh, so will probably call in our order.)
My beloved is kind of like Captain Kirk for a mouth…He boldly takes his taste buds-and mine-where they have never gone before!
Dawn Reed is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.