Olympia Restaurant, Mount Airy, USA
602 Linville Rd
+1 (336) 786-7556
by Hashley Brown
Hashley Brown rushes from his Cadillac Escalade with New York licence plates through the torrential summer rain. Peering through the steamed up windows of the restaurant, he can just make out the outline of bearded men in dungarees. Most of them are wearing caps.
Taking a seat Hashley is joined by the City Commissioner and his wife. This is the first time they have met.
Waitress: “Hey, how y’all doin?, Whadda y’all gonna have to drink”
HB: “Splendid, thank you. Coffee please”
Waitress: “I just love you're ah-ccent. Hello ‘Lundun’, ‘Splendid’, huh-huh!”
Hashley is talking noisily to the owner of the restaurant.
Proprietor: “To have a true Southern breakfast you’ve gotta have grits, you’ve gotta have home-made sausage gravy, gotta make your biscuits from scratch; sell every part of the pig, tenderloin, ham, sausage, bacon..
HB: “What about eggs?”
Proprietor: “Eggs are very important, you can get ‘em scrambled, scrambled soft, scrambled medium, scrambled well, over light, over easy, over medium, over medium well, over well, over hard, now which ones did I leave out? poached, boiled, basted, so I guess that’s what about twenty different ways, at least.”
The order arrives. Pale cornmeal grits like anaemic porridge are doused with butter and salt. The fluffy biscuits, like savoury scones, come with their own paddling pool of sausage gravy. Like a meaty white sauce it slowly thickens as the languorous Southern morning drifts by. Country Ham is the saltiest thing on the table, if not in the whole state. The City Commissioner smiles.
Hashley struggles from the table, the last biscuit starting to weigh heavily on his constitution. As he crosses the car park, now sparkling with the clarity that only a rainstorm can bring to a summer morning, the waitress accosts him.
Waitress: “Will you say ‘Splendid’ again?”
HB: “Um, splendid?”
Waitress: “Huh-huh! Now y’all come back and see us again y’hear”
Hashley embraces the waitress.