Quite despite the ongoing diet, which it seems as though I am none too strict about these days, I had scones as part of lunch at a tearoom earlier this week. Chocolate scones. While chocolate is not something I live or die for, I can appreciate it. These scones had a marvelous texture, but the scant chips, say four or five per scone, gave it a chocolate flavor too strong for me to truly enjoy. They arrived at our table served with cream and jam, both nice additions, tools, if you will, that I employed to cover the chocolate taste. Don't get me wrong, they were delightful scones. I'm just being silly, is all, and letting my anti-chocolate flag fly.
And scones in Johnson City? That's unusual. But not for a tearoom. And Miss Melanie's fits the bill for that alright. Lunch was served with tea and scones. I drank a hot apricot flavored tea with my scone and ordered the chicken salad croissant with a side of loaded potato salad.
The service was solicitous. It helped that we came late, after one o'clock and the tea room stops serving at two. So there was one other table. Being the center of attention can be nice. Daintily-embroidered linens bracketed each place setting. Amy and I were both anxious in the negative way about using them. The thought of staining one with my lipstick was unappealing. The decor was typical tearoom, with a Victorian flair. The menu had a GWTW theme, after all, it IS Miss Melanie's (Aunt Pitty-Pat's Lite Lunch, Rhett's Blockade Runner Sandwich, Prissy's Peanut Butter Pie, Bonnie Blue Blueberry Sour Cream Pie, etc.).
The chicken salad was one of the best that I've had. Its flavor was light and fruity. Both cranberries and orange slices were in the mix. The chicken was sliced into an agreeable consistency and the ingredients were well-blended in a mayo/sour cream base. Chicken salad is one of those things I'm picky about. I don't eat just anyone's chicken salad, especially if there are too many pecans. Or celery, for that matter. I ordered it with trepidation, but in the end, the experience was pleasant, indeed. And one I'll likely repeat.
One thing about tea rooms that I've never liked is that they serve tea-room-sized portions. Yet, my scone, sandwich, and loaded potato salad filled me up. I didn't need dessert, but I couldn't turn it down, either. Amy and I shared a dessert sampler where you choose three desserts. I chose the peanut butter pie, Amy chose the key lime pie, and then we agreed that the lemon cake & fruit parfait would be a light choice.
The lemon cake and fruit parfait could easily be considered wonderful if it was not in the company of the other two. Both peanut butter pie and key lime pie were two of the best I've ever eaten. Actually, the peanut butter pie was perfect, except for the chocolate bits. It's a slice that I've dreamed of but never eaten. I find most peanut butter pies too light and subtle in their flavor. Prissy's Peanut Butter Pie was thick, rich, creamy and very peanut buttery. I can't quite find a word to better describe it's texture, other than substantial.
Key lime pie is often unassuming and easily dismissed for there are far too many chocolate lovers out there. Surely I am within the minority of diners who prefer an alternative to chocolate-heavy dessert menus. With all that chocolate, the pleasure that key lime offers is lost. It's at least my second or third favorite type of pie. Miss Melanie's key lime pie recipe was given to her by her grandmother. It is excellent. Perfect consistency and tangy flavor. Yes, some pie bakers don't put enough key lime juice in their pies and they come out mealy-mouthed; rather blah and pointless.
And so, Miss Melanie's Tea Room did not disappoint. Granted, it is a tea room, and those menus are usually limited to lighter items. They also serve a daily soup and quiche. Amy had the Fiesta Quiche which included black beans and peppers. Miss Melanie stopped by our table several times and on the last visit we talked about her peanut butter pie. Sadly, she has peanut allergies and cannot eat the pie that she makes.
I bought squash to make another squash casserole, but haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe later this week.
Planted my watermelons late, so may have enough for a bite or two in October. The other is the size of my thumb. this being my first year of planting watermelons is most likely the culprit in the poor showing. I've already learned that I should plant watermelons early. Surely there are other slick tricks I can read about to make my melons grow.
Despite the ever-present diet, we still eat out occasionally. Saturday Ian and I went to Kingsport, to Exchange Place, an historic farm established in the 1850s along the Stagecoach Road. It was hot.I was parched and starving, so we drove to Cootie Brown's. There's one in Johnson City, too. Love eating there, but we bypass it now because of the diet. Ian loves their Taco-Rita, which is a huge burrito filled with black beans and meat. It's enough to feed three of four people.
He didn't get that. What did he get? Oh, the black bean burger. He' s not going vegetarian, but he thought that might be less points (WW) than a real meat sandwich.
I had their baked formaggio sandwich. It was divine. I'm super impressed with Cootie Brown's now. Sometimes I am not. Like when I asked the waitress if the avocado on the cobb salad was fresh and she said yes. She was a young thing, and likely had never seen fresh avocado. It was fresh out of the bag. But I digress. This sandwich was so perfect. Goat cheese for sure, and maybe another kind of two., fresh tomato, and lots of basil leaves. Ironic how something so simple can be the most satisfying meal of all.
Alerted Ian to the fact that I was having dessert. Either at Cootie's or over at Marble Slab Creamery a few store fronts down. After peeking at the dessert display case I decided to go with the peach pie. It's not your typical peach pie. None of their pies are what you might think. For years I was a connesius or key lime pie. And I tried theirs. Didn't like it.
It's bright green. If you saw your Heartburn then you know that real key lime pie is never green. Um, the other thing is that it's in this really thick cake like crust that I don't care for. And lastly, it's texture is rubbery, even more so than a regular key lime pie. They surely added gelatin to the mix. And that's the biggest no-no of them all when it comes to my approval of a key lime pie.
But the peach pie was so very good. It was similar to the key lime pie in that its filling was thick and custardy. That's where the similarities end. There were a few pieces of real peach in there. Didn't so much care for the crust, so I left it. Otherwise, the pie was divine. Good flavor, and a very satisfying texture; almost like cheesecake. It wasn't what Ian expected. He had a bite or two. No doubt he thought I'd get a traditional lattice-covered peach pie.
Yesterday Jerry took Marie and me to Daisy Mae's. It's a newish cafe on the Milligan Highway located in the former Kuykendall's sewing machine repair shop. Had not eaten there, but I pass by it at least eight times each week.
My BLT was one of the best. On toasted sourdough, ample bacon, lots of mayo, ultra fresh tomato that had not seen the inside of a refrigerator. Marie's egg salad, on pita, looked good, but I didn't taste it. And Jerry declared that to be the best chicken salad he's ever had. And, while I didn't foot the bill, seeing as how it was a meal celebrating the birthdays of two Leos (both with Scorpio rising), Jerry was pleased at how low it was; thought it was an excellent deal.
For delicious, fresh comfort food, I'll be sure to return. Last but not least, for dessert Marie and I split a piece of lemon cake. The cake was quite good. Very soft and tender. The icing was butter cream and it was too sweet and rich for both me and Marie, but we aren't big on overly sweet things. Photo taken with my camera phone. I was pleased with its resolution.