Monday, March 29, 2010

Restaurant Review- Finch's

Where do the working class of Raleigh go?  Some we know suggested Finch's, without hesitation for "real food".  We drove past a couple of times, with GPS and address in hand.  A great dive location.  It is an old drive in turned diner.  And that was many, many years ago.  There is nothing chic about Finch's.  It is not a drop out Michelin star chef doin it local.  It is a workingman's dive.  Owners on the last leg of a lifetime of serving and cooking.  At breakfast you can hardly go wrong in a place like this.  Eggs, grits, biscuits and gravy.

Wood paneling, a hodge-podge of accumulated equipment dating to the 50's, decor that is, well, functional.  Menus that are mostly local ads- who does that anymore?  The Sysco and Sam's Club containers in plain sight, and a comforting (unless you know the local scoring scale) 90.2 on the Health Inspection.  This is going to be good, or real, real bad.

Our server was a bit deaf (maybe she eats too often at Cafe Luna), so it was a bit of work to order.  Then I noted that every customer yells, so it was on us.

The food was on the grill as soon as it was ordered, except for the mysterious gravy, or grits, that came from the back "If she's still back there."  Weird.  The prices are what you would expect for a place like this.  How about a breakfast, eggs, taters, toast and meat for under $4?  Damn!  We were looking for the normal, giant breakfast to share, but they all looked to be portioned for one,  so we went ahead and ordered two.  It wise, I have found, to have pancakes for a back up plan when you order biscuits and gravy, hash or other localized "mythical food" that is usually a modern adaptation of what was once a basic dish.  I ordered SOS, or chipped beef on toast.  Shit on a Shingle.

It came, and though not hot, was good.  The menu said the gravy for the SOS was sausage gravy.  Uh-huh.  Sure it was.  It was white gravy, the beed was indeed the good old Armor beef in a jar, and I chose the biscuits rather than toast, which were darn good.  The overall flavor was very faithful to the original, and I was transported.  Mom was not a renowned cook, she had other strengths, but this was exactly like she made, and for a minute or two I reminisced about my childhood dinner table, and how dad relished this culinary trip down his memory lane, and the stories we heard over heaping plates of Shit on a Shingle.

Oh, the pancakes were real good, the eggs were eggs and the coffee was weak.  I am not sure I would go back, but I sure enjoyed going to Finch's.

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