Monday, March 17, 2008

Does Naomi Judd Love Rooster Fries?

Dear Naomi,

I see that you and I are both fans of the same eating establishments in the hinterlands of Nashville. You have just got to love this place, don't you? Sunday noon's "meat plus three" can't be beat, except by the Saturday night menu, but that later. I walked into Netts and there you were, right on the counter next to the cash register that really goes ca-ching, with a personal Sharpie message written with high regards to Annette.

When I stop by Netts Country Store and Deli, I have to wait in line like everyone, rubbing shoulders with locals who are dressed in either Sunday best or hunting gear, or last week, bicycle helmets. But I suppose you are ushered straight to the head of the cafeteria serving cart, aren't you? And that is how it should be, because the folks in Santa Fe and Netts Store love the Judds. Over fried chicken and catfish, they talk about the weekend entertainment, a concert to benefit the victims of the tornadoes that ripped through the area several weeks previously. "Wynonna sang, Hagraaaydoware. Oh, honey, that was good!" It took some cogitation on my part before I could conjure the excitement she must have felt, to hear dear Wynonna Judd sing those sweet words, "Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee. How great thou art. How great thou art."

These are good people here along the stretch of country from Leiper's Fork, through Santa Fe, and down to Columbia. Cyclists geared up in Lazer cockscombs and Pearl Izumi Attack shorts descended on the store while we sat eating. And as these bikers, pedaling through from Franklin, complain that the store doesn't carry the right Red Bull concoction, the locals are planning the next community center event, or figuring out how to pay the church electric bill since everyone decided it was important to send that check for $180.00 to tornado relief.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the home-cooked green beans and cole slaw, served by a young and friendly girl from up Skelly Hollow. When I asked if, as I suspected, the trophy deer, sporting the St. Patrick's Day get-up, did indeed speak, a momentary shadow passed almost imperceptibly across her face. Yes, he does speak. I judged from the stretch of her neck that it would be impertinent to ask for a demonstration, so I fell silent. Yet my waitress, ever a member of this kind community, could not forget my curiosity, and before my plate was empty, Buck spoke, remotely animated, by my hesitantly accommodating waitress from behind the deli cooler.

There is no smoking here at Netts any longer. I know, for there is a no smoking sign next to the Newport clock. But you can still get all the supplies you need for a day in the field. It wasn't until I paid my check at the front counter, there where you smile at all the customers, that I considered the breadth of the variety of products available from Netts. Behind the coolers is a smaller refrigerator, dorm-sized. On it's door is a hand written sign offering Nightcrawlers—$3.99 and 100% Doe in Estrus—$11.99. Of course, I know nightcrawlers, big, juicy, and easy to slip onto a fishing hook, but the Doe in Estrus was a new concept for me. What? It wasn't until I consulted with my friends at Arkansas Duck Hunter that I understood the import of this product. Rather than having to hunt for a buck in the wilderness, the product known as "100% Doe in Estrus" promises that Buck will be hunting for you!

There's something for everyone at Nett's, but I'm thinking that for you, it must be the Saturday night specials, Frog's Legs and Rooster Fries. I've talked to others before about the quality legs that are one offering, but yum, I think it's the Rooster Fries that have to take the Gourmet Grammy for this menu. Succulent.

Are they your favorite, too?

I know your schedule is always tight, but let's meet, you and I, some Saturday night real soon and have Annette fix us up some of those Rooster Fries.

Be seeing you.




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cadh 8 said...

This post is VERY likable, as is Annette and the little town of Bethel. WE so much enjoyed having you come and visit us and eat there with us. I guess I always dreamed of what it would be like growing up in a town like this, so your visit was a way to pretend for a minute.

Unfortunately for the residents, really growing up here is not as pretty as the pictures. Not to bash it, but even Hobbiton began to feel the effects of evil when it became so powerful around it. ANd Bethel is the same. But every now and then we can visit this special little place and think back on another time, or maybe just on a dream time, and enjoy some rooster fries together. Who knew they were so freaking big?

brd said...

I'm glad you liked the description. So it's Bethel, not Santa Fe? I love your comparison to Hobbiton. So true, so true. When Naomi gets back to me about a time to meet for fries, I'll let you know and you can reserve a table for all of us.

As Buck would say, "Eat at Nett's Country Store and Deli!"

cadh 8 said...

Oh, I could tell you some funny things about the small borough distinctions out here. Bethel is separate from Santa Fe, and both are certainly NOT part of Leipers Fork. THere are club members who have fought for signs to be put up that distinguish the area. All that Bethel really consists of is Netts and the Community club and the surrounding homes. But it is very much a Place in the hearts and minds of those who live there. But in the same way that I still tell people that I am from Nashville, even though I live in the smaller nearby town of Columbia, you can say that Nett's is in Santa Fe, even though it is really the small borough of Bethel.

brd said...

Excellent distinction. I will try to clearly establish boundaries in any future posts.