Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The Lunch experience at Caffe Reel - you've gotta go.
457 East Main Street
Franklin, North Carolina
ring them at - 828 369 9446
You think your at a gas station but really there is more than meets the eye. Go around the corner (but not as far as the local gun shoppe) and you'll find the entrance. You could miss this "in the know" kind of local eatery if someone didn't tell you it was the best place to have lunch with your gals. I was taken in right away when we walked through the door. The roaving camera eye didn't know what to look at first... (I apologize for that famous thing I do, where we are talking and I am truly listening - but I am looking around to make sure I don't miss a thing - or a picture) Back to my story.....Right away we receive a charming greeting and a friendly smile from the waiter/host who was dressed in "parisian black" . I spotted bouquets of fresh flowers and vintage suitcases, photographs, and even a large bees nest hanging from a branch. As he sat us I spied the cake stands with choice desserts lining the front counter and I had already checked out the funky looking chef's peeking over the stainless steel kitchen window as if wanting to know who was coming to dinner. Chalk boards are perched to entice you to try dishes with brie and crab claws and they are covered with suggestions that only serve to confuse you with so many great choices. I didn't get to meet the owner in person to sign my autograph book because he was off shopping for his bistro we were told - but we were given a copy of an article written about this wonderful place to read if we were interested. Of course I so was.
Chef Richard Earl Long ( the REL in the name you see) was known to prestigiousl culinary establishments but decided to drop the pretentiousness and cook for people who appreciated good food. My favorite part of the article is where he is quoted as saying "I remember what it was like to try to raise a family and not be able to afford to take my wife out to dinner." Don't you just love the whole thing already? Waiting for your meal, you glance up at the tin ceiling and the shelves surrounding the eating area are filled with interesting memorabilia with the essence of a french flaire.
The food arrives and we stop talking. There is a lot of "mmming" going on and I have no problem eating a sandwich big enough for 2 people. Claudie wanted me to share but I knew the whole thing must be savored and taking some home was out of the question. Everybody's looked amazing and my only wish was that we had faked a birthday so we could have had cake with a candle and some parisian fellows serenading us at the table. ( oh, daydreams be gone....)
Washed the whole lovely sandwich down with a big southern "sweet tea" and we set off to check out the gun shoppe next door. In there we met some real mens men. When Claudie and I walked in, there was no mistaking that we were "out of towners".
"Inspector Lee" seemed to be the spokesperson for the shop and I'll tell you, he didn't know who he was dealin with I'm sure!
Jeanne from "backyardneighbor" and her lovely sister who really is also a backyard neighbor to her, spent a fun day tripping around quaint shops with us and we had a ball with them. Thank you so much for introducing us to your special lunch spot. It's a real keeper for your community and a real keeper in my own little black book of favorite places to go with the girls.
Bon Appetit and Au revoire ( that's all the french I know)
And that's all I have to say about that.