Candlelight Motel Neon Sign
Ozark AL, 2022.
The post earlier on the place that makes almost exclusively eggrolls got me thinking of Chinese restaurant signs…
China Chang, Bessemer AL, 2005
This 2019 sign at Mr Wang’s in Birmingham AL asks people to not put food in their pockets or Tupperware:
China Garden, Marks MS (love that G in the sign)
In Yazoo City, Mississippi, 2019
China Pavilion, Tuskegee, Alabama, 2020
Selma, Alabama, 2020
We found a place in Gadsden, Alabama called Mae Khan’s Kitchen that makes mostly just one thing: eggrolls. And they are really big, and really good. We got a variety so there were some we liked better than others (one of them really tasted like it had — I know this sounds crazy — creamy soup as an ingredient) but this was a fun diversion for something different.
One orders at the window, dairy bar-style, and it’s ready a few minutes later.
Not too far from Mae Khan’s Kitchen is Golden China — I took the kids and some of our friends there once when we were on a trip for some take-out lunch to eat at the river
There’s a sign on this pothos:
One of my friends actually found this graveshelter by accident, and we rode out to visit: the Halls Chapel graveshelter in Weaver, Alabama:
It’s a carport-style structure. That’s over 60 cemeteries with graveshelters in Alabama that I’ve been able to document, and many more actual graveshelters, as some have multiple structures. If you do come across one, please contact me so I can make a site visit. Thank you so much!
Jungle Jim’s, Cincinnati, from a visit last year
I was thinking today about a super, crazy, easy little candy that I’ve done a few times just as a quirky kind of thing, and — some of you are going to be disappointed (others trilled, I’m good with either) in how little effort this takes but it’s actually fun and yummy —
Meecro-wahvay a tray of that white chocolate wanna-be almond bark, careful not to let it burn, then stir in whatever cereal you’re feeling, pour it onto a cookie sheet (covered in parchment paper or not, your decision) and let it cool, break into pieces, serve.
I’m not even a Froot Loops person, but I’ve done FLs because they’re colorful. You *know* Cinnamon Toast Crunch would be great.
I mean, let’s just go on a little cereal adventure today.
Next to Crave in Tupelo, which also has great desserts, I mean:
There was — I thiiiiink it’s closed now, but I’m not certain — an attached restaurant there called Cereal Killer:
This was their Bates’ Cuckoo Cocoa Bowl (Cocoa Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Krave Chocolate, whipped cream)
We last went in 2019 as a little treat. I think that’s the point in time when cereal- and cereal-adjacent restaurants were really peaking: Milk & Cream Cereal Bar in NYC, Bol & Bagel in France, Bumsan Organic Milk Bar in LA, The Cereal Killerz in Las Vegas, and others (I saw somewhere that a Day and Night Cereal Bar is coming to Atlanta), but probably the one most of us think of that really popularized cereal in- and on- is Milk Bar. I’ve been to the one in Las Vegas:
corn cookie (not a huge fan) but the Corn Kid likely would
compost cookie (better, but I sat there thinking we could probably make it better by playing around at home)
…and we did — we used the Milk Bar cookbook as a guide. There are actually a few Christina Tosi (founder) books now: the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, Milk Bar Life, Milk Bar Kids Only, All About Cake, and her latest, a non-cookbook, Dessert Can Save the World. Christina made popular the cereal milk ice cream, and the “naked cake” which is that category of cakes with the un-iced sides.
If you watch this video, she explains that the idea of not doing the sides comes from all the pressure in culinary school and seeing people spend incredible time on making absolute masterpieces in decoration, and she was really not into it. She says that this time should be put into other things and not the decoration because “for what? This isn’t a pottery class” but mmmmm if I’m having cake, I want alllll the icing, so that’s a pass for me, but she’s great!
really, the compost cookie is all about (recipe here) putting cereal, M&Ms, chocolate chips, potato chips, pretzels…just annnything you think sounds good for snacking
…and it did turn out better. Infinitely customizable.
We’re really liking Mochi Donut at H Mart in Atlanta
My fave is the one with the Asian version of Honey Crisp cereal:
Really enjoy Shapiro’s in Indianapolis, and so happy to get to visit this summer as part of our Ohio-ish trip, as we did last year as part of our Detroit-ish trip! Both times, we’ve visited the downtown location — an old-school cafeteria line where one orders sandwiches made on the spot, and sides/salads/desserts ready for the choosing.
Pics interspersed here are from both visits.
Start with desserts and salads
This is how they do deviled eggs:
Cafeteria style, just sliding the tray down until it’s time to put that pastrami on order:
…they also other entrees, like orange roughy, stuffed peppers, swiss steak, short ribs, meatloaf, and lots more…
Here’s where the entree ordering happens — sliced right in front, here
…and these are the latkes!
the requisite Cel-Ray
oh hi, black cherry
a Reuben with coleslaw instead of sauerkraut (so a Rachel and still pastrami, but they call it a NY Reuben)
They have other counters, for take-home. Meats and cheeses
It’s quick and yummy and we’re getting in the groove of thinking it’s a summertime thing now to go up there. Also, I’m completely in love with the museum of art in Indianapolis — Newfields — and that’s going to require a 1x/year visit. More on Newfields soon. xoxo!
Artwork by Nall
Birmingham AL, 2009.
Doing a bit of a rewind on a post from 2009 because I was thinking of the late Don Coley, who passed away in 2013, and the magical world he created in Marion, Alabama:
Don was an artist and an encourager of other artists. He made what made him happy.
He sold other people’s art, his art, plants from the yard, and antiques and junk he’d found everywhere
It was a vibe.
…and one of his pieces showing the little town and the cotton fields all around
I actually bought my George Kornegay piece from Don
Don painted a lot, but closer to our visit, he’d been given a kiln as was digging clay, making his own pottery
Another of Don’s ;arger paintings here.
I remember thinking I’ll just take this cabinet and everything inside it (and I think there was a Nicola Marschall painting in this room too
One of the funniest things is that Don sold a Venus de Milo statue to a gentleman who owns a gas station, and they placed it between the pumps (those old ’70s analog pumps: the numbers that roll). Av’s friend Al Benn did a story about it in 2007 because a woman would come by at night and dress the statue:
Perry County’s Venus de Milo lives between two gas pumps and has had her armless, near-naked body draped in everything from a colorful boa to a maternity outfit.
Unlike the original Venus, which is on display at the Louvre in Paris and attracts thousands of tourists each year, the one here is outside a convenience store where folks drop by to get some hoop cheese, saltines and RC colas.
The mystery clothier began adding some color to the gray statute about two weeks after her arrival, initially draping a pink-and-yellow boa around her neck.
After that, Venus wound up in a one-piece orange bathing suit. A few weeks later, she was decked out in a maternity outfit, complete with pillow. Soon, a larger pillow was added, apparently by someone who wanted to show her “progress.”
Then, the “blessed event” arrived — a “baby” with bright yellow hair, chubby cheeks and a green dress. She was carefully placed in a metal carrier and draped around Venus’ neck.
There have been a couple of fires in the last week or so to historic buildings — one in Ashville, Alabama to the circa 1820, two-story (sooooo uncommon to see a two-story in this style) dog trot, called the Looney House. It’s been on the National Register since 1974. The home, which was tended to by a county historical society, had previouly been open as a museum. It has half-dovetail corners pegged with dowels and Flemish-bond brick chimneys, and at one point the home was covered in some sort of siding. Floors are heart pine.
From the historic marker:
John Looney and his son, Henry, served in General Andrew Jackson’s volunteer company which built Fort Strother on the Coosa River and later fought at Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Looney’s family of nine moved from Maury Co. Tenn. To homestead 1817 in St. Clair County. Land patent granted in 1822. The two story log house with double dog-trot is a rare example of pioneer architecture in Alabama.
These images are from a visit in 2011:
The other fire was in Lafayette County, Mississippi, at the 1844 College Hill Presbyterian Church, the church where William Faulkner married Estelle in 1929. Just a quick note since I’m a bit of a Faulknerphile ( #funfact, Merle Haggard was a fan): since they were both married, the wedding likely happened on the front porch of the church parsonage since they were both divorced. Only the minister’s wife and Estelle’s sister were witnesses to the event.
I don’t have an image of the church, but their website is showing drone footage of the damage.