Food in Context



One of my favorite places to eat and drink when I'm at our cabin in Sewanee is Shenanigans. Whenever I walk through the crooked front door that harkens back to Opryland's Angle Inn, life slows down and I look forward to my mason jar runnething over with slightly flat Miller Lite draught.

Amongst the standard "I feel more like I did when I came in here than I do now" and "flush twice, it's a long way to the SAE house" graffiti, there used to be a napkin taped to the counter with a quote from a patron.

It said, "My boyfriend just broke up with me and I just drove all the way from Nashville and all I want is some SHENANIGAN'S FRENCH FRIES!"

Talk about evocative. I always hoped that her story had a happy ending, but I can also totally identify with her need for a certain food in a certain place at a certain time. And Shenanigans fries aren't even that great, but I can see how they might be comforting.

Some food needs to be eaten in context, whether it's good or not. It just is. I returned to my alma mater for my ten year reunion in 19(hmmmty-hmm) and was overwhelmed by the need to drive up in the forests near campus to grab a burger and a beer at my traditional college haunt, Rossotti's Beer Garden. Never mind the fact that I had given up red meat for the five years prior, sometimes you just gotta have one.

And then sometimes you just gotta spend the entire class party that night curled up on the floor of a Porta-John outside of a gymnasium full of ex-girlfriends you were hoping to hook up with. Regrets, I've had a few.

Brats at a ballgame, margaritas at a beachfront bar, fondue at an what food do you have to eat where? And where is it that makes you have to eat a certain food?

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