What the heck is a meat and three? In a nutshell, it’s a place to eat good comfort food. You will have a choice of one meat from a daily selection and three side dishes from a larger selection of cooked or fresh vegetables, casseroles, etc. You might be offered dinner rolls with it, but more than likely you will have cornbread and a glass of tea (sweet or unsweetened).
Meat-and-three’s are not fancy places. They remind me of the long time popular TV sitcom Alice, where the waitresses would pull their pens resting behind their ears, offer a big smile to welcome you and take your order. “What ya gonna have today, hon?” Yes, times have changed but they still have lots of charm and character and of course good food.
If you get a menu, you are not going to find the word entrée! They usually have a blackboard very visible to their customers with their offerings and their Special of the Day. To me, a menu that changes daily indicates that the restaurant cooks meals with the freshest ingredients available for the day. You won’t get a slice of yesterday’s meatloaf because it won’t be offered again today. Oh, if you want a creme brulee, you are in the wrong place. The only creamy dessert you may find would be a banana pudding. Don’t worry, they often offer old-fashioned pound cake, cookies and some amazing pies.
What is my favorite thing to eat in one of these places? I love a good country-fried steak, baked chicken and grilled meat loaf. For a side-dish, I always have to try green beans, mac-n-cheese, fried okra and cream style corn. If they offer cheese-grits, you won’t have to kiss them, I will devour them faster than a duck on a June bug.