Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rocking Out!

Ok, I really was not going to mention this...until it happened again.  When we met to go on our first outing to Okra, we had a whole texting session to determine where and when we would all meet.  We finally decided that we would meet in the K-Mart parking lot.  Well, two of us did!  After sitting and waiting on "the one who shall not be named", Sherri and I called and the conversation went something like this:  Sherri..."Where are you?"  Answer..."I'm here."  Sherri and I looking around..."Where?"  Then it hit all of us..."Are you at K-Mart?"    "K-Mart!  I thought we said WalMart!"  This from the one who sent out the last text telling us all to go to K-Mart.

Well, fast forward to our most recent outing.  Once again, we planned to meet at K-Mart and we made sure EVERYONE (Luanne...oops...I didn't mean to say that!) knew to go to K-Mart.  So....I got to K-Mart just a few minutes early (maybe two minutes early) and Sherri is already there. It is really impossible to beat her anywhere!  I pulled into the parking lot beside her and jumped into her car.  We sat and sat and sat.  Finally, Sherri asked what we are both thinking, "Where is Bowman?"  Right about that time we got a text..."Where are ya'll?"  Parker replies, "We are sitting in K-Mart parking lot, where are you?"  The answer?  "I'm in K-Mart parking lot!"  We started looking around and sure enough, there she was!  Sitting behind us the whole time and she never even noticed us.  We never noticed her either, but she was behind us! Next time we have to be more specific and say not just where, but WHERE in the parking lot!  I swear, it is a miracle we can even get out of town.

But we did and this outing was a quick one about 30 minutes south to Guntersville.  Now I was really interested to learn that the founder of Guntersville, John Gunter, was the great grandfather of humorist, Will Rogers.   But I was even more interested to find out that John Gunter was married to Katy Bushyhead, daughter of a Cherokee chief.  Primarily, I found this interesting because when I was doing some geneology a few years ago, I found out that my family was related to the Cherokee Bushyheads.  Interestingly, the name Bushyhead name came from a Scotsman who married into the Cherokees and was known for his wild, bushy hair.  Oh, my!  No wonder I have to spend so much money on hair care products!

Guntersville really is a picturesque little town.  Sitting on the largest lake in Alabama, the town is a water lover's dream.   Boating, fishing, skiing, swimming and camping are all part of the Guntersville lifestyle.  The main street is home to an assortment of gift shops and restaurants.  We pulled into Guntersville at about 10:00 a.m., a bit early for lunch, but just in time to stroll around town and shop a little.  One of the first shops to catch our attention was King's Row Antiques.  It appeared to be closed, so we started to meander on down the road, when, to our surprise, the door to the antique shop opened and a friend and former colleague of ours stepped out.  Our friend, Donna Gardner owns King's Row Antiques and she is actually the one who inspired our trip to Guntersville.  Donna used to teach with us, but retired a few years ago, moved to Guntersville and pursued her dream of opening an antique shop.  Happily, she let us into the shop and we not only enjoyed checking out the antiques and gifts, we enjoyed catching up with Donna.

Robert Redford bathed here!
One of the things that really caught our eye was an antique bathtub.  It was wooden with a copper liner.  When we asked Donna about it, she said it was said to have been used by Robert Redford in one of his movies, which we all assumed was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  We thought there was a bathtub scene in that movie.  That tub would be a real conversation piece if someone has a place for it in their home!  We tried to get Donna to join us for lunch, but she had work to do, so we said our goodbyes and moseyed on down the street.

The next shop that drew us in had this adorable fabric covered bicycle perched outside.  Shabby Laboratorie has all sorts of shabby chic home decor items ranging from picture frames to furniture.  We probably could have spent more time in the Shabby Laboratorie, but lunch was calling our name so we quickly left and hopped back in the car.

Two Friends and a Fish!
The Rock House Eatery was our lunch destination for the day.  Formerly, The Rock House Eatery was a florist and gift shop and while none of us had eaten at The Rock House Eatery, we had all shopped there in the past.  The house, it really is a house and it really is rock, sits on Guntersville's main street, Gunter Avenue, just outside the main downtown area. The setting is quaint and lush, with lots of plants and greenery in the yard and the rock house looks like a natural part of the scene.

Bruschetta
Now, Donna could not have lunch with us, but we did persuade another friend and colleague, Barbie, to join us. Barbie lives near Guntersville, so she didn't have too far to travel.  We got there just a tad before Barbie, so we went in (eager beavers that we are, we were the first ones in the door!), seated ourselves at a table and ordered drinks and bruschetta.  I have to say, I love bruschetta and whenever it is on the menu I almost always have to order it.  When the bruschetta came, the only real complaint we had was that the bread was not as crunchy as we prefer.  That, of course, did not keep us from devouring it while we perused the menus and waited for Barbie.  When Barbie arrived, we all got down to business.
The Rock Star with Ham and Corn Chowder

I was planning to order grouper tacos, but opted not to when I found out the fish was fried.  I asked about having it grilled, but the waitress indicated she really wasn't supposed to let me order it that way, but she would if I really wanted her to.  I didn't want to cause any trouble, so I finally decided to order the Rock Star, which was billed as "slices of slow roasted sirloin, jalapeno cole slaw and melted provolone piled high on a grilled French roll and served with an au jus".  I'm just going to be perfectly honest here and tell you it was not the sirloin that reeled me in.  It was the promise of jalapeno coleslaw.  I am not a huge beef eater and I generally find steaks, except for the most tender cuts of filet, to be more trouble than they are worth....too much chewing!  So, honestly, I had no one but myself to blame when I tell you, the sirloin was a little awkward to chew. Hunks of it kept coming out of the bread when I would try to take a bite.  I did enjoy the bread dipped in the au jus, however.  The sandwich came with a side of ham and corn chowder, which tasted ok, but it was a bit bland and too thin for my taste.  I guess when I think of chowder, I think of a thicker and heartier and less soupy soup.  It wasn't bad, just needed a to be a little thicker, not too thick, and with the seasoning amped up a bit.
Harvest Veggie Pizza

Sherri chose the Harvest Veggie pizza which came with "garlic, onions, spinach, mushrooms, black olives, tomato, tri color and banana peppers".  It was quite tasty.  The crust was neither too thick nor too thin.  We all enjoyed the pizza.
Lu's Penne Pasta

Luanne settled on a special for the day, which was penne pasta with chicken and asparagus spears in a parmesan cream sauce.  I thought it was good, unusual for me, because I generally do not care for cream sauces. Luanne and Sherri both agreed it was in need of a visit from the flavor fairy, slightly underseasoned for their tastes.
Pimento Cheese BLT 

Barbie ended up with a Pimento Cheese BLT, described as "grilled wheat bread piled high with apple wood smoked bacon, lettuce, fresh tomato and home made pimento cheese".  I liked Barbie's sandwich and thought the pimento cheese was really very good.  Surprising, since I am something of a pimento cheese snob.  I love pimento cheese, but there are many recipes for pimento cheese that I do not like because they are either too sweet, or too chunky, or too creamy...you get my drift!  Barbie thought it was just ok.  She preferred Sherri's pizza.  In fact, I was the lone dissenter.  Everyone preferred the pizza, including me, but I also liked Luanne's pasta and Barbie's pimento cheese blt.  And I think, Sherri also favored my Rock Star sandwich.
One White Chocolate Cranberry Bread Pudding and Four Spoons

We were really full, none of us finishing our meal, but we are such professionals!  I mean, how could we give you a complete report on the offerings at the Rock House Eatery if we did not at least sample a dessert.  So, being the long suffering Trojans that we are, we forced ourselves to share a dessert.  The one we chose was a white chocolate cranberry bread pudding with a vanilla glaze. We thought it was good, a bit like a gooey cinnamon roll.  In fact, it tasted more like cinnamon than white chocolate.  Luanne would have preferred more of a bourbon sauce like the bread puddings she has had in New Orleans.

The Rock House Eatery is probably the prettiest of all the restaurants we have visited since starting this blog.  We thought the food was good, but not yet great.  Having said that, however, it won't take much to kick it up a notch, just a bit of tweaking the flavors and the Rock House Eatery has the potential to be a really good restaurant.  So, all in all, we enjoyed our trip to the Rock House Eatery and would definitely return to try more selections from the menu.  Based on the pretty setting and menu potential, we give Rock House Eatery 3 Yums UP!

Rock on!
Richi, Sherri and Luanne


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Richi Reynolds
Richi Reynolds

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