If only I’d gone for the burger… Hey everyone! It’s the lord of lamenting, the ruler of regretting, the head of hindsight is 20/20 Van, alongside the highness of high-chair fun, the doyenne of dad-doubting and the guru of great-time-having Tillie, here to tell you about our different experiences at The General Greene, located on the corner of Clermont and Dekalb.
Before I go further, though, let me just make this clear: I am a huge fan of GG and could eat dinner there every night of the week. On some of their dinner-time dishes, it gets kind of hard for me to share with Tillie’s mom sometimes because I want the whole plate to myself. But I manage to overcome my selfishness for the good of the team!
That being said, I had never gone there for lunch because it was hard for me to find something on the menu I thought I would really enjoy. It seems there’s always some ingredient that didn’t fall under my taste-o-meter, and I’d hate to ask for that aioli or pickle to be held because I trust the place to know what they’re putting together — my pickiness be darned.
Anyway, whenever Tillie and I walked by the place, we noticed it was full of people, baby and adult alike, so I thought, “Man, what am I missing?” I said to Tillie, “You know that place on the corner of Clermont where your mom and I take you for dinner sometimes? You know, that place we’re always raving about the steak and macaroni and cheese and collard greens? Well, that’s where we’re going for lunch! I’m going to give it a go!”
I didn’t get an answer back, so I figured it was good by her!
On our way to the restaurant, I stopped and picked up a newspaper. A little LWT fact for you: I always bring a paper when T and I go out, just hoping for that one day when I’ll be able to glance at the headlines to catch up on some current events.
We got to the restaurant and the place was pretty empty, which I was shocked about because usually from the sidewalk view, it’s jam-packed; I guess we caught it at the proverbial calm before the storm. We were greeted warmly and I was asked if I needed a high chair. The waitress grabbed one for us, and while I was setting Tillie up, she wheeled the stroller off to the side, which was most appreciated. I hooked Tillie’s little stuffed elephant up to the high chair, then took my seat.
A funny thing happened then: Tillie was content playing with the toy! I thought I was grasping at straws placing it in front of her, but that – combined with her being totally into the waitresses and other people walking around the restaurant – allowed me to actually get some newspaper reading in! I was pretty stunned and almost too distracted to read because I was starting to feel a little ignored. I felt like I was bothering her when I was trying to get her attention!
While Tillie was busy enjoying her surroundings, I placed my order and went for the pressed pork sandwich, with ham, pulled pork, gruyere cheese, pickles and a spicy aioli for fixins. Going in, I figured I was three out of five on those ingredients, so it might be my best bet. I asked them to hold the pickles and go light on the aioli. I then asked if the sandwich came with a salad or something and was told it didn’t. I felt like I needed something to go with it, so I got a side order of the house whites: chopped Idaho potatoes with chorizo and parsley. A lot of pork on the plates, I know, but I decided I could handle it.
As I was waiting for the food to come out, I still wasn’t getting much Tillie love, so I looked at the paper a little more. I brought some food along for her and was trying to figure out if I should feed her now before my meal came out and risk her being bored while I ate, or try to feed both of us simultaneously. I went for the former, and broke out with her little macaroni and cheese. She’s been pretty insistent on trying to feed herself lately, which is awesome, but isn’t exactly the speediest process. So, I decided to try to feed her and she was completely fine with it, which made my job easier. And she did great, eating most of it with no fuss at all.
Then my food came out, and I wasn’t that captivated upon seeing it. On the menu, it says it’s a “pressed” sandwich, which to me implies the sandwich is going to be stuck together by melted cheese, which I really like. This looked like a little bit of ham, a smidgen of pulled pork, one half-melted piece of cheese and the aioli – in other words, pretty skimpy. It definitely suffered from the too-much bread syndrome. I wouldn’t tell someone not to get this sandwich, but it just didn’t meet the expectations I have of something from the kitchen. The potatoes were better, and plentiful, too, but I wasn’t blown away by them, either.
But Tillie was having a great dining experience. She was satisfied with her mac and cheese, and I had grapes for an after-dinner treat for her. I didn’t cut them tiny enough at home, so while I set my half a sandwich and some of my potatoes to the side to be wrapped and waited for the check, I went back and cut them into smaller pieces. She enjoyed those, and things continued to go according to her plans. Lucky her!
My check came and my bill was $14, which added a little insult to my injury. I guess I couldn’t complain too much about that, though. Tillie had an excellent time, I got to read the paper and the staff was extremely friendly. And it seems you don’t need me to tell you to go as the place filled up as we were leaving. However, I planned on making up for my sandwich experience with some of the best ice cream in town at the Greene Ice Cream stand right outside the door.
I know you’ve seen it: the little cart right outside the door. If you haven’t partaken of it yet, though, please do yourself a favor and get some! I recently kicked a five-times-a-week habit going there, but I know I can lapse back into it any minute. I ordered my usual, a scoop of honey vanilla and one of salty caramel pretzel on a sugar cone. This combination is the best in the business. As I was ordering, a friend spotted us around the corner, came over with her son, who’s Tillie’s age, and ended up getting some ice cream, too. We all headed home in the same direction, enjoying some nice conversation and a pretty sweet treat. It made for a really good summer afternoon.
It could’ve been perfect if I had just gotten the burger!