When our mother left California for her southern roots, she lived in the teeny tiny town of her birth. They only had one restaurant by the time she moved there so your eating out choices were limited. The place or joint was called Van’s and it was not something you would ever write home about.
First, if they had air conditioning, it either didn’t work well, if at all and it was not up to anyone’s idea of clean and tidy. Since they were the only game in town, they had the market cornered. So anything goes and boy did it!
The place was decorated with about as many fly traps as I have ever seen, other than a super-size WalMart. They hung above your head which did nothing for one’s appetite and swung in the breeze whenever the door was opened. They were everywhere and so were the flies. No one seemed to pay much attention to their unusual decorating scheme and did not feel it was unusual.
My sister and I actually found it quite hilarious and would break out in raucous laughter at the sight of so many fly traps with so many dead carcasses glued to them. However, it was not very funny when we ordered our food and wondered as to the cleanliness of the establishment and whether we were willing to consume food in such an unsanitary restaurant.
The menu was filled with the usual southern specialties like sausage gravy and biscuits, grits and all kinds of fried foods. Nothing that could be described as diet food or a healthy choice item. Due to the limited menu, you may as well be hooked up to an IV filled with grease. You hoped that none of the fly carcasses from the traps would fall into your grease laden plate so as to further ruin the likelihood of indigestion.
My sister and I tried to steer clear of Van’s if at all possible but since we had endured Mother’s crazy cooking, it just reminded us how lucky we were to not have to sit down at her table of gastronomic doom.