On Soul Food

After our two-day stint in Orlando, it was time to hit the road again.  As it turns out, New Orleans, Louisiana is pretty far from Orlando.  640 miles far, and kind of intimidating, considering there was only one of us driving.

Being the only member of the gang who was over 21, Carl had agreed to take on the task of designated driver, a noble feat which had him driving a cumulative 4000 miles over the span of our three-week trip.  Thankfully, Asher and Clare had devised a plan which split the journey up into driveable chunks, laid out in a perfect, pristine spreadsheet.

Day Three, or Day Six for the others, who had flown out to Miami a few days before, had us headed for Brunswick, Georgia.  Clare’s dad (cheers, Alan!) had stayed in a hostel in a Georgian forest back in the 1970s, and had recommended we check it out, it being relatively en-route.  We’d booked one night’s stay, with no knowledge of what the place would be like.

As we drove, I attempted to combat the moody Floridian rain with a mixtape titled “Sorry boys”.

Funnily enough, Carl and Ciarán were less than impressed.

To take the edge off, I began what was to soon become a kind of spiritual practice in the car; using the Yelp for Android app to find food that was a) nearby and b) cheap.  Yelp led us to the nearby Soul Food Bistro @ The Potter’s House, in Jacksonville, Florida.  Thrilled by the possibility of authentic soul food with a four-and-a-half star rating from Yelp and by this point, pretty damn hungry, we pulled up to the parking lot of the restaurant excitedly.

However, what Yelp had neglected to mention, was the fact that Soul Food Bistro @ The Potter’s House was located in the middle of a giant Christian mall.

Bemused, we sat down in the bistro (which turned out to be a cafeteria rather than a bistro), and found ourselves pleasantly surprised to discover that the food was pretty good.  Fried chicken with gravy, cornbread, “collard greens” (kale, slow-cooked with bacon), mac-n-cheese and a syrupy peach cobbler were delicious, and big hits with all members of the team.  After lunch, we had a quick wander around the mall, where we found, I shit you not, a Christian bowling alley.

Sadly, there was no time for bowling, and so it was onwards to the forest we headed.

*Photographs by Clare Anderson.

  1. I believe all study abroad students to the US must experience the south. It is a culture all to itself – drawn out accents, a Southern Baptist church on every corner, and good ol’ unhealthy comfort food. Hopefully you got to experience Southern hospitality too!

    • Thank-you for the comment Elise! Yes, we did — everyone was very friendly when we visited the south, especially Alabama!

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