Good food and hospitality at Clanton eatery

Published 6:46 pm Friday, May 8, 2015

Dear editor:

My name is Sharon Anderson, and I was born and raised in Silverhill, Alabama. I left Alabama at the age of 25, resided in Georgia for 23 years and currently live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.

This year, during the first weekend of May, my husband and I traveled to South Alabama to attend my high school reunion. We prefer to camp, so we were making the nine-hour trip, hauling my aluminum horse trailer that has a sleeping area.

On the way home on Sunday, we left Interstate 65 at Exit 208 in search of gas and possibly a good meal. We found gas at a truck stop but were disappointed to find only one fast food restaurant in the secluded area. When my husband asked a gentleman about where to find good country cooking, the man pointed down the road and told him about “Kountry Kitchen.” He said, “It’ll be the best country food you’ll ever eat!”

We were hungry and couldn’t wait to make the short drive there! As we approached, we noticed it was about 4 p.m.,then when we pulled in the parking lot, we saw the hours saying they closed at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Just as we were about to turn our truck and trailer around, a lady walked out the front door. She seemed to look as if she wondered if we needed help, so I explained that we were just checking to see if they were open. She told us they had closed and that she was sorry because their buffet was extra good on that day! She went on to tell us what all they had served: fried chicken, barbecue pork, peas, sweet potato casserole, squash casserole, turnip greens, cornbread, key lime pie and carrot cake. I halfway (hoping she’d take mercy!) jokingly said, “Would you have any leftovers?” She then said, “Let me go in and see what we can do.”

I was absolutely amazed when she came back and asked us what we would like. We told her we’d take anything that was the least trouble. She brought us, piled high, multiple plates of everything she had mentioned, four large cups of sweet ice tea, some of each dessert—and then came out with the tea jug for our refills! She had told us the usual charge for the Sunday buffet, but when we paid her extra, she tried to argue with me about taking it! I insisted, and after much hesitation, she accepted.

We have never taken that route to my hometown before, and I don’t know when we’ll be going back through, but I can tell you one thing: Kountry Kitchen will be on our schedule to stop, and this time, we’ll save them from their excellent impromptu “curb service!” Never before have we been treated so kindly by strangers, and never has food tasted so good!

So, if you’re ever near Exit 208, off I-65 in Clanton, I recommend Kountry Kitchen…It’ll be the “best country food you’ll ever eat!”

Sharon Anderson, Etowah, Tenn.