Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

Road Trip, Jun-23-2007

Breakfast was included with the bill at the Boone Tavern Inn. It wasn't a great breakfast. I had bacon and eggs, Lori had a Belgian waffle; both were fine but not special, and they didn't come with the 'accessories' we were used to for our breakfasts.


Next was craft shopping in Berea. Berea bills itself as "The Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky", so it's little surprise that there were lots of crafts available.

I was particularly enamored of the woodcrafts and wooden furniture. I particularly enjoyed geeking out in Warren May's shop--I asked him "what makes your furniture Kentucky-style?" and got a fascinating discussion of how Kentucky-style furniture had a strong, bold style, with a few ornamental inlays for accent. (Yeah, I'm a new fan of that style of furniture.)


I used this crafting as confirming evidence for a prejudice of mine: I strongly believe that folk/rural crafters can and like to make beautiful, well-crafted artifacts, not the "primitive" stuff that appears so often in craft shows. (I note that furniture and quilting are usually a beautiful relief from the masses of primitive stuff.)

I believe that "primitive" styles are a prejudicial mischaracterization of beautiful folk crafts, like negro minstrel shows in blackface. To encapsulate this rant in a single word, I've started referring to these "primitive" styles as "craftface".


Lunch at PapaLeno's in Berea. (The website is apparently what you get when you pay for the website development but don't complete the job. I find myself thinking of the days of "Under Construction" icons.) We each had the "Big Slice" of pizza, which was about a 90-degree slice. It was extremely good pizza, with a chewy, substantial crust that was definitely up to the challenge of supporting all the toppings. I was quite pleased.

On the way to the restroom at one point, I overheard a group of students contemplating their order of garlic cheese bread--a round of bread the size of a plate, covered with melted mozzarella, basking in a pool of melted garlic butter. One said with gusto, "you are going to have a heart attack within 48 hours from this."


Didn't manage to leave Berea until nearly 4pm, but managed to drive all the way home uneventfully, arriving about 12:30am.


Stopped for dinner at the Southern Kitchen (Roadfood link). We felt let down by Roadfood's description as "West Virginia’s prime culinary landmark". The food was fine enough, but certainly not splendid like other food we'd had on our travels.

I had the country ham steak with red-eye gravy. The gravy had a strong coffee flavor, which I found authentic but not tasty. Lori's fried chicken was ordinary, and she didn't really care for her macaroni and cheese. Her peanut butter pie was probably the highlight of the meal; it was rich without being cloying, and even I (not a peanut butter pie fan) liked it. My peach cobbler was ordinary, though--it tasted as if the filling could have come from the can.

We did get to talk briefly with Delsie Mae Hershmann, who has been running the restaurant since founding it in 1947. Kind of nifty, but I didn't know quite what to say.
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