It's my first night at The Sanctuary, and I'm dining at Jasmine Porch, a casually elegant restaurant located on the hotel's first floor.
I did a little homework before I got here. Found out that Jasmine Porch specializes in Lowcountry favorites and is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I learned that the restaurant's signature Shrimp & Grits can be ordered any meal of the day! (Evidence of its popularity!)
My waiter is J.B., a gregarious man with a broad smile and friendly manner. After just a few minutes of interchange between us, I knew he was going to make sure I thoroughly enjoyed the upcoming dining experience!
He recommended a number of dishes and, for the most part, I followed his guidance - the seasonal green salad and beef tenderloin. As expected, though, he brought me a number of other dishes too - items he thought I "just had to try while I was there."
He brought me an appetizer side portion of the Shrimp & Grits, followed by an order of the Fried Green Tomatoes. Both were delicious, of course, and both sparked unintended conversations.
"Why do the chefs of the Lowcountry leave the tails on the shrimp," I asked. "Am I the only one who asks this question?"
He responded, "No, you are not the only one who wonders about the tails. We get asked that a lot from people not from this area. The reason the tails are there," he continued, "is because most chefs like to serve 'em that way. Simple as that!"
"OK," I said to myself. "If I try to make Shrimp & Grits at home, I can remove the tails! Good to know!"
The Fried Green Tomatoes led us into a conversation about the 1987 book, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg and the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, with Kathy Bates.
The communication skills of J.B. were good and only a bit distracting from the fact that I was now (happily) eating a lot more food tonight than I had planned.
Finally, J.B. served the wonderful green salad, followed by the beef tenderloin. Again, both were delicious! Perfectly prepared and beautifully presented!
To complete the meal, I ordered coffee. But, again, J.B. brought me something extra — a serving of Southern-style bread pudding topped with a small dollop of rich and tasty vanilla ice cream.
I didn't (couldn't) eat it all. I was, quite literally, stuffed.
I record all of this here, because I know I am picking up some extra pounds tonight. When I get home, friends will ask me about it.
I will tell them the truth, "It's not my fault. I was over-served at Jasmine Porch. You can read my blog if you don't believe me!"