Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Penguin

We're back in Newnan now, after a quick visit to South Carolina to check on our old house. We were surprised to find that a house 3 doors down from ours, that just went on the market last month, has already sold. It was a very discouraging sight. It tempts us to lower our price once again, which would make it the third reduction in just five months. While we were there, we drove up to Charlotte to have lunch at one of our favorite haunts, The Penguin. It made me happy with thoughts of all our other visits there. The Penguin is unique, and I don't know how to describe it other than it's a funky-dumpy but incredible-eats burger joint, with a tattooed and pierced and hip waitstaff who are dressed like they are headed to the nearest skateboard park, but are always in a fantastic mood, even when the place is packed. We got there at 10:45, and they open at 11:00. By 11:00 the parking lot was full with folks standing at the front door. Fifteen minutes after we got in, the entire restaurant was full, not one table or seat was available. Normally we used to go later in the afternoon, and there were days we waited over an hour to get in there, just milling around outside on the sidewalk with everyone else, reading the latest issue of Creative Loafing. But it was worth the wait every single time. James got a huge burger, "southern style", which means with chili and cole slaw on it. I got a Winky-Dinky, a big fat hot dog with chili and pimento cheese. We shared an enormous basket of hot and crispy sweet potato fries with blue cheese dip. Normally we usually get a basket of the fried pickles, but passed this time. I've had fried pickles in a lot of places (they are common here in the South, do they serve them elsewhere in the country??), but the fried pickles at The Penguin are a runaway for first place. By the time the jukebox started blasting KISS and White Zombie, I was in a state of ecstasy. I had trouble eating because my head was bopping up and down to the music. Lots of folks in there were drinking beer already at 11:00, it's just that kind of place, and I haven't found anywhere yet that rivals the coolness and vibe of The Penguin. Need to get out of Newnan and get to Atlanta more often!!!

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