Wednesday, September 02, 2009

"Carol" on my mind ...

Back in 2000, or 2001, a little meat-and-three opened up on Murfreesboro Road near the Tennessee Highway Patrol's HQ. It was called Carol's Place, 'cause a lady named Carol owned it, and it was very, very good.

Carol's Place had incredible macaroni and cheese. It was incredible 'cause each pan had a half-inch thick crust of cooked cheese on it, and 'cause the underlying mac-and-cheese was infused with lots o' course-ground black pepper. (To this day I put black pepper in my macaroni and cheese 'cause that's how Carol did it.)

Carol's Place also had great meatloaf, beef tips, and fried chicken ... and quaility green beans, smashed taters, and fried okra. One time, Mr. Jimmy literally jumped into the bed of my pickup truck to get him some Carol's Place meat and veggies -- that tells you how good it was back then.

Fast forward ...

Carol sold out to Hlina many months ago, and the little M'boro Road take-out place is now Hlina's Home Cooking Restaurant:

I recently ate at Hlina's when the meat choices were between baked chicken and beef tips. I chose baked chicken, with greens and mac-and-cheese (and a hunk o' sweet cornbread). Here's the verdict ...

Hlina's ain't anywhere near as good now as Carol's was back then.

The chicken was OK -- the skin was crispy and the meat was pretty moist.

The mac-'n'-cheese, however, wasn't very cheesy, and it didn't have the first ****in' flake o' pepper in it.

As for the greens, well, they were non-seasoned canned greens -- emphasis on non-seasoned.

The cornbread was moist and not-crumbly, but it was obviously made from a commercial mix.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Don't waste your money at Hlina's. Not even if Mr. Jimmy says he'll jump into your truck before you go ...!!!

Hlina's Home Cooking Restaurant
1609 Murfreesboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37217

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