“When will the storms arrive?” “Should we go out tonight?” “Maybe we should hole up in the house and shiver in fear like the news channels are instructing us to do?” These were the back and forth conversations that my husband and I had this past Saturday on debating whether or not it was safe to go for dinner in lieu of Hurricane Irene marching her way up the coast. As the day wore on and the news medias kept reporting on the imminent doom for the East Coast, plus my lack of having made any effort to MAKE dinner, we finally decided to venture out.
As the clouds descended overhead we made our way West – away from the storm of course – to The Barnyard in Millmont. The Barnyard is a quaint place with a very specific theme – FARM. They have a buffet of good old fashioned meats and hearty potato side dishes as well as a small, but well-stocked salad bar. You could swear they went right out to the field and picked most of it. They also have a diverse, but not overwhelming menu. The waitresses and waiters dress in farm-style gear – overalls. I’m not sure my farmer friends still wear overalls. To me, it was reminiscent of Hee Haw days, but it was cute and quirky. Although I did expect someone to break out with a banjo any minute in the middle of a corn field.
I decided on a half roasted chicken against my better judgement. One – I don’t like chicken with bones in it. I prefer it to be de-boned already – like a chicken breast and Two – I wanted steak. I tend to not get what I want at restaurants because I always want what isn’t good for me so I tend to get the chicken instead. As I was debating this with my husband, and being chided for NOT getting the steak, my chicken arrived. I felt that John may have been right in this case – it didn’t look crispy enough for me. Now when I get a roasted chicken I’m expecting the kind you get from Weis Markets that have that nice, crispy, golden skin. This did not. I was skeptical and internally reprimanding myself about the steak. After the first bite, I relinquished my attitude about crispy skin and boneless chicken. It was YUMMY. I have no idea what spice they used… crack perhaps… but it was some of the best roasted chicken I’d ever had. John had a smothered chicken dish with his trifecta ingredients – onions, peppers and cheese – which he absolutely loved as well. We rounded it all off with two slices of cherry chip cake with cherry icing. Yum. Cherry Chip is my absolute favorite from my childhood and I hadn’t had it in a long while. This dinner was starting to take me down memory lane a little too often. But I liked it.
The piece de resistance was our waiter. He told us he was a bit new and it took him awhile to write out what we wanted because he didn’t yet know the shorthand for it, but he was just the sweetest thang. Now I’m married so don’t get the wrong idea. He definelty played the cute little farm boy act pretty well though….. well, after all he might have BEEN a farm boy out in these parts. He was very attentive and we felt right at home. We even threw around a few jokes with him.
And, despite a small power outage while we were mid-meal, we survived the trip unscathed by Hurricane Irene. We didn’t get a single rain-drop on our outing. SO, two lessons learned: One – even when you want steak – get the chicken and Two – don’t let a little storm hold you back from taking a trip. You never know what experience you might have.