Heat notwithstanding, it’s been a good trip so far. We got off the interstate in Tifton, Ga., and saw all the melons and cornfields and kudzu you can sometimes miss from the freeway. We saw the produce stands and the billboards standing ten deep along each side of Route 520. We saw at least half a dozen hand-painted signs for palm readers: Names like Lady Ruby and Mrs. Navarro. They can’t see the futility of hawking psychic services along Route 520, but they can discern your complicated future as clearly as the lines in their own withered palms.
The highlight of the first day was our stop at Rick’s Main Street Bar-B-Que in Parrott, Ga. All barbecue joints have their own unique spelling and this was no different. The only reason we stopped in Parrott was for gas, but it was past lunchtime so we peered down the little main street looking for a bite to eat. No Wendy’s in Parrott, nor Subway nor Tony Roma’s. But there is a Rick’s.
It’s easy to miss Main, but once you’re on it you can’t miss Rick’s — apart from a hair salon and a farm implement dealer, it’s pretty much the only business still alive in Greater Parrott. Also, you can smell the aroma of good barbecue. To me, that’s as alluring as any perfume. I had the chopped pork sandwich with slaw; Tess had the barbecued beef with green beans and potato salad.
I will dispense with the superlatives, but it was all pretty damned good. Prices were reasonable. The service was friendly but not cloying. Free refills on lemonade. Everybody else in the cafe was local: A young woman there with her mom and daughter, guys in battered caps talking the way true Georgians talk. They probably wondered what the hell we were doing there.
Sometimes you walk out of a place and feel the need to immediately visit the restroom. This was not such a place. If you ever find yourself driving through Parrott, check out Rick’s. You can’t do better for lunch. Because of the restroom thing, Dave Bob gives it four stars. And for the record, Dave Bob received no freebies to facilitate this prestigious endorsement. Not that I would have turned them down.