Last week I, accomplished two tasks: I met my friend's new boyfriend, and facilitated the IT Guy's and my mother's joint quest for the perfect prime rib. They were two separate tasks, but I completed them both quite successfully at Kay and Traci's 127 Club in Meridian.
As is probably often the case, Monday night at 7 p.m. was quiet time at the 127. Sharing the several-thousand-square-foot, wood-paneled space with a handful of drinkers, a couple of pool players and no other diners (not counting staffers), we flopped into low chairs and grinned at the ashtray on our table. We lit up and talk-shouted over the too-loud jukebox until the deluxe sampler appetizer ($9.50) arrived and we were stunned silent. A large round metal pizza pan was nearly covered in a tower of tortilla chips slathered in nacho "cheese" sauce (anything that color has no right to call itself a dairy product) ringed by piles of battered and deep-fried fingersteaks, chicken wings, jalapeno poppers, shrimp and mozzarella cheese sticks. By this time, I already liked the new boyfriend, but I fell hard for him when his smile broadened and he generously filled his plate with fried fingerfoods (just as my friend and I had).
Full but committed, we tackled a fingersteak dinner with a mess of golden-brown onion rings ($9), a one-third pound cheeseburger with salad ($6) and a chicken Swiss burger sided by tens of Tater Tots ($7). In the smoky haze, jukebox country music at top volume, we expected the 127's food to be mediocre at best. But we loved that the items that should be tender were just that, and that the crispy items crunched. The food was actually damn good.
On Friday with the IT Guy and my mother in tow, we arrived to a chorus of conversations as loud as the louder-than-Monday music on the juke. Kay herself stopped by, and with an arm sweetly draped across my mother's shoulder, suggested if we had indeed come for prime rib, we should order soon: It goes fast and even a matter of minutes can make the difference between a mouthful of beef or a tear in your beer. We screamed out two orders of the 10-ounce prime rib dinner with baked potato and salad ($14.75) for Mom and the IT Guy, and the shrimp dinner with tots and salad ($9) for me.
Good lord. Each fleshy, pink and brown slice of beef was coated with a crusty salty, peppery rub and accompanied by small metal ramekins of butter, au jus, sour cream and horseradish with which to coat and dip the meat and potato. I expected my picky mother and the pickier IT Guy to shrug their shoulders and start planning for the next prime rib location. To my surprise, when they came up for air, it was to confirm that their quest may have come to a close.
I love it when I can cross things off my to-do list. I have a new friend ... check. I assisted in giving the IT Guy and my mother something to smile about ... check. And I found a place that serves a tower of nachos (and fried goods) on a pizza pan ... check.
--Amy Atkins has a to-do list to keep track of her to-do list.