Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Granny Franny’s

3191 Flucom Rd
De Soto, MO

Adam’s choice.  We had initially discovered the place while doing an active search for eateries on the Wide World of Web, drove by it once while we were in the general vicinity. I asked our silver haired waitress about the name, expecting a quaint and interesting story about 'Granny Franny'. As it turns out, the joint was opened by a lady named Franny who just happend to be a grandmother.
I said I expected it to be interesting, not that it actually was.

The Place:
It’s a bit out of our normal search range, though it has a Desoto address, it’s actually seven or eight miles east of Desoto, at the intersection of Flucom Road and Highway 67. We rarely have a need to go that far in that particular direction, the population and number of businesses out that way are pretty thin, and it’s not even on the way to anywhere we usually go.
The building is shared with a convenience store, so this is like a traditional cross-road rest stop. Outside the noise was of high-speed highway traffic, there were only a few cars in the lot. The door opened up to a typical, diner looking place. The chairs were black, the tables were all covered with yellow-ish vinyl tablecloths. The walls were bare, brown brick up to halfway up, the rest was painted a reddish rust color. All the empty tables had wrapped place settings and paper placemats, and every setting sported an inverted, heavy white coffee mug.
Seating was segregated on two sides of the entry, though there was no visible apparatus to keep the smoke from the left side from wafting into the non-smoking right side. The aroma was there, but not overpowering.
We were escorted to a table by a silver-haired lady of obvious and significant experience wearing a red St Louis Cardinals jersey emblazoned with the number ‘7’ and the word ‘Holliday’ across the back. I’m not sure what it meant, probably has something to do with baseball. She was the only member of the staff we ever saw, the front was her domain. There were a few patrons on the left side, we were the only folks on the right. We picked up our menus which boasted ‘Hand-dipped Milk Shakes’ on the cover. (Adam and I naturally pondered the purported added-value of someone dipping their hands into milkshakes.) The menu listed the standard fare, chicken-fried steak, burgers, a few sandwiches, and lots of breakfast choices.
The Food:
I decided to go a little light since I’d had a solid breakfast at Kim’s Café earlier. (I was in DeSoto to title my unimpressive car and the place to do that, a furniture store, was just a few blocks down main street from Kim’s)
The BLT jumped out at me. I consider BLT’s ‘light’ since they don’t usually weigh too much. That was good enough for me, I’d let Angel and Adam do the heavy lifting.
We took delivery of our drinks, Tea, tea and as Adam ordered it; ‘Pepsi-Coke’. As I had mentally predicted, Angel ordered the Chicken Fried Steak (CFS). When asked for her choice of sides, she naturally demanded mashed potatoes with gravy, lots of gravy and was then told she still needed to pick a couple of veggies. The waitress rattled off a list of the usual ones, but one threw me.
“Did you say ‘beets’?” I asked.
“Yes I did.”
This confused me. Had we taken a bad turn and ended up in in the outskirts of Kiev?   Стара, принеси мені відро борщу!   (Old woman, Bring me a bucket of Borscht!)
“How is that prepared?” I asked, trying to cover up the reflexive gagging sounds.
She curled up her face like I was an idiot and simply replied “Pickled” as if that were the only possible method of serving them. There are in fact many ways of serving beets, all of them disgusting. They are very popular in many eastern European countries, along with potatoes because both are roots, and no decent vegetable would want to show its face above-ground in those dismal, bleak places. The national motto in Ukraine translates to something like “We’ve proudly become quite adept at being cold, hungry and politically oppressed!”
Smartly, Angel did not order the beets, and instead asked for green beans and fried okra. Yeah, Okra. Yuck. Sure some American cultures eat okra all the time, but I’m pretty sure those people are too ignorant or poor to know any better. I mean why resort to eating that bitter, slimy stuff when there’s so many perfectly healthy cats running around?
Adam ordered the CFS sandwich and fries. The lady asked him if he’d like anything on his sandwich so he asked her what was available. “Tomatoes, onions. . .”  He stopped her there. “Never mind, just the sandwich please.” Adam doesn’t like regular, wholesome sandwich toppings.
While we waited for our starter, fried ravioli, we watched as people came and went with take-out pizza. It’s another service provided by this crossroad business. The ravioli was good, served with a bowl of marinara sauce for dipping. You have to watch out for this St. Louis treat though, when fried, the meat and cheese inside remains at three thousand degrees for several minutes, and when bitten in to the innards shoot out with the force of a locomotive into the tender parts of your mouth, where it sticks like boiling tar. I think it’s what napalm is made out of.
BLT + Fries
The food arrived in good time. Mine, a simple sandwich and fries was well made, the bacon thick and extra-crispy, the fries generic but well cooked. I could not be disappointed. Angel’s plate was mostly gravy though she insists there was an actual CFS and mashed potatoes underneath. Adam’s sandwich didn’t have any gravy on it, so he took the bun top and set it down in his mother’s plate, coating the underside of the bun completely. She even spooned some more onto his sandwich later in the meal. She actually ate her okra, (after dipping it into the gravy as well) if only to make me angry.
All the food was well prepared, served simply, very tasty and satisfying. Angel had weighed herself down, I had smartly left room for some apple pie, which I had made at home earlier in the day.
The bill came to nearly twenty eight bucks, $4.79 of which was the ravioli starter. Which means that Granny Franny’s is on par with Kim’s and most other locally owned eateries of this style. A lot of food, good food, for not a lot of money. The staff, the silver-haired lady was quick, polite, and professional. The entire transaction was seamless and without error or mishap.
It’s not a place I will frequent, but only because it is well out of the way of pretty much everything I need to do, but it’s nice to know it’s there, serving that rural area of the county. If you happen to be traveling down Highway 67, though I can’t imagine why you would be, then by all means stop in and chow down!

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