I dont envy any eatery that serves homestyle cooking, especially in the South.
While I sincerely doubt that the phrase Ive had better ceviche with melon carpaccio and cactus fruit gelee, has ever been uttered, I wish I had a nickel for every time that Ive had better mac-n-cheese, fried chicken, chicken bog, etc., has been.
So even before dining at Simply Southern Smokehouse, their temerity had won my respect.
As a lunch time spot, it has a lot going for it. There is plenty of parking; service is buffet style so you have more control of your time, its centrally located and beverages are only $1.
I liked the casual feel of the dining room homey without trying too hard. The high ceilings make it so that, even at full capacity, you can still hear your dining companions, something that a lot of restaurants cannot boast. I dont know if we have industrial psychology to thank, but I actually want to be able to hear my table mates.
The tables are so generously spaced that one wonders if these folks are in it for the money. It is so comfortable that you could host a meeting here, without the risk of intruding on other diners. They even have free WiFi.
There were some delicious items on the buffet and some that left me wanting. Something, I fear, inherent in any buffet experience, so many choices that the law of averages comes into play.
I would not go back for their mashed potatoes, banana pudding or cornbread. Again, its the risk that I alluded to, they were not bad, I have just had better.
On the other hand, there are plenty of things that I could have eaten by the plateful.
The sweet potato casserole deserves a paragraph all its own. It was like a spoonful of Thanksgiving, a welcome sensory experience on yet another sweltering afternoon.
Their fried chicken is perfection and being raised in the South, I know of what I speak. It tasted just like a Sunday church supper. The same could be said of their collards, green beans, sweet tea, rice (not too dry, not too sticky, just right), barbecue chicken and, oh, let me gather myself, their peach cobbler. The topping was what every cook aspires to crunchy, ambrosial, buttery deliciousness.
The staffs genuine hospitality was a delight. I have even heard tell of a singing busboy and an artistic waiter who uses balloons as a canvas.
They are also interested in helping the community. If your church youth group is looking for a fundraiser, then check out their website. They offer the opportunity to serve during business hours on Saturdays and keep all the money earned to support your current Church project (s).
For all you get, it is a bargain, fiscally that is. I for one am going to have to bank some serious treadmill time before my next visit.