On a sunny Tuesday, I’d cleaned my house, gone for a walk, and was wondering what to do with the rest of my day.
The phone rang. It was my friend, and she desperately needed a cheeseburger. Did I want to accompany her to the diner? I did.
We hopped in her truck and drove to town, where we discovered that the diner wasn’t serving hamburgers – the grill was out of commission.
“Of all days!” My friend exclaimed, simultaneously amused at the irony and totally crestfallen. I suggested that we continue ten miles down the highway to Cahone to eat at the new place, JT’s.
In stark contrast to the bland generic ambiance of the diner in our town, JT’s was cozy, inviting, and charmingly decorated to resemble the home of a warmly industrious and exceptionally cheerful grandma. And it smelled really good.
As well as a diner, JT’s is a store, offering basic groceries (including locally grown beans and peaches for an unbelievable 75 cents per pound), candy, jam, assorted tchotchkes, beaded necklaces, books, purses made from old cowboy boots, carefully handmade aprons and quilts.
It was a delight to browse the store’s offerings (I couldn’t contain my excitement when I found the most beautiful apron in the world), but the greatest pleasure came with the food.
Simple, honest, satisfying – iced tea and lemonade, onion rings, fries and the platonic ideal of a cheeseburger. Perfectly cooked, locally raised beef, all the fixins, American cheese, and a toasted bun. Dessert was peach cobbler, apple cake with caramel frosting and butter-pecan ice-cream (all made in-house, naturally).
My friend was still raving about her cheeseburger hours – and days – later.