There is a little town about twenty minutes away called Walhalla – population 3503. This little town was founded in 1850 and has remained small and quaint since that time. There are several antique shops in Walhalla, where you can find genuine articles of interest that really are antique. There is a barbershop and an art gallery and a self-serve furniture store…that’s right, self serve…you help yourself. Bet you didn’t think places like that existed outside Mayberry, huh?
But the one thing that keeps us going back to Walhalla over and over again is the The Steak House Cafeteria. It is an old fashioned cafeteria where you go through a line and choose what you want, and the ladies behind the counter serve it on a plate and hand it over to you. You are charged by the item, so you can get as much or as little as you please.
The two things you should know about The Steak House Cafeteria are 1) they do not serve steak and 2) they have the best fried chicken in the galaxy.
I know…The STEAK House that doesn’t serve steak, right? Well, it hasn’t always been that way. When they first opened back in 1973, T-Bone steak and grits were popular items on the menu. Then, things went to fried flounder and burgers and such. And now, Arabian Rooster is the ticket. It is an enormous breast fried in a secret batter that makes converts out of even the most hardened “I don’t eat fried chicken” people. It really is that good. And, if you have a hankering for steak, you can bring your own and Abby will cook it up for you and serve it on a plate; my dad used to do this all the time.
Walhalla is a sleepy little town at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and their town – like their hospitality – is a welcome change from the offerings of our modern day grind. Crime is low. Community is important. And the chicken at The Steak House Cafeteria is legenday.