I Didn’t Get to Meet Paula Deen

For those who know me, I’m not a very good TV watcher, however, I used to love watching Paula Deen’s cooking shows over and over.  Not really watching, watching but I’d have her show on all day on the weekends and occasionally something she was cooking would catch my eye.  One afternoon I remember her whipping up something called Lady’s Fried Mac.  First, she made Lady’s Cheesy Mac, which I remember thinking,  “just macaroni and cheese with a couple extra ingredients.”  But after baking it she put it in the fridge overnight–which caught my attention.  Why did she do that?  When she pulled it out of the fridge, she sliced the Cheesy Mac into 15 squares, wrapped each square with a slice of bacon, dredged it in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs AND DEEP FRIED IT.  Obviously, this was before she starting lightening up her recipes.  Even though it wasn’t a recipe I would ever make, I thought it was absolutely delish looking!

Fast forward a few years, and Paula Deen has opened numerous restaurants, put out tons of cookbooks, written some autobiographical books, now has another cooking show and can even be found on ROKU.  At the height of her popularity, I read her autobiography,” Paula Deen: It Ain’t All About the Cookin’.” Talk about an interesting story.

Needless to say, I’ve always thought the food she cooked looked amazing.  While in Pigeon Forge, TN, I finally got to try some.  Her restaurant, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen was located right across the way from our hotel.

Family KitchenBoy, we didn’t know what we were in for, which was quite a feast.  Going in, we knew that all meals here are served family style, including breakfast, and we knew it was only $15 per person which was right on target for us.  We didn’t have to wait for a table, which was surprising.  Every day we could see a lot of people waiting for a table, but I think we timed our visit right–close to the end of breakfast.

Our server promptly came over and greeted us.  She apologetically explained that they had run out of complimentary biscuits, but another batch was cooking.  She said she would bring ours out as soon as it was ready, along with some orange juice.  In the meantime, we looked over the menu to try to decide what breakfast would be.PD menu

We had a lot of options to choose from.  We went with the Sweet Piggies in a Blanket, Alrighty Then Scrambled Eggs, Everyday Breakfast Casserole, Applewood Smoked Center Cut Bacon, Creamy Hashbrown Casserole, and Biscuits and Sausage.  It didn’t really sound like a lot at the time.

When our server returned to take our order.  She had our biscuit and juice.  Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think about biscuits, what comes to mind are the crumbly, white bread biscuits, with a golden brown top, like the kind that comes with your gravy.  This is what Paula Deen’s complimentary biscuits are:

PD biscuitThat’s one ginormous Cinnamon Roll!  The picture doesn’t do it justice, it was almost the size of my head!  Well, starting with that, who really needs the rest of breakfast?  We couldn’t even finish it even though it was absolutely delish!  Paula sure does know how to do biscuits!

After that little starter, the rest of our food was served.  Talk about a spread!  Like I’ve said before, I’m more of a bacon  and eggs kind of girl.  My favorite?  Surprisingly, it wasn’t the eggs.  And while the bacon was incredible, that wasn’t even it either.  PD breakfastMy favorite was the Creamy Hashbrown Casserole–it almost melted in my mouth.  The Everyday Breakfast Casserole was a close second.  This rest of this feast was so unbelievably good, it should be against the law.  Even though I didn’t get to meet Paula Deen, I believe I had a pretty good sampling of her cooking and it is just as innovative as that Lady’s Fried Mac looked on TV that one afternoon.  If you get the chance to check out one of her places, don’t pass it up!


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