Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chandler's : Part II : Two Parts

The Modern Gal's Take:

Max told me the other day that he'd never been to Chandler's before, so I thought: what better day for an inaugural trip then on Fat Tuesday? We loaded up on the usual soul food offerings: barbecue, fried chicken, sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, green beans and cornbread.

The thing about Chandler's is the food isn't just out of this world. Don't get me wrong -- it's good. But the real reason you go to Chandler's is for the total experience which, of course, includes dining in an old Taco Bell, talking to the ladies that work there, eating from a styrofoam box and seeing the autographed Bill Haslam picture next to the drawing of the Last Supper.

And then there's the Chandler's food coma, which is not for the faint of heart.

I was fortunate in that I didn't have a whole lot of work to do on Tuesday afternoon, so I could concentrate my efforts on working through the food coma. It hit me before we even left Chandler's. I got in my car and had to blast the air conditioning to keep from wanting to close my eyes. Max stopped to get coffee on the drive back to the office. I got a pep talk message from CK: "It takes time for the ribs to squeeze themselves through your arteries."

I pulled out every coma-fighting method I could Tuesday afternoon while still at work: I got coffee, I drank lots of water, I chewed gum, I walked around the building. When I got home, my belly still rumbling from the after-effects, I tried jogging with the dog around the block. Not hungry, I had nothing but a glass of wine for dinner. And by 11 p.m., I finally felt like I was ready to take on the world again. The coma had passed.

How did Max handle his coma? He left work at 3 p.m. and went home and napped for a few hours. Rookie.

Max's Take:

The Modern Gal was right, I am a rookie, though I must take into account the fact that I was running on 4 hours of sleep and 6 expended cups of coffee. The bbq, green beans, mac 'n cheese and coke really didn't help things. Luckily I finished my work early in the morning and got to enjoy my food coma at home on the couch. My stomach loved me.

All that said, the Chandler's experience was a treat. It must be the pepto pink walls on the outside or the soul music softly singing you into a slumber that make you feel like you are in a special place.

I do, however, have a suggestion for Chandler's newbies. When you order your food, if it is not steaming on the hot bar right in front of you don't ask for it. I made that mistake. Not knowing the intricacies of the inner workings of the Chandler's kitchen, I ordered bbq that wasn't on the hot bar at the time. My order came from the last dregs of pork in the bottom of a plastic tray in the back of the kitchen. I even saw microwaves involved.

Now I'm sure that on any other day if I had arrived early enough that I would have been served fresh, moist, smoky barbecue, but this was not my day. I was disappointed, but the mac 'n cheese and good company of The Modern Gal made it worth the while. Fat Tuesday indeed.


B said...

i went there not too long ago with some wigshopping folks. i got the bbq too which took too long. i want to go back and try the fried chicken. and it's smarter not to let your eyes get bigger than your stomach. one side is definitely enough, unless you desire to have a food coma.

Mickey said...

Apparently when you order the BBQ, they have to go out back and kill the pig first. It takes a while.

This post made me hungry.

ck said...

You gotta go for Chandler's strong suit to get the full experience: the ribs with medium hot BBQ sauce.

james said...

my fourth favorite restaurant in knoxville. deeee-licious

casey said...

I could see Chandler's being a hit with UT students. Hopefully the soon-to-be "smartly" fixed I-40 will allow students to make it down there easier. Mmmm, sweet potatoes.

I also agree with B, eating more than one side will knock you out quick.