Monday, June 20, 2011

The Ole South Is New In Many Ways...

I had never been to the South before and I'll have to admit, I had my reservations about: the people, the food, the weather and anything else southern you could possibly think of given how the south is portrayed.

Proud to admit...I was wrong.

One thing I can say is that the people of the State Of Georgia are some of the nicest people I've ever met in my life (and I've seen a thing or two)! Not only are they nice but they're genuinely sincere about their generosity.

The United States Of "Rudeness" is a serious trend in America (and here to stay unfortunately). In many places across America, we have lost our manners along the way but somehow Georgia is bucking the trend. While going to a Publix (grocery store) in Athens, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised at how the clerk went out of her way to assist me and made me feel...comfortable.

Wow, what a new concept, actually having a pleasant experience at a store and closing out my transaction feeling...good.

I know what you're thinking...they put something in that drink they call, "Sweet Tea" that everyone down there serves -- if you haven't had it, I hope you get a chance to try Georgia style Sweet Tea, especially with some country style ribs and slaw.

That will be your first of many food related memories and when you go home you will have recurring nightmares of wanting to recreate those fantastic flavors you experienced.

They haunt me to this day.

I'm not going to bore you with family things but I had the craziest family moment you could ever imagine.

I'll tell you the short version.

I have a cousin in ATL, who is elderly but has so much spirit and energy, she makes Michael Phelps look bad. You ask someone where to go in the South and they'll tell you 20 different places to go, but my cousin said she had a client whose son opened up a new pizza place called "Do" [pronounced "dough"]. Like you, I go to restaurants and usually have the typical restaurant experience and only remember things if they're fantastically bad.

Everything about Do [pronounced "dough"] is right.

I'm going to take the exact words from the Do twitter site bio page:

We’re doing Pizza, musically inspired! Sound and lighting production guru Christian Ruffin has turned this restaurant into a one of a kind EXPERIENCE.

In all the places in America, I would not have expected to drop in on one of the country's hippest and most technologically advanced pizza joints using iPads to order your meal, drinks, select the music you hear and even pull up your vehicle from the valet when you're done!

The best thing to "do" is check out Do [pronounced "dough"] for yourself. I spoke with the owner Christian Ruffin and their might be a Do [pronounced "dough"] coming to a city near you.

In conclusion, I could go on and on and on about the fabulous celebrations put on in Atlanta and Athens on my behalf, the great food or the unforgettable hospitality of the people of Georgia.

I didn't stay in any fancy hotels but stayed with new family members I never knew I had. We had a chance to get to know each other and spent a lot of time sharing a drink and a laugh or two. What really sticks in my mind and has changed me is that "people are people" and you have to cherish the good times and get through the bad the best way you can.

On your next vacation, take a chance and think the impossible because you never know what greatness you may discover.

On my next blog, I'll have a Constant Content exclusive! An interview with Chopped Season 7 Champion. Exec Chef and owner of Soul Flavors Restaurant, Chef Wayne B Lyons!

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