There’s a hidden jewel tucked inside of Homewood’s Little Professor Book Center that’s serving up food so fresh, tasty, and made with love it evokes the memories of food your grandmother used to make, especially if she was a five-star cook who could whip up anything from Apple Smoked Pork Loin to a Kobe Beef Burger cooked perfectly to a Grilled Salmon Sandwich with dill and lemon, and a side of crispy chips which will make your mouth dance. Crape Myrtle Café is its name and that’s a name you should certainly remember. I’d not been there in years until recently, but was not surprised to see the inviting menu, stellar service and quietly, entertaining atmosphere nestled among a book store was just as lovely as I had remembered. Many come for the books and come back for the food. Books and food. What can be better than that?
On a recent visit with a business colleague, and in the mood for soul food, I listened to the sage wisdom of the gentleman at the register and ordered the Beef Tips Over Rice. Knowing I was headed home for the day and in no threat of the “itis” ruining my vibe I also ordered fork tender collards, and black eyed peas so scrumptious they would have made Alberta Scott (my paternal grandmother) spin around in her powder blue Lazy Boy…God rest her soul. My associate ordered the Wagyu Hamburger Steak, with gravy and onions sans the onions, fluffy mashed potatoes ladled with gravy and greens. We both devoured a cornbread muffin about as buttery, sweet and moist as restaurant-made muffins can be.
The meal was perfect, and surely didn’t disappoint from this treasure I’ve been enjoying for more than a decade. It was so tasty I didn’t even stop through the bookstore to sneak a peek at the latest in literary offerings. That hardly ever happens. I was so completely satisfied by my savory, mid-day experience. The only thing which would have made my visit to Crape Myrtle Café any better would have been had I known in advance that my dining companion was paying for the meal and would have ordered their Carmel Fudge Pecan Pie to take home. Drats! Oh well. There’s always next time.