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Local diners in The South


Savoring biscuits and gravy with two eggs sunny side up in Selma’s Downtowner Restaurant listening to folks greeting each other like long-lost friends and carrying on about local concerns; a broken-down car, ailments and medical appointments, home renovations, the weather of course, and a bit of good-natured teasing. Traveling through small town America the cafes and diners are a window into the communities. You can be a fly on the wall and maybe feel a little guilty eavesdropping on others’ conversations, but they give a bit of a feel for the place. The food is most often good, too.

The O’Steen restaurant founded in 1965 in St Augustine, FL has a sign on the wall that says among other southern traits macaroni & cheese is a vegetable. Here at the Downtowner in Selma the lunch specials include a choice of three vegetables; macaroni & cheese is one of the choices. This is the south, so collard greens and turnip greens are two of the others.

Many of the small towns have only one diner and some don’t have even that, but it they do the best thing they serve is conversation and it’s free.


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