Ready to fight the world? Get a dose of homestyle instead

In my earliest memory, before they got rid of highway lips, before time, before anything, there was Nick’s Homestead.

In any spot, at any time of day, I react willingly to those three magic words, “Pass the gravy.”

Friends gathered for a feast outside Lohman, uphill from the LoMo Club—which kicks into high gear on weekends for the Yee Haw set—to dine at Steve’s Family Style Restaurant. Steve’s is stellar, in a low-key way. It’s a family operation, serving the best homestyle country ham and fried chicken dinner in the galaxy. Steve’s culinary skills drip from the pans of his parents, who operated a legendary eatery called Nick’s Homestead.

Family style recalls the way humans used to eat, peeling away America’s single-serving culture. Servers crowded our tables with platters of chicken and country ham, big bowls of green beans and mashed potatoes. And gravy.

I ate until it hurt, lamenting the fact that I’m half-bulemic: I binge, but don’t purge, a condition articulated by my friend Nancy Miller.

Leaving Steve’s I was swollen but not bleeding, grateful that some children grow up to carry on the family tradition serving homestyle food to their neighbors, even though the preparation means long hours and hot kitchens and sacrificing weekend pleasures.

Souls Along The Road

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