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Friday, February 15, 2008

Mustard greens, egg pie and more...

There are few things I enjoy more than discovering new places to eat in out-of-the-way places.

Not only do I like to try the food, but I love the local color you encounter.

In the last few weeks, I found P&J Restaurant in Marshall, Texas.

And enjoyed once again the familiar, Gibsland Grill in Gibsland.

I was in Marshall Jan. 30 doing a story on the Buard Historic Trail, a feature that runs Sunday on the front of the living section.

I grew up in the era of segregation of the 1940s and 1950s and covered integration as it crept into our community.

I remember "colored" and "white" signs on water fountains and restrooms. I rode the trolley for several years and I always thought it wrong — even as a child — that blacks had to go to the back of the bus when I could ride in front. And, that they headed to the balcony in The Strand, while I sat downstairs.

Perhaps, it was the humanistic beliefs of my mother, the late Sabra B. Martin, who treated everyone as a human being, but something about all that always bothered me.

Anyway, the trail addresses the Civil Rights era.

P&J is not on the trail, but is a sidebar to my story.

It was founded in the late sixties by owner Jackie Franklin’s mom, the late Pearl Franklin. "It is down home cooking. Soul food," said Franklin.

The eatery is in a house on a hill and the five tables are set with blue and white check tablecloths.

The menu features each day one menu.
There are such entrees as liver and onion, pork chops, chicken and spaghetti, such veggies as mustard creans, lima beans or cream style corn. Dessert: how about peach cobbler?
Former Shreveporters Charlie and Marsha Andrews own the grill in Gibsland and we dined there previously, but it is always fun to return.

We ate there Wednesday with J.R. and Jan Johnson after interviewing them about Cedar Ridge Cabin, their retreat in the woods. It will be on the March 1 Jonquil Jubilee Home and Garden Tour, Gibsland.

The story runs Feb. 23.

We were going to order a hamburger, but just could not resist the chicken dressing, stewed okra, corn and hot water corn bread.

Oh, yes, and sweet tea accompanied both lunches.

I recommend J&R’s and Gibsland Grill without reservations...for the food and the local color.


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