Although I’m a woman of many faults, I’d have to say that two of my worst are my lack of punctuality and my rotten sense of direction. My lack of punctuality is possibly genetic because Barbara Patton (not the former mayor of Opelika), my sweet Mama, suffered from the same tendency. Years ago when we lived and taught in LaGrange, Georgia, Mike and I would sometimes spend the weekend with my parents in Alexander City (“Eleck” City to the locals).
On Sunday morning, Tom Patton, my hilarious Daddy, would complain because Mama always ran late for Sunday school.
“There are 168 hours in a week, and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday comes at the same time, but we’re still late,” Daddy would say. And Mike and I would try to laugh quietly.
Now, my husband is a stickler about being on time, and my tardiness has often driven him crazy. Once we were married, Mike told me that he would NOT be late for work. He had to be on the bus landing by 6:20 a.m. Central Time. He warned me that if he had to leave without me, he would. Thankfully, we had a second car because two or three times in LaGrange, I was left.
Mike now concedes that my punctuality has significantly improved. This was especially necessary when we moved to Auburn in November of 2015. It was really tough leaving the house by 5:50 a.m. Central Time back then. Many times, Mike would angrily fly up I-85 and barely make it to his post on the bus landing because of me. However, at least I didn’t get left in Auburn, having to ride up dark I-85 on my own.
Unfortunately, I was born with a terrible sense of direction, and that hasn’t improved at all. In fact, on a scale of 0 to 10, I’d score a -50 where directions are concerned. Since I’m so bad with directions, I write them down when I go to a new place before going there. Recently, on a Sunday afternoon, Mike drove while I wrote down the directions to a restaurant I planned to review.
Scarlett, my car, doesn’t have GPS; I prefer handwritten directions anyway. Apparently, I was talking too much during our drive and not paying attention. (That’s two other faults of mine.) Mike told me to turn left onto Frederick Road in front of Lakeview Baptist Church, so I wrote down what he said, not looking at the road sign.
Then the following Wednesday, I hopped into Scarlett, directions in hand. I was running late (surprise, surprise) and was meeting my friend Leslie at Bow & Arrow at 1977 E. Samford Ave. in Auburn. I had texted Leslie that I was running late, and she was waiting for a table.
While following the directions I had written, I never saw Frederick Road but kept driving. Eventually, I had to admit I was lost and drove to University Drive to pull over and call Leslie for directions. I love University Drive so much; it is a lifeline to directions-challenged people such as myself because it runs all around Auburn. If I can find University, I can find my way home.
Leslie was so sweet and wasn’t angry with me at all, calmly giving me directions. I was so embarrassed and figured she’d think she was dining with an idiot.
When I finally reached the parking lot at Bow & Arrow, it was packed; I drove around twice looking for a spot. Desperate, I pulled into the parking lot of Sherry’s Orthodontics; there were signs warning people that they’d be towed if they didn’t belong there. I went in and asked the young lady behind the counter if I could please park there because I was 30 minutes late in meeting my friend, and I wanted to write a review of Bow & Arrow for The Observer.
The sweet lady gave me permission to park there and promised that she wouldn’t have my car towed. I sincerely thanked her and said that if I had had children with crooked teeth, I’d have brought them to Sherry’s Orthodontics.
When I finally saw Leslie, I apologized profusely for being so late and for getting lost. Again, she was so compassionate and understanding about it.
Henry, our server, was an absolute delight, being so attentive, kind and helpful. Also, Henry shared the history of the restaurant with us. Bow & Arrow opened in 2018 and is locally owned by Chef David Bancroft, who also owns Acre. Henry said that Bow & Arrow was originally a cafeteria-style restaurant, which mostly served barbecue. Now, the restaurant also serves Mexican food; the tortillas are even homemade.
For her lunch, Leslie ordered shrimp fajita soft tacos, which she substituted with corn tacos; this included wood grilled shrimp, pineapple pico, guacamole and chili-lime sauce. Leslie told me that Bow & Arrow is allergy-aware for diners, so they get bonus points for that.
I chose the chicken fajitas, which consisted of a wood-grilled chicken breast, sautéed poblanos and onions; the dish came with sweet corn rice and borracho beans.
Everything was really delicious. Although it took me awhile to get to Bow & Arrow, the trip was DEFINITELY worth it.
Bow & Arrow offers diners a great selection of appetizers, some of which include:queso blanco, chili con queso, goat cheese guacamole, Helotes street fries and “cool ranch” tater tots.
Besides our tasty dishes, Bow & Arrow also has a large selection of salads, sandwiches, BBQ plates, tacos, fajitas, enchiladas and scratch-made sides.
By the way, I told Mike I had gotten lost on the way to meet Leslie. Also, it turns out that I should have turned left onto Glenn Avenue and not Frederick Road. Mike thought I knew that Fredrick Road in Opelika turned into Glenn Avenue in Auburn; I did not. Therefore, of course, I placed some of my getting lost on him. Next time, I’ll pay better attention when writing down directions. Also, I really shouldn’t have missed a big church like Lakeview Baptist. But I digress.
Bow & Arrow is open on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; is closed on Monday; is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Bow & Arrow makes the grade with an A+ from this retired English teacher. Remember, “Pooh-sized” people NEVER lie about food. Enjoy!
Stacey Patton Wallace, who retired from teaching language arts for 30 years, is a professional diner. Her column, “Making the Grade,” will appear each week in The Observer. Stacey may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org