What’s your favorite type of food? As a “Pooh-sized” woman, I’ve rarely met a food I didn’t like, to paraphrase Will Rogers. However, I’d have to say that my favorite food of all time would be Southern cooking. Barbara Patton, my sweet Mama, and Pearl Coker Patton and Vivian Brooks McEachern Adamson, my sweet grandmothers, were all amazing Southern cooks. Therefore, I grew up loving fried chicken, fried catfish, fried green tomatoes, fried apple pies (are you sensing a theme here?), cornbread, collard and turnip greens, chicken and dressing (in a pan; Southerners don’t stuff anything up a bird’s behind), cobblers and every other Southern dish which came out of their kitchens.
I told my husband Mike that I plan to cook fried green tomatoes at least once before summer’s end. I made them the first time about 25 or 26 years ago. I wasn’t too sure what I was doing, even though I’m sure I called Mama in Alexander City (“Eleck” City to the locals) for instructions. Being nervous about cooking fried green tomatoes for the first time, I asked my friend Shelly, a new teacher who lived in the apartment below me, for some help.
When I asked Shelly how hot I should turn up the oil in the black iron skillet Mama let me have, Shelly said, “Popping hot!” So I did. Big mistake. My fried green tomatoes turned black on the outside, and they were mushy on the inside. This wasn’t Shelly’s fault at all. Shelly was, and still is, a great cook. However, she’s from Indiana and had never even eaten a fried green tomato, much less cooked one. What was I thinking? That was all on me.
Shelly is a friend who is really family, and she is a hero. Once, I set fire to my stove when I was frying French fries in a boiler, which was too small. It was Shelly to the rescue. When I called her in a panic, Shelly ran upstairs to my kitchen, quickly dousing the flames with her trusty fire extinguisher before the LaGrange Fire Department arrived. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I don’t like to cook, and now you know that I have a valid reason.
I’ve since tried cooking fried green tomatoes a time or two here at our home in Auburn. Last summer, my sweet Mama supervised me closely when I tried to cook that Southern delicacy. I have to say, they were really good.
Unfortunately, Mama can’t help me with frying tomatoes now, so I’ll ask Mike to stand by with the fire extinguisher. I’ll keep you posted. But I digress.
After Southern cooking, my second favorite type of cuisine (which is just a fancy word for food), would be Italian. That figures, since bread and pasta are loaded with carbohydrates, a diabetic’s kryptonite. Mexican food would closely follow Italian as my third favorite type of food.
That being the case, recently I met Leigh Ann for lunch at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop at 1678 S. College St. in Auburn. The interior of Fuzzy’s was light and welcoming. I laughed when I read the sign, “Feed me tacos and tell me I’m pretty.” Works for me.
Aaron, our cashier, was wonderful, being sweet, patient and helpful. Leigh Ann chose the fajita beef taco and beef taco. I ordered the combo plate with a beef taco, chicken enchilada, Latin-fried potatoes and refried beans. I also ordered chips and queso to share with Leigh Ann.
Our food was great. Also, I really loved our cheese dip, it was very different from the white cheese dip which I often enjoy when I dine at other Mexican restaurants. This cheese dip was orange in color and had tomatoes and onions in it; I will DEFINITELY order that again next time. And the Good Lord willing, there will be a next time.
After we finished our meal, Emma, a sweet, young lady, took our trays for us. I was really impressed by the staff at Fuzzy’s. They were all smiling, eager to serve us and acted like they enjoyed being there. That’s rare in 2022, and I appreciated it.
Besides our delectable dishes, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop also serves a large selection of salads, nachos, tacos, Mexican plates, burritos and quesadillas. The restaurant also serves “Breakfast Whenever” and breakfast favorites such as huevos rancheros, migas and chilaquiles. Desserts include sopapilla bites and Oreo churros.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is open Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop 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