By STACEY PATTON WALLACE
My husband Mike and I are certainly not the athletic type. Instead, we are quite clumsy, but loveable. This tendency to be less than graceful often made for interesting situations when we were teachers at Long Cane Middle School in LaGrange, Georgia.
For example, one day in his computer class, Mike stood up from his rolling chair, unknowingly pushing it back with his leg. Moments later, he sat down, missing the chair entirely and landing on his backside.
Momentarily stunned, Mike sat there for a minute. Then he started shaking his head as if to say, “Are you kidding me?” That did it; his students erupted in laughter.
Also, one day in our school’s lunchroom, I went to get some more sweet tea. Someone had spilled chicken noodle soup on the floor and had failed to clean it up. I didn’t see the soup, but my foot found it. I slipped and fell flat on my back, right in front of my students’ lunch table.
Amazingly, my sixth graders didn’t burst out laughing; they didn’t even snicker. Instead, they just froze; maybe they were afraid I was dead. Trying to be cool, which was impossible in that situation, I got to my feet, took several bows for my unplanned gymnastics routine, and said, “Thank you, thank you!”
I also told my kids, “I’m okay; you can laugh.” They did, at least a little bit. I really admired their restraint. I’m afraid that I would have laughed had my short, “Pooh-sized” English teacher crashed right in front of me.
Last week, Mike and I had a unique dining experience: a delicious meal and the opportunity to play at a nine-hole putt-putt golf course, a challenge for our lack of athleticism. We had lunch (dinner) at The 19th Hole Restaurant & Sports Bar at 1120 S. College St. in Auburn.
The restaurant, which offers indoor and outdoor dining, is locally owned by Jonathan Davis and was formerly The Country Club of Auburn. Mike and I really liked the restaurant’s sports motif. There was even a cardboard cutout of Phil Mickelson, Mama’s favorite golfer and a golf-related video game.
Izzy, our server, was a delight, being sweet, helpful and attentive. The menu was cleverly written using golf terminology. For our appetizer, called the Practice Round, Mike and I chose the masters of pimento. This was house-made pimento cheese served with bacon and pita points. Oh, my two times. The pimento cheese had a wonderful flavor. Also, the portion was very generous. The pita points were warm and complimented the pimento cheese perfectly. Mike and I enjoyed this appetizer so much, we almost filled up just on it.
For his entrée, Mike chose the wings and fries. He said that his meal was fresh and really good. I ordered the club quesadilla, which included chicken (or steak) with chilled sweet corn, chips and salsa. It was great, too. I loved the contrast between the cool corn and the warm quesadilla.
Besides our amazing masters of pimento appetizer, The 19th Hole also offers diners a great selection of other appetizers, some of which include: the 19th hole charcuterie board, cream cheese golf balls, bacon spinach artichoke dip, fried Wickles Pickles and 19th Hole nachos.
The 19th Hole Restaurant & Sports Bar also serves salads, sandwiches, burgers and pizzas. Believe me, there is something for every diner. The masters of pimento by itself was worth the trip. We resisted dessert, but the selections were tempting: fried cinnamon strawberries, deep fried Oreos, cinnamon apple pizza, cheesecake of the week, beignets and top flight of dessert.
Now, Mike and I aren’t skillful with a golf club; I know you’re shocked. Once at a driving range, Mike swung his club and hit the golf ball. However, instead of going straight, the ball went sideways and hit his friend’s golf club.
Also, I once swung a golf club and completely missed the ball. Lastly, this past May, Mike and I were playing putt-putt golf in Orange Beach. I failed to notice that the green carpet sloped up; I fell over it, hitting the ground hard. The green carpet ate the skin on my knee, drawing blood. I may be the only person in the world to sustain an injury while playing putt putt golf. I now have a scar as a souvenir. Mike almost tripped over the slope, too, but he fortunately caught himself with his golf club.
Since that injury was still fresh in my mind and because the heat index could melt steel, we didn’t play the nine-hole course at The 19th Hole this time. However, when the memory of that humiliating injury fades, and the weather gets cooler, we’d like to give it a shot.
The 19th Hole Restaurant & Sports Bar is open on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; on Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (kitchen) and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (bar/course).
The 19th Hole Restaurant & Sports Bar 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 email@example.com