A (Non-Fishing) Southern Observation

I like having this blog because it gives me the forum to write whatever the heck I want.  Yeah, I guess with a name like Troutrageous! it’s supposed to be fishing themed, but who cares…

So here’s the bit of randomness for today…

Does every restaurant in the South offer you a drink “to go” at the end of every meal?
As in, “Can I get y’all anything else…can I fetch y’all a drink to go?

Kiss my grits?

To which they’ll undoubtedly find the biggest Styrofoam cup possible to fill with your beverage of choice and send you off on your merry way…?  The Yankee in me does not comprehend…

It may be old hat for you, but it’s a concept totally foreign to me…sure, the places I frequented in Pennsylvania gave refills during meals, well at least if the waitstaff remembered to offer them; but it was rare that I remember, probably because it never happened, that I or my family was ever offered up a refill for the road.  (And I’m not talking coffee either, because none of us drink that swill).

Heck, I don’t think there’s been one restaurant down here that hasn’t tried to make us leave at least 32 ounces heavier.  From diners, to BBQ joints, to pizza parlors…

I have to admit that to date, my instinctual knee-jerk reaction to what is becoming a regular offer has been to refuse, simply because I’m clearly missing the part of the brain required to comprehend the offer.  Which in retrospect, and considering my affection for sweet tea, seems kind of odd…  Just like boiled p-nuts & okra…but I haven’t tried them yet either…


  1. I've only experienced that in the South. My wife and I started making a list of “You know you're in the south when….” Eventually that list turned into normal things we didn't think were unusual anymore. I'm having a hard time thinking of any right now.


  2. I moved down south for about six months as a kid when my dad had to transfer for work. It's a different culture to say the least. In school it was so hard to get used to everyone saying “ma'am” when replying to the teacher. In February there were a few little snow flakes coming down out of the sky and every student and teacher ran to the windows to look. There I was sitting alone wondering what the big deal was. You'll get more used to it after awhile. BTW…Kiss my grits!


  3. The offer of a “drink to go” (with or without the word “fetch”) is a fairly new thing down here. It's always been done in my neck-o-the-woods, but recently it's being offered in chain restaurants as well as the traditional mom-n-pop eateries. To help you understand what's going on, I'll explain the two important strategies behind the new, expanded “drink to go” offer. First, you have to realize that what we are in is a huge economic down-turn – overall, not for everyone – but for many, many, many millions of people. That's reason #1 to offer an added service – the “drink to go.” It's not really that odd, since any time you eat at a fast food place – you probably re-fill your drink at the self-serve counter before you depart. ( or maybe not? You Yankees aren't always that practical, ya know? 🙂 ) So I think it's an extension on that – and “sit down” restaurants are offering you a free drink to go to try and keep your business. A little cherry on top, if you will. Now, the second reason for this new trend is something that is going to take you a little longer to get used to I'm afraid. The idea that you can get a drink to take on the road with you is well rooted in Southern Culture. It's traditional in the South to offer people a “plate” when they leave after enjoying a dinner together. We'd always offer relatives and friends some of the leftovers. They'd usually refuse and say something like “No, no, we're stuffed and we have a fridge full of food at home – but thank you.” This is called “Southern Hospitality.” It was once rampant in the South, but in the last 50 years or so, it's faded a bit with the onset of the Yankee invasion and people being lazy in raising their kids. As for the offer of food or drink itself, Southerners eat out so much now that we're unable to offer the traditional “leftovers.” Maybe a drink to go, instead, honey? 🙂


  4. I pretty much agree with Owl's assessment. You also gotta remember that a lot of these fine establishments you've been visiting cater to hard working individuals (guys who don't often pack a lunch- construction, landscaping/lawncare, pest control, parcel delivery, etc.) who have to get back out and stay hydrated in the Southern heat after lunch is over.


  5. Southern Hospitality… I only experienced it once and all I can say is at least they are trying to give you the best service instead of not coming back to the table to see if you need a refill. I hate it when my water glass is empty and there isn't a server in sight! Yeah, boiled peanuts and fried okra for you, next time you visit Owl!! Btw, how's the humidity??? = )


  6. I think everybody has the issue of eating too much. I know I do… I have to say I enjoy the charm of Southern Hospitality…even if the slower pace can be maddening at times. But nobody's ever called a Yankee patient, or practical.


  7. Funny you mention the humidity. I don't know if it's an off year or what but it's really not been that hot or humid (at least compared to PA). Yeah, there's both, but we've been hovering in high 80s / low 90s with a bit of thickness…but's not the humidity, it's the random flash hurricane that gets you. There were waterspouts over the St. Johns river last week. Nuts.


  8. Would ya'll like some grits with your breakfast? The first time I heard that I was in Jackson Miss. It took the waitress twenty minutes to get the whole sentence out of her mouth. I think it was lunch time before I got to order breakfast. And of course being a Northern boy the first thing out of my mouth was huh? The second thing was What the hell are grits?


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