Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fredericksburg’s Iconic Eateries, Part 1: Allman’s

Fredericksburg is home to quite a few upscale, gourmet restaurants, as well as just about every plastic-menu chain restaurant you can think of. My husband and I eat out frequently, and have been to just about all of them. But recently, I noticed that we had been neglecting some of the town’s oldest restaurants—the ones still serving classic homestyle cooking in, well, let’s just call them unpretentious surroundings. Places like the 2400 Diner, or Anne’s Grill, or the Battlefield Family Restaurant, or Mr. Dee’s. Of course, there’s a reason for that—we’re trying to keep from expanding like balloons in our old age, and these classic restaurants pack a highly caloric punch, with nary a healthy entree in sight. Nonetheless, as a service to my readers, we decided it would be fun to give these old-timey icons of Fredericksburg a visit. Last night, we started with what has often been called a Fredericksburg landmark: Allman’s Bar-B-Que.

Route 1 runs right through Fredericksburg, and was the major north-south route through the state until I-95 was constructed in the 1960’s. You can still see the remnants of restaurants all along that route, built to serve the newly mobile post-war generation of travelers (“See the USA in your Chevrolet!”), but most of the original buildings have long since been demolished or renovated into more modern facilities. Allman’s, opened in 1954, is an original, still going strong over 5 decades later. It’s one of those old-time barbeque places that you see featured on Food Network shows about classic local specialties. I’m sure the menu and the recipes haven’t changed in the last 50+ years. The pork barbeque is served minced or sliced, in a sandwich or on a platter, and comes unadorned with sauce. Allman’s signature sweet and vinegary barbeque sauce is provided in squeeze bottles at your table to drench the meat just the way you like it. We got the most popular combo: the barbeque sandwich platter with old-fashioned southern cole slaw and fries. I forced my husband to order a shake so that we could have the complete Allman’s experience, and despite the fact that it’s probably a thousand calories, he obliged (that’s taking one for the team, hon). The shake is so thick (more like slightly softened ice cream) that you have to eat it with a spoon, and the tall metal canister that the shake was made in is delivered to the table with enough of the ice cream concoction to easily serve two (which ultimately, I admit, it did). The food is cheap and tasty and the surroundings are a blast from the past, so if you’re looking for a nostalgic Fredericksburg dining experience, this place fits the bill perfectly.

The meal:

The menu:

The building:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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