Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.
“I really want to like this place.” It’s an over-used cliche, usually written with some guilt, that often accompanies negative restaurant reviews. I’m certainly not above invoking this phrase, especially when it comes to Midway Meal House. Why? Because I do indeed want to like this place.
Who wouldn’t want to like a charming old farmhouse with a large wrap-around veranda? Who wouldn’t appreciate the history of this building? And who wouldn’t respect the Meal House’s story of rising from the ashes, literally.
I do indeed want to like Midway Meal House. I like the nostalgia I feel here, something that’s hard to find in the suburbs anymore. And I like the friendly atmosphere and hospitality. Unfortunately I cannot say much positive about their food and what they’ve done to southern cuisine.
I love the meat and two veggie format of many southern restaurants. At Midway Meal House $7.25 will let you choose from several meats and a long list of veggies plus some bread. Described by the menu as “delicious homemade vegetables,” these sides are anything but. Many taste straight from a can. Liberal applications of salt and pepper are usually necessary to make their beans, corn or instant potatoes suitable to my palate.
It is a shame that a country cooking restaurant with such history doesn’t make better use of locally grown produce.
Several years ago Midway Meal House burned. It was a fierce fire that nearly reduced the place to the foundation. They wasted little time and rebuilt. Unfortunately the owners passed up a golden opportunity to transform the restaurant into something great. The rebuild was nearly identical, leaving behind the same drab interior and a menu to match. With a new look and fresh new approach to the menu, the Meal House could have really shined. Today, not many years later, the building is starting to look rundown and dirty. It’s really a shame.
I’d imagine breakfast at Midway Meal House is a better experience, but I’ve never been in the AM. And their dessert menu, featuring truly homemade cakes and pies, deserves some recognition. But serving canned veggies is inexcusable. With south Forsyth’s restaurant scene finally coming of age, the Meal House is being left in the dust.
I welcome your comments and criticisms. But remember… I really want to like this place!