Joke’s on me, Byron B. In Kinston.

Published 10:29 pm Friday, August 22, 2014

When we were children, we spent many weeks with our great aunt, Libby.

Libby is our paternal grandmother’s only surviving sibling. She was the postmaster in Kinston then, but we thought she ruled the town. Perhaps it was because she thought she did, too.

Aunt Libby had strong notions about teaching children to work, so she always carved out time at the end of the day, or on her afternoon off, to make sure our work ethics were coming along nicely. While she was at work, we entertained ourselves in and around her house, and walked a short distance to town twice each day for a snack, which we charged at the grocery store.

Those were happy days in a happy place that is like a second home to my brothers and me.

Fast forward to last week. I knew Byron B. Mathews was in town, but I was deep into my fourth day budgeting for three newspapers. My brain was a jumble of spreadsheets and numbers when I encountered him on the front porch at David’s Catfish.

“You and your husband have to try this restaurant in Kinston,” Byron B. said. “Did you see my Facebook post?”

I had not, but I inquired about the restaurant.

“Well, this woman was in New York City,” Byron B. explained. “Her daddy told her he would put her in her own restaurant, but she had to come home to Kinston to do it. It’s been on that PBS program, A Chef’s Life. You can hardly get a reservation.”

Frankly, I was slightly perturbed that Byron B. could split his time between New York City and Miami Beach, breeze into town, and discover a restaurant in Kinston that I hadn’t heard of. Kinston, for goodness’ sake. We practically grew up there. So I asked where it was located.

“Do you know Kinston,” he asked. (Of course, I do). “Well, it’s sort of across the railroad tracks in an agriculture warehouse. Not far from the courthouse.”

I was certain I knew exactly where it was. I couldn’t wait to tell Honey, who considers himself quite plugged in in restaurant circles, what we had missed. In Kinston, of all places. We thought the only lunch available was fried chicken at the gas station, where they indeed, still treat Miss Libby like she is in charge.

That afternoon, I was just about to call home and suggest Honey get right on this story. We needed to eat there, and I needed a story for South Alabama Living. Kinston.

But something told me to go  check what Byron B. had posted.He had indeed been to a fabulous restaurant in Kinston ….. North Carolina. That’s a bit far for me to travel to dinner and still make deadline, but Honey has been known to drive that far for lunch. No doubt, we’ll have a review soon.

Meanwhile, I invited Byron B. for a plate of summer vegetables at the Corner Market. Yum.

Kinston. The very idea.