I found myself in Williamston again last week for a preview of “Mrs. Harrison” at the Williamston Theatre. After a long day toiling in the salt mines — more accurately, my job at a coffee shop — I was ravenous and unsure I would be able to sit through a play when streaming content, my couch and my dog were calling to me to me. (To be fair, they always are.)
Thankfully, the menu at Tavern 109, where we went for our pre-show dinner, is full of comfort food options to fortify a weary soul, including pizza and burgers (gluten-free crust and buns available), fish and chips, shrimp and grits and a host of tantalizing desserts. The Meatloaf Tower, however, became the only conceivable option the moment my eyes fell upon it. Not only is a Meatloaf Tower a hilarious thing to imagine and an amusing item to request out loud from a server, but I’ve also never met a meatloaf I didn’t like.
Tavern 109’s was no exception — I received a huge slab of the stuff, wrapped with bacon and slathered in a spicy tomato-based steak sauce. A healthy scoop of garlic mashed potatoes and crispy French onions rested on top of the mound. To balance out all this heartiness, there was a side of lightly sautéed zucchini and summer squash.
I appreciated the “tower” aspect, acknowledging as it does that each bite of meatloaf should include a bite of mashed potatoes, and the crispy, salty onions and bacon added a decadent touch you wouldn’t think to add at home. Each entrée comes with your choice of slaw, soup or salad, and I thoroughly enjoyed my salad, which was drizzled with the restaurant’s house-made blue cheese dressing.
I think a less hungry person would have leftovers to take home, but I managed to scale and conquer the Meatloaf Tower, though I was left dizzy from the heights. That’s an exaggeration, but it definitely soothed my frayed nerves after a day of customer service and made me glad I kept my plans to go out.
The atmosphere at Tavern 109 is notably warm, relaxing and pleasant — Williamston restaurants seem to have this in common — and I found my meal equally restorative, which I needed more than I could’ve known. “Mrs. Harrison” was riveting, tense and brilliantly acted, and I highly recommend checking it out. I’m not saying you need a Meatloaf Tower to enjoy the theater, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
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