One of the things I miss most about living in my home town of Gainesville, GA is eating at Loretta’s Country Kitchen, it’s usually my first destination whenever I cross the county line. I’ve known the owner, Alan Nichols and his family since grammar school and he’s always been a big supporter of my music. But last week I learned something about Alan and his restaurant that I never knew.
You see during our normal greetings, whenever I get the chance to see Alan he always ask where I’m playing next. Then after I answer and invite him to come out, he politely says that he’ll try but then reminds me that he has to open the restaurant the next morning so the odds are not probable. But this time since my next performance was on Memorial Day and most businesses are closed, I thought I might get a different response.
As it turns out, not only does Alan and his lovely wife Loretta open up on Memorial Day but they also feed all the veterans that come on the holiday for FREE! Last year there were over 400 veterans served and this year they’re hoping for even more.
For those of you who’ve eaten at Loretta’s, you know what a feast those lucky vets are in for. For you poor folks who haven’t, just know they use fresh meats and vegetables cooked up “Southern Style” the way the good Lord intended for it to be cooked. And though all the deserts are made from scratch, the banana pudding is the best I have ever had (sorry Mom).
I’m like the thousands of others who would and do return to Loretta’s for their exceptional food alone but now knowing it’s being served up by such great Americans makes it taste even better.