American Farmhouse: A blue-collar setting with blue-ribbon food

Restaurant worth the drive to Central

For no frills, good old-fashioned Southern fare head out to Central and give American Farmhouse a try. From the red and white checkered tablecloths to the hot peach cobbler with ice cream for dessert, this restaurant delivers a blue-collar style setting with blue-ribbon style food.

If you plan to go on a Friday night scheduled for live music and dancing you should make reservations. When we arrived almost all the tables in the restaurant were reserved. The friendly staff fit us in a tight spot that left some of us with our backs uncomfortably close to the patrons at the bar, but we were grateful for the accommodation. Throughout the evening the service was wonderful and the servers made us feel right at home.

We started our meal with stuffed mushrooms ($7.95) and boudin balls ($5.95) and both were served promptly and piping hot. The four large boudin balls, served with a dipping sauce with a hint of horseradish, were perfectly fried, full of rice and meat and were moist and delicious. Not overly battered or stuffed, the savory taste of the mushrooms shone through in our serving of six. These came with a ranch dipping sauce.

We sampled entrees from all ends of the spectrum, and American Farmhouse came through true blue with each dish. The shrimp po-boy, ($11.95) was loaded with hot, fried shrimp served dressed and with a side of fries. The rib plate ($9.95) featured good smoky ribs with a sweet barbecue sauce. We liked that we could choose an order less than a half or a full rack (though those are available on the menu). The rib plate contained four ribs and this was just enough. With this order we had a baked potato and baked beans.

On the more fancy side, we ordered the grilled redfish ($16.95) with a cream and crab meat topping ($5.95) and enjoyed the large serving of well-seasoned fish grilled perfectly as well as the yummy topping. Perhaps on the rich side if we’d chosen to have the sauce on the fried fish, it married well with the grilled version. With this entree we chose loaded mashed potatoes and coleslaw as our sides.

The grilled smoked pork chop ($14.95) was our favorite dish of the night. Juicy and smoky, this thick chop was so tender it practically melted in your mouth. With the chop we chose onion rings and potato salad.

Of all the sides we tried (two came with each entree except the po-boy), the loaded mashed potatoes and the coleslaw were our favorites. Not for those dieting, the hot mashed potatoes were served in a small bowl with a dollop of butter and a dollop of sour cream and mixed with bacon and cheese. The crunchy coleslaw had a very pleasing dressing, wasn’t overly sweet and was well-seasoned.

For dessert we sampled the peach cobbler with ice cream ($5.50) and felt like a kid again having Sunday desserts in our childhood home. The sweet warm crust over the soft sweet peaches was mouth-watering mixed with the cold vanilla ice cream. We also tried the plain cheesecake ($5.50) and the turtle cheesecake. Both were delightful and thick, sweet cream cheese concoctions on a graham cracker crust. The turtle cheesecake was topped with caramel and chocolate with a swirl of whipped cream.

Along with the meals served at the tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner, American Farmhouse also offers prepared foods, deli meats and choice cuts of meat and fish to prepare at home.