A meat and three is a style of food, a name for a restaurant that serves it, and a Southern tradition. A meat and three is a casual—frequently extremely casual—Southern diner that serves meat entrées accompanied by three side dishes. Your meat options frequently include fried chicken, roast turkey, roast beef and gravy, fried flounder, or perhaps a pork chop, though quazi has also seen neck bones, chitlins, and fried bologna sandwiches on the menu. Sides might include collard greens, rice and gravy, macaroni and cheese, banana pudding, mashed potatoes, fried okra, turnip greens, squash casserole, steamed broccoli with cheese sauce, lima beans, carrot salad, and coleslaw. Cornbread and sweet iced tea are usually included in the price.

Most meat and threes are nasty, but some border on sublime, says danna. It’s hard to know from the outside. Unless you have superadvanced Chowdar, you either rely on the reports of others, or patiently sample every meat and three in town.

If you’re vegetarian or hate delicious things, beware of cracklin’ cornbread, warns Phaedrus. That’s cornbread with fried pig skin mixed into the bread dough and baked. It’s often served with pot likker, the liquid from cooked collards, along with some of the collards and the pork. Enjoy.

Board Link: okay i have to ask… what is a meat and three?

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