Demetri’s, Homewood, Alabama

I love Demetri’s.

I’ve written about Demetri’s before, here. It’s one of my Top Places, and they serve outstanding barbecue and great vegetables. This time, I went to Demetri’s for breakfast. Playboy magazine declared that Demetri’s serves the best breakfast in the United States. I want to make clear that I don’t read Playboy magazine. I never read Playboy, except for the cartoon captions, and I haven’t even looked at the pictures in decades. But there it is — the best in the USA.

I was looking forward to it, as it was a chance to get together with my younger brother, David and wife, Debby, and my nephew Chris Tanner, and my nephew-in-law, Matt. Everyone else was working, out of town, or in school. Demetri’s is such a good place. It was packed with customers, all looking forward to a football weekend or else holding relaxed business meetings.

Demetri’s has been in Homewood for over 60 years, occupying the same building even as the area around it has changed. It’s an institution, an anchor for the community. And it’s one of the stars of Homewood, along with SAW’s and Gianmarco’s.

We all caught up over coffee — good coffee — as the group slowly assembled, and we finally ordered. I chose two eggs over light, cheese grits, and biscuits.

First, the barbecue. I’m guessing it had been cooked the day before, which can be a real problem for barbecue. Demetri’s, however, managed to retain its tenderness and hickory smoke flavor, and it had been refreshed on the grill. It was stunningly delicious. The grilling gave it a little more caramelization and that extra bit of flavor.

You can see and appreciate the eggs, cooked just right, but you probably can’t appreciate the biscuits. I asked for grilled biscuits, about which I only learned fairly recently. Really, though, it doesn’t much matter how you serve these biscuits. They’ll be magical any way you choose. The flavor was fabulous, and the texture, soft and ethereal, was just perfect. David Sanders, you need to try these biscuits. They’re right up your alley. They’re too light, really, for a proper breakfast sandwich with eggs, cheese, and meat. They’d fall apart right away. But by themselves, oh my Lord they are good!

The grits were good, quality grits with a cheese sauce on top, so that you mixed it in yourself. They were tasty, very pleasant, but overshadowed by the rest of the breakfast.

Some other orders. Most were pretty much the same, but Chris ordered the huevos rancheros.

Don’t they look good? And Nancy had one pancake and a fried egg.

It had been cooked and then slapped back on the grill for a minute to give it some extra oomph. Nancy couldn’t have been more pleased. Just look at that pancake, so cooked that Nature might to say to all the world, “This is a pancake.”

After a wonderful breakfast, Nancy, David, and I walked over to a center that the Cathedral Church of the Advent has for meetings to see some of David’s paintings. David’s paintings also have been displayed in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Each one at the center is displayed with the relevant Bible verse, here Moses and the Tablets, and the Good Samaritan,

and here, Christ crying out in the darkness and Christ in Glory.

It’s always a treat to see brother David’s paintings, and even more of a treat to get together with family for breakfast, or any time. And you can’t do much better than Demetri’s. If you haven’t been there recently, you definitely should go — breakfast, lunch, or supper.


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