Last evening, my friends Monica and Brian hosted their wedding reception at Chattanooga’s Pot House—a lovely log cabin on the banks of the Tennessee River. The party was perfect. In the utterly brisk woods, with an old-timey band (two guitars, a mandolin, a tuba, and sear-sucker suits), we enjoyed corn dogs of various sorts (jalapeno/pineapple turkey dogs, traditional all-beef corn dogs, and veggie corn dogs) and a brilliant autumn-foliage-themed cake with a meringue layer. The crunch of meringue aside a thick layer of silky buttercream—pop rocks step aside, this is the textural sensation of the adult-set.

Previous to this, Chris and I were in Tuscaloosa for the Alabama-Ole’ Miss game. Here, as is standard, we visited Dreamland. Now, deep breath, for me, the Dreamland ribs are an aside; I’m not crazy for ribs after all, with their need for tugging and tearing, their required toothpicking post-consumption. No, for me, the very best of Dreamland is the fresh, cottony white bread and sauce. The sauce provided initially (in its neat, Styrofoam cup) is good. But the sauce that drips from the ribs and pools plate-bottom, flecked with bits of charred meat, is divine. Its vinegary bite, eased by the grease of the ribs, emerges a run-off of twangy-complexity and smokiness. And the quilty-soft sponge of Sunbeam is the ideal transport.

With nary a vegetable in sight, this weekend was pure Southern-style perfection--good parties, football, and an abundance of meaty deliciousness.

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