Pepper Pod is on the short list of our favorite dive visits so far. Much like Anchor Grill, it is open 24/7 and caters to Kentucky’s finest intoxicated individuals late at night. Also like Anchor, it had that musty smell you just can’t find on our no smoking allowed side of the river. Yes, Pepper Pod, you’re one of our favorite so far.
The place doesn’t have quite as much flair as Anchor Grill, but it has everything we love about a good dive. The menu is huge and overwhelming, mainly because you know almost everything on it is probably greasy and delicious. If the menu wasn’t enough, the handmade specials wall is enough to make you want to eat until you feel sick. Despite most of us trying to actively eat a little better, we knew tonight we’d break all the rules of healthy eating. We just had to do it.
Our server, the only server, seemed like the kind of girl that knew her regulars and took pride in the social aspect of her job. When we started asking what was good on the menu she replied, “Oh, your first time here? I’m going to de-virginize you.” I’ve been to a lot of restaurants, but I’ve never been told by the server she was going to deflower me. She told us all the ins-and-outs of the place and bragged about her favorite things on the menu. Only one question remained for Doug and Hilly: Do you have fried bologna. “Yes,” she replied. This is the first dive we’ve been to that had fried bologna… an automatic “A” for this place.
Our orders were varied, but all tasted just right. I ordered a country biscuit breakfast and goetta while others at the table ordered a bacon cheeseburger, the fish special, and of course, a fried bologna sandwich. The rest of the table, thanks in part to Tim who already ate dinner, was filled with appetizers. Fried mushrooms, fried pickles (Hilly ordered them immediately upon seeing the menu), and cheese filled breadsticks quickly filled out the table. We barely had room for our food. An embarrassing over-indulgence, yes, probably, but you don’t hear anyone complaining. (Until 2 hours later when our over-eating caught up to us.)
The place was empty except for a few regulars and a group of wannabe hipsters seated on the other side. Like Anchor Grill and the Bluebird, each table had its own little jukebox, although non-functioning. I was tasked with playing the real jukebox, and I knew I better keep it mellow and of the rock/country variety.
There’s just something special about a restaurant that seems almost unchanged through the years. The décor wasn’t trying to impress, and the food was priced just right. Let’s also not forget they had an Auto-RV magazine stand, one of my personal favorites to read over a good meal.
The only thing that held the place back was the lack of beer. We would have loved to wash down all this grub with a Budweiser in a can, but given their late-night drunken clientele, I can’t blame them for not having beer available.
The Pepper Pod is another great example of what makes dives so great. The server was beyond friendly, the food was good, and the prices were reasonable. It is early in 2013, but the bar has been set. I can’t wait to go back to the Pepper Pod.
This brings us to our next great idea… This December we will look back on 2013 and name one dive the official champion for the year. Does your dive have what it takes? Invite us to check it out by emailing email@example.com Winner will probably get a cheesy certificate and a t-shirt made by Doug in our basement.