Weaver D’s is a 33 year old institution in Athens, Ga. Joe Catanese took me there for lunch before our show at Akademia Brewery that night. And owner, Dexter Weaver, was front and center at the cash register.
You order the meat you want – they all come with two sides. In my case, I ordered the fried pork chop.
“Pork chop fried!” Dexter called out.
“Pork chop fried!” said the woman getting the vegetables.
“Automatic!” Dexter would say.
Dexter took Joe’s order and ran his card. Then he took my card and handed Joe his card, receipt, and a pen to sign the other receipt. He kept talking the whole time without looking at anyone. He turned, supposedly toward me with a receipt and pen. I already had my own pen in my hand. Then he handed it to the man behind me.
I laughed, turned to Joe and said, “I thought he was talking to me.”
“Just killing two birds with one stone,” Dexter said, never looking anyone in the eye while he was talking.
A few moments later, he gave me my receipts, one of which I signed.
Then, when the woman called out, “pork chop,” I told her my two sides – potato salad and collared greens – and she shuffled off to the refrigerator for the potato salad, and the stove for the collared greens. The utensils and so forth are self-serve.
As you can see on the sign in the picture above, and on the walls in the interior, Dexter’s full expression is “automatic for the people.” There are also pictures of R.E.M on the wall. The band asked Dexter if they could name their next album Automatic For the People. Weaver didn’t think too much about it since the band had been pilfering his food at night. But when they “told me who they was” he was pleased and excited. The album won a grammy, Rolling Stone talked about the soul food restaurant in Athens, people came from all over to eat there, and other good fortune came around.
But that was a while back. Now there is a push to get it registered as an historical landmark so they can get additional funding to continue. You can read the full Automatic for The People story and contribute to their crowdfunding page at http://www.weaverds.com.
As for the food, I was not disappointed with the first fried pork chop I have had. The edges of the chop curled up, making a half bowl, as it were. The fat on one side had split into three “fingers,” so it looked somewhat like a crab, with claws only on one side and a big fat thumb on the other. But it was very tasty. The grease had drained off nicely. It wasn’t a very large pork chop, but that happens. The ample potato salad and collared greens filled out the “I’m full” quotient quite nicely. They were by far the best collared greens I have ever had. And that’s saying something.
If you go to Athens, you owe it to yourself to eat at Weaver D’s. The parking can be tough, but it’s worth it. Hell, if you’re in Atlanta even, you might want to make it a day trip.
Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.
Peace be with you.