Say it isn’t so.
At noon today, Sharon Carver’s voice on the answering machine announced today’s menu, including Brunswick stew, chicken pot pie, and Coca-Cola baked ham.
But Creative Loafing is reporting that according to a sign posted at Carver’s Country Kitchen the beloved Atlanta meat-and-two is closing on March 30.
Sharon Carver and her husband Robert Carver ran Carver’s together until Robert passed away in March 2012.
Here’s a ‘Neighborhood Nosh’ I wrote about Carver’s, AKA Carver’s Grocery, back in 2009:
On a recent visit to Carver’s Grocery on West Marietta Street, the man across the table smiled and remarked, “I’m going to need a nap after this.” He was tying into a thick hunk of ketchup-covered meatloaf, along with some heapin’ helpings of creamy mac-n-cheese and baked broccoli-rice casserole. And like many of the other folks crowded into the old corner store made over into a country cooking mecca, he had the faraway look of someone who’d been transported in a nostalgic reverie.
HOME-STYLE: There’s no doubt that the mix of business and trades people who flock to Carver’s every weekday for lunch come for the homey food. But the kitschy atmosphere and sassy Southern hospitality are also a big part of the attraction. Located in the historically blue collar neighborhood of Howell Station, northwest of downtown Atlanta, Carver’s looks like an abandoned building. At high noon, though, there’s usually a line of hungry people out on the sidewalk. And inside, the swirl of humanity seated at communal tables and the fragrant aromas wafting from the fryers and steam tables evoke a community picnic or potluck. Amid knickknacks, posters of Marilyn Monroe, and hokey signs (“All Men are Idiots and I Married The King”), Sharon Carver keeps the orders rolling from behind the counter, and her husband Robert mans the cash register in front.
MEAT & TWO: The menu at Carver’s is no-nonsense meat-and-two, with eight or nine main offerings every day, plus at least a dozen sides. When you call Carver’s, you’ll get a recorded message from Sharon, listing what’s available that day, and advising listeners to come early for the best selection. On a recent visit, a huge, bone-in ham was sliced to order, and served up in juicy slabs with sweet potatoes and surprisingly sweet turnip greens. No doubt, there’s a lot of sugar in a lot of things here, including the cakey corn bread and, of course, the sweet tea. On the savory side, deep-fried catfish has a thin, crispy coating, and hot and flaky innards. Ample fried chicken breasts, pot roast with carrots and potatoes, and baked turkey and dressing are among the other favorites. On the side, don’t miss the mashed rutabagas, seasonal beans, and collard greens.
SWEET STUFF: For dessert, look for Southern treats such as the famously moist and sugary chocolate Coca-Cola cake or gooey pineapple casserole. And on any given day, there might be carrot cake with cream cheese icing, rich banana pudding or homemade chocolate chip cookies with pecans.
1118 West Marietta Fest NW, Atlanta, 404-794-4410, www.carverscountrykitchen.com
— Bob Townsend, Food and More Blog