In the previous entry, I noted how I have done a terrible job remembering where I heard about or got the notion to visit a restaurant. Tasty Dip was another heartbreaker, and the “version 1.0” of this entry reflected that.
Several weeks ago, I ran across this simply wonderful web site that I couldn’t find again, until I finally did about two hours after I posted this! Roadside Rustic is a gorgeous collection, laid out blog-style but resembling the current, popular tumblr schemes of photographs, taken by a small group of contributors. It features classic restaurant architecture, old barns, fading downtowns and other ephemera around the southeast. The blog introduced me to both Tasty Dip in Heflin and a fascinating barbecue restaurant in nearby Anniston called Goal Post which has one of the most amazing neon signs I have ever seen photographed. I look forward to swinging through Anniston one day after sunset to see that neon sign in action.
I’m glad that I stumbled across Roadside Rustic again. Seriously, check out their photos of Tasty Dip and tell me that you don’t want to visit!
Anyway, Tasty Dip was scheduled to serve as a place to stop in for a quick snack about forty minutes after we left Leeds. It’s off the same interstate exit where we found Marie’s BBQ House on our last trip back from Birmingham, about two miles further north and east along US-78. It’s been in business since the late 1940s and looks uncannily like the long-lost sister restaurant of Mrs. Story’s in Opelika, AL or Jiffy Freeze in Canton, GA.
Much like Mrs. Story’s and Jiffy Freeze, sadly, there’s nothing drop-dead amazing on the menu here. This is an incredibly reliable place for yummy desserts and snacks for people in the area, but, unless you are looking to photograph examples of this old architecture or the restaurant’s wonderful old neon sign, there’s no need to go very far out of your way for a visit. The hot dog, in particular, was a disagreeable throwback to the sort of snack you might find at the concession stand at a little league ballpark. We were all pleased with our ice cream, but I didn’t manage more than a couple of bites of that footlong chili dog. I suspect I might have been spoiled on the hot dog front, however. You can get really, really good hot dogs in Atlanta these days.
I kind of regret not trying the restaurant’s “upside down banana split,” which sounds like a really terrific way to make a milkshake, but most times I just like to keep it simple. My favorite flavor of ice cream is either vanilla or peach. I can’t decide.
There was a pretty good crowd for 3.30 in the afternoon on a Sunday here. Most people got their meals to go, or sat in their air conditioned cars. I think every community needs a place like this for a midday ice cream treat. I should have just snapped more photos of that lovely old sign to share with you.
I would also like to give a shout-out to Retro Roadmap, which I discovered while looking around and trying to find Roadside Rustic. They’ve also visited both Tasty Dip and Goal Post and have a similar eye for fun old architecture. I highly recommend both sites, and won’t lose track of them again!