I can’t think of a time that I’ve sat down for supper at Meats & Sweets in Lavon that a fellow diner hasn’t overheard my menu order and asked, “Have you eaten here before?”
That’s because I’m usually engaged in a debate with my family about whether or not we should split the chicken fried steak dinner.
“It’s big enough to share,” the guest at the next table feels compelled to point out. “Doesn’t even fit on the plate…”
Yes, we’ve eaten at the family-run, mom and pop/sister and brother restaurant many times, but the dining experience almost always begins with a discussion about the merits of sharing a meal. As we ponder our menu choices (“It’s Wednesday – we can get homemade chicken dumplings for $4.50!”), the dozen or so locals seated at the tables around us engage each other in friendly conversation. (“Have you tried the brisket today? Oh my goodness; it’s the best!”)
For many folks, Meats and Sweets is a regular dining stop. The waitress greets everyone by name (“Where’s Grandma Mary today? Do you want to bring a slice of sweet potato pie home for her?”) And ‘Little J’ – when not busy in the kitchen – leans over the counter and asks how you’re doing today.
Despite the fact that it makes perfect sense to share a meal of Meats and Sweets proportion, it seems no one in my family can resist ordering our own plate and savoring every delicious, homecooked bite ourselves. Or at least bringing the leftovers home for later.
When we stopped in to Meats & Sweets on Dec. 23, owners Jerome and Areva Lugrand were not only cooking their usual ribs, briskets, ham, sausage, chopped beef, chicken fried steak and catfish (not to mention those wonderful twice-baked potatos!), but they were also serving up Christmas dinner – complete with turkey, dressing, giblet gravy, creamed corn, cranberry sauce and green beans – and it was FREE.
“We want to say thank you to our customers, but we can’t buy every one of them a gift,” Areva said. “So this is how we do it.”
Meats and Sweets offered the free Christmas meal to loyal customers and anyone who came through their door that day – including the Fed Ex delivery man. He peeked in through the window, thought he might have the wrong place, and started to leave. That’s when a friendly dining guest greeted him with “Merry Christmas!” and ushered him back in the door.
“Is this where the free Christmas dinner is?” the Fed Ex driver asked.
“Yes, sir. C’mon in and have a seat,” Areva said, ready with a pitcher of sweet tea. “We’ve made plenty, since we ran out of food around 3 o’clock when we did this last Christmas.”
After enjoying dinner and ordering a big piece of Millionaire pie, the Fed Ex employee asked for copies of the menu to share with other drivers on his route. “I’m going to tell them and everyone I know about this place,” he said.
Personally, I’d love to keep the news of Lavon’s best kept secret to myself, but word of Meats and Sweets is shaking things up more than a bighearted helping of their scrumptious Earthquake cake. The full flavor of this restaurant is found not only in its selection of mouth-watering, homemade dishes – but within the hearts of the Lugrand family who prepare the meals by hand, generously serve them up, and share the dining experience with you.
Meats and Sweets is located north of Rockwall and east of Wylie, at 440 State Highway 78, Suite 230 in Lavon. Dine-in, carry out or catering available.
Visit their facebook page here.
By Dawn Redig, editor, Blue Ribbon News
To share your news, events, or a restaurant review of your own, email editor@BlueRibbonNews.com.