Meat-and-3 cafeterias tend to be blue collar sorts of places, but Filet & Vine (which technically is a meat-and-2) serves a crowd that is more white collar and fashionable no-collar. In fact, it is a fairly upscale sort of place with an on-premises butcher shop, a bakery, a boutique grocery, and over 15,000 bottles of wine for sale and 600 brands of beer.
Sandwiches, salads and such are available to go, but the better way to experience this place is a trip through the cafeteria line. Here you choose from among such entrees as fried chicken, pork chops, meat loaf, t-bone steaks, and a fish of the day. To accompany the entree, there are mac ‘n’ cheese, sweet potato casserole, turnip greens, grilled vegetables, wild rice, etc., etc. Once you’ve gotten your meal and have paid, find a seat somewhere in the labyrinthine store among shelves of groceries and wine (or out on the sidewalk) and dig in to high-tone versions of all the southern classics.
I love what’s billed as the “thick cut pork chop” (a Thursday special), which is tender and juicy and topped with a sweet BBQ glaze; and I look forward to coming back on a Saturday when smoked half chickens are on the menu. For those in a hurry, the deli menu includes cold sandwiches (including house-made pimento cheese) and such hot sandwiches as smoked in-house BBQ, Philly cheese steaks, Reubens, and burgers. There’s also an all-you-can-eat salad bar.