Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Snappy Lunch | Best Pork Chop Sandwich in Mayberry
Review by: Michael Stern
The Exalted Pork Chop Sandwich
A pork chop sandwich at Snappy Lunch is one of the great meals of the South. As created by late proprietor Charles Dowell, it begins with a boneless, tenderized loin chop. The cook dips it in sweet-milk batter and fries it in a shallow pool of oil until it turns golden crisp. Moist and porky in some areas, crunchy in others, the finished cutlet defines lusciousness. Its girth extends beyond any ordinary breadstuff, but a bun sandwiches it nonetheless. Condiments including tomato, chopped onion, mustard, cole slaw, and special chili sauce complete the package.
The chili itself deserves hosannas. Combined with slaw, the sweet tomato paste perfectly haloes the creamy rich pork chop. The heft of a single sandwich, even if cut in half, challenges the eater to pick it up without major spillage. At the counter and booths of this old diner, it arrives wrapped in wax paper without a plate. To drink with it, you want sweet tea.
A Weird Hamburger
One other item on the menu that adventurous eaters ought to try is the “breaded hamburger.” It’s an economical item left over from Depression days when precious beef was stretched by adding breadcrumbs as a filler. Some old-time customers got to liking it that way and still order it today. For us, it’s a curiosity … but no match for the truly superb pork chop.
Snappy Lunch in the Morning
Much as we adore the pork chop sandwich for lunch, we also treasure breakfast in this venerable town cafe. That is when pans of hot biscuits come out of the back oven, perfuming the whole place with their bready steam. Although tourists tend to overrun Snappy Lunch and the town in general, some locals of the cafe’s old morning crowd still come early. They engage in repartee concerning issues of great import to early-morning diner denizens everywhere: weather, sports scores, and politicians’ foibles. In those moments at Snappy Lunch, it’s easy to understand how Mount Airy was the inspiration for Andy Griffith’s Mayberry.
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