Why write this book? Contents of the book People who made this possible People who influenced the author Dedicated to: About Dan K. Phillips
Grand Rivers, Kentucky
CALVIN SWINE

PATTI'S - The World's Greatest Restaurant

DAN'S DAILY WEB-BLOG


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1. Preface (Four Corners )

Includes photographs of Four Corners and the background of why Dan wrote this book.

2. The Photographer - (Tucumcari, N.M.)

Dan goes to Tucumcari, New Mexico, to visit the photographer who took Ian Frazier's picture for the the book Great Plains

3. An Outlaw and a Politician - (Las Vegas, N.M.)

He travels to the Teddy Roosevelt Rough Rider Museum to visit the "smartest lady in the world."

4. The Blues Brothers - (Las Vegas, Nevada )

Who would have guessed that riding an airplane-dressed as Shumu the whale-, would take him to the mysterious rhealm of multi-millionaire Howard Hughes.

5. Mysterious Adventures With Mark Twain - (Reno. Nevada )

Read some weird stories of a bunch of "wild consultants" who spend a week in Nevada exploring!

6. The Poet - (San Francisco, CA. )

This story describes his first visit to San Francisco to celebrate a wedding anniversary. He discovers the "ghost" of Jack Kerouac and hits several other literary high spots while here.

7. The Distant Listener - (Cape Cod, MA. )

Visiting Cape Cod,he discovers Henry Beston and Gugliemo Marconi. This leads to a history lesson on the beginning of radio listening and a unique baker (Ollie Ross) known to have picked up every radio station in the world. Was Ollie Ross for real?

8. Hermit of the Essex Coast - ((Jekyll Island, Georgia )

Jekyll Island is a special place for Dan. Study the billionaires who inhabited this island every winter. Listen to their stories of richness and pettiness.

9. A Writer and A Preacher - (Savannah, Georgia )

Did you know that the sign indicating where Flannery O'Connor was born is really a lie? And did you know John Wesley once fell in love here and caused a major disturbance because of this love affair. If you have read The Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, you need to read The Writer and the Preacher to capture even more weird tales of Savannah.

10. Patti's - The Best Restaurant in the World (Grand Rivers, KY.)

This is Dan's favorite eating place in all the world. Read this story and discover how a pot-bellied pig named Calvin Swine became the symbol of great American cooking.

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My all time favorite restaurant is Patti's, located in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. Grand Rivers is a small town with a population of 438 located in the western part of the state of Kentucky. Two rivers, the Cumberland and the Tennessee, converge at Grand Rivers.

Patti's opened as Hamburger Patti's Ice Cream Parlor in 1977. It's specialty is two-inch-thick charbroiled pork chops, peppered with special seasoning and grilled over an open flame. Besides being tender and moist, they are the "best and thickest pork chops you will find anywhere," I say. To top off the meal, add flower pot bread with whipped strawberry butter and mile high meringue pies.

Patti Tullar's, "recipe developer" par excellent, other specialties include: Mississippi Mud Pie - a double layer of frozen fudge and coffee ice cream on a chocolate cookie crumb crust; Bill's Boatsinker Pie - a rich, dark double fudge pie plus coffee ice cream piled high with whipped cream, drizzled chocolate syrup and topped with a cherry; and Sawdust Pie - coconut, graham cracker crumbs and pecans in an egg batter and baked in a flaky pie shell. The recipe for Sawdust pie was first published in Bon Appetit in May 1983.

Patti's 1880 Restaurant is filled with antiques; including a wooden Indian named Joe who sits in the family bathroom at the rear of the restaurant. Unsuspecting guests are often taken unawares by Joe's presence in the bathtub, causing from time to time consternation, then laughter.

Through the years, it has become a common for us to encourage those we take with us to visit the john, then see the expression on their face as they return to the table.

Bill Tullar, the elder statesman of the family, entertains guests: telling stories, doing magic tricks, and introducing his friends - Yama Llama and Utterly Cow - to all the little kids who visit the restaurant.

Noticing my interest in his establishment, Bill took me outside and introduced me to Calvin Swine - a pot-bellied designer pig that had been added to his establishment. Calvin, as pigs go, was rather handsome. Weighing only 40 pounds, Calvin entertained by drinking a RC Cola, then sitting on his hind legs for some cashews. Bill explained his diet to me. "His training began with jelly beans, then he began eating tomato slices, but we became fearful he would become a diabetic, so we switched to Patti's homemade potato chips. But we gave up on that too when the vet said it had too much fat."

According to Bill, pigs are the third most intelligent animals, only superseded by primates and dolphins. "He is housebroken, sleeps inside by my bed, and loves to ride around the neighborhood in my model A Ford convertible," said Bill.

 

Over Calvin's "pig house" is a note that states, "I Think Your Dog Looks Funny Too."

 

While there, Bill gave me further information on these minature pigs. He gave me information about The Home for Designer Pigs located in Ellenwood, Georgia. This was especially interesting to me since, after my birth, I was taken to the Old School House in Ellenwood, Georgia, and I lived there for the first five years of my life. I felt an immediate kinship with Calvin and the other friendly designer pigs who were born in Georgia.

According to the information Bill gave me, when a piglet is born, the adoptive family is called and congratulated. Along with the new piglet come its birth certificate and instructions on caring for it. (Calvin has Birth Certificate number 106.) The pig's personality is chosen to fit the family. A note that comes with the pig reads, "Designer pigs love water beds, baby pools in the summertime, eating, and being the center of your existence. They live for 25-30 years."

The 30 years raised a question in my mind. I once worked with a man who bought a baby alligator. The alligator would hibernate each year in the bathtub in the basement of his mother's house. We were sitting at our desks one day and the phone rang. With a sense of urgency, he leaped from his desk and said, "I've got to drive 200 miles to Knoxville immediately. Ralph has woke up. I've got to get him and take him to his cage." This was when Ralph was 27 years old. I wondered, how would it be to live with a pig for thirty years.

Another item Bill gave me was a copy of The Swine Times. Many designer pig owners subscribe to The Swine Times, a bimonthly publication that gives helpful hints for designer pig owners. Under a section titled, "TOASTY TIPS FOR THE CHILLED-OUT PIG," were these helpful suggestions:


TOASTY TIPS

    • Remember to provide your pig with plenty of rugs and blankets to burrow in during the fall and winter months. If you're confining your pig to an area without a concrete floor, not only is bedding material important, but a heat lamp is a must.
    • Pigs going outside from heated homes may need a sweater during the next few months. Don't risk a winter cold!
    • Vitamin C helps to ward off winter sniffles and colds, so check with your vet for proper dosages and start building up your pig's resistance now.
    • If your pig becomes overweight, a strict diet of a 1/4 cup of Purina High Octane in the morning and 1/4 cup of raw fruits or vegetables in the evening will soon have your pig slim and trim again.


There was a further note of importance in The Swine Times. "A fly swatter is a useful training instrument for building a bond of respect between the owner and the pig."

I also read the advertisements in the magazine and discovered that for those fortunate enough to have a designer pig, personalized bandanas, turtleneck sweaters, spandex jumpsuits, miniskirts, and overalls are available. For the California look, visors and sunglasses are available. Some piglets even have their ears pierced.

After finishing the finest meal in America, I went home "fat as a pig."


Author's Note:

During the summer of 1995 I returned to Patti's. In the fall of 1994 I had written an article in The Nashville Tennessean about Patti's. I had written at that time, "This is a true find. I've been all over the country eating, and if I had to choose one best restaurant, it'd be Patti's."

Reports soon surfaced that my statement had been placed on the back of Patti's menu. I returned, not only to see if it was true, but to get a copy of my own. Sure enough, there it was. When I described who I was, "the guy whose name is on the menu," I said, I became a minor celebrity.

"When that article came out, I sent all of my friends a copy to let them know I amounted to something," said Bill Tullar. Then he presented me with an official Patti's menu.

I had the Reverend Wayne Burns with me on this trip. "He is a famous preacher in Alabama," I told Tuller. "I wanted to bring him and show him the menu, so that when I die , and he preaches my funeral, he can say," Dan K. Phillips was the only man I knew who had his name on the back of a menu." Such fame astounds me. Who could ask for anything more?

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Dan K. Phillips, writer of this Savannah, Georgia story, is the author of the internet travel book FOUR CORNERS - A LITERARY EXCURSION ACROSS AMERICA and is the editor of the monthly travel e-zine The Web Surfer Travel Journal. He also writes extensively on the works of the monk and poet, Thomas Merton. Please check all of these sites. THANKS! To E-Mail him click here!

 


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