July 30, 2010

The Kittchen Heads [Farther] South

As I've mentioned before, the food in the military is an issue. Of almost equal concern are the food options surrounding military bases. Except for at Camp Pendleton (which is only immune to this issue because it's flanked by L.A. and San Diego) these are scary, scary places, posing as restaurants and grocery stores.

Take Jimmy the Greek, in Quantico, VA, for example. A testament to the fact that Greeks are good at some things (democracy) and not others (interior design), the decor at Jimmy the Greek features fake grape vines, statues of the Acropolis, and horror-movie chandeliers.

The food itself is just not good. Pasta dishes come overcooked and swimming in sauce, the spanikopita is frozen-spinach-heavy and too light on the feta, the garnishes are slices of candied horrors that might have been apples in a past life, etc.

But Jimmy the Greek is only the tip of the iceberg. The main reason I'm writing yet another post about food in the military is because: a) I'm marrying into the military, and b) T and I will be moving to Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after we get married in October. For me, this makes the military food issue even scarier.

A Google search of "grocery stores in Jacksonville, NC" yields the following results:
  • Walmart Supercenter 
  • Food Lion 
  • Oriental Market
  • Piggly Wiggly 
  • A Great Gas Heating & Air (sorry, what?) 
  • Kangaroo Express 
  • Circle K. 
Wow. This is a far cry from Richmond, where I lived less than two miles from a Whole Foods, a huge Kroger, a Trader Joe's, and Tom Leonard's.

I don't mean to be a food snob, but I am one, and, in terms of food, this duty station is a disappointment.

Of course, I will have a really cute husband and (fingers crossed) a house near the ocean to make me feel better, but, as a food blogger, I have to say that this will be...an interesting experience (I'm saying that with the same gritted teeth and false levity that I used to use when telling a student that his or her atrociously bad essay was...on the right track, but needed rethinking).

I know that I can make do with the contents of a Food Lion if I have to (for example: try pronouncing it Food Leone to try to add a little glamour to the experience), and I also know that this will be a great source of hilarious (for you) and depressing (for me) blog posts as I explore the options available to me throughout the next year or years or whatever.

But, all the same, I'm going to freak out the neighbors tonight by performing a special moonlit prayer dance for the gods of farmer's markets, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's in the hopes that they take pity on me in my time of woe.

1 comment:

  1. Kitt, I know you're not much of one for this part of the country, but Jacksonville NC is near to the area where the maternal side of my family is from (Wilmington NC) and it is a beautiful place. Local business is huge, local seafood is huge, and the Onslow County Farmers' Market plus all the roadside vegetable stands should keep you stocked in healthy eats. Everyone has gardens too! If you're feeling up to the drive the statewide farmers market once a month in Raleigh is also really fun and there are plenty of Harris Teeters an hour away in Wilmington.