By Leigh Bratina
The only thing we overlook is the runway", this is the slogan of V.J.'s on the Runway Cafe. It's true! For it can be said that the food is certainly not overlooked...it is the spotlight, as it should be in this quaint little diner. In business since 1950, it was once a honky tonk that happened to serve up food in the daylight hours. Today it is all about the food. VJ used to be located in another location close by, but the former location actually IS on a runway now.
V.J. is a local favorite of the military in the Air Force as well as business owners located in close proximity to the restaurant. But it isn't the convenience that brings them back....it's the food. Down home southern cooking, to be truthful. The menu is extensive and offers up some great dishes such as burgers, Reuben's, hand rolled tamales, and chicken or tuna sandwiches or salads. Be sure not to overlook the menu of vegetables (meat and three) that changes daily. On this day, my mother and I had just gotten through chaperoning my youngest son's class to the museum of flight. We were ready for a good meal and we got what we bargained for. My mother ordered a 4 vegetable plate ($6.50) of mashed potatoes with gravy, pinto beans, turnip greens, and fried green tomatoes. I choice something greasier, a grilled Swiss cheese with fries ($4.50). Our kind waitress brought over a plate of rolls and corn breads for us to try while we waited. All were divine, the rolls were good, homemade and "yeasty", the cornbread was not even the least bit sweet (yes!) but had a great kick of peppers in it as I chose to try the Mexican cornbread. I ended up ordering a dozen to go so I could serve them up with my chili on the menu for my families supper. As I ate my sandwich I looked around to see that all of the food looked delicious. My mother and I agreed that a future trip was in order. We were already planning our next trip back and what we would order before we had even left!
On the way out I picked up at the cash register, 2 slices of pound cake and one cinnamon roll as big as my hand. One for each child as a sweet surprise after supper (we don't do desserts in our house, so a real treat for them). I will be certain next time to try out a dessert for myself. All desserts are homemade as is most (if not all) of the food. The tea and coffee is freshly brewed. On Friday's the dessert special is strawberry shortcake ($3.50). You can bet that I will come back on a Friday to try it out. Our order total for all was $25 and change (2 drinks, 2 lunches, dozen rolls and desserts to go). Keep in mind that V.J.'s does cater. It is the perfect and easy way to take care of those holiday meals.
Phone orders 808-0582 Fax 808-0581 Hours M-F 7AM-8PM
*Leigh is a full time mother, a part time photographer and writer. Her photography and written work is featured in several professional business and local publications. She owns her own photography business, Photographic Memories. Leigh resides in the Alabama with her three children and husband "Big Daddy". You can read more of Leigh's daily adventures by visiting any of her three blogs: Tales from Bloggeritaville , Plates and Places , as well as Photographic Memories