North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

April 24, 2013

Danielle Cater: Keep life fun with good food and friends

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — Tragedy has struck all over our country this past week, from bombs and bomb threats, to explosions, to interstate wrecks. One thing is certain after this week: Life is full of uncertainty. You never know when you’ll be called out. So while we are here, let’s make the most of our journey.

One tradition we have around our household to keep life fun and interesting is going to Sneaky Pete’s every Saturday morning. If we are in town, we know that our weekend plans will always involve our Saturday morning tradition.

Although the food is amazing, it can’t even compete with the fellowship. All six of our family members have favorite items that must be cooked a specific way, which is only properly done by the staff at Sneaky Pete’s. That’s right, they are the only ones who can make my pancakes so good I eat them with my hands, because a fork makes me feel so far away from the flavored goodness. They put the proper ratio of toast to gravy portions for my husband, and the cheese toast and tater tots must be perfect for our sweet little angels.

We often will invite friends to come eat with us for breakfast and everyone leaves there laughing and full.

So what is it about a Saturday morning tradition that keeps us coming back for more? It’s the fellowship. It’s knowing that the people who work there are going to take care of you and really do care what’s happening in your life. The ones we eat with every Saturday are our friends, and yes, we’ve even made friends with all of the other regular Saturday morning patrons.

We have no problem getting the girls to wake up on Saturday mornings because they know that our fun days will always start with our favorite foods and our good friends.

You can find a lot of places like this around our towns. Anywhere with a regular breakfast, lunch or supper crowd is probably drawing these folks in over and over again because of their customer service and their genuine care for people.

There are many advantages to living in a small town, but I’m pretty sure one of my favorites is the fact that we get the chance to really know the people who surround us. I met all of the guys that work at Sneaky Pete’s about a year ago and I never would have guessed that I would think of them as really close friends in this short amount of a time, but it’s the truth. Food has always brought people together, and you know it’s a good food establishment when it keeps people coming back.

We love our breakfasts there so much, we even stopped in on our wedding day before going to get hitched. That’s right, they even gave us breakfast on the house that morning. I just considered it the wedding gift, and what a yummy one it was!

You can get this same feel in several little diners around town if you open your eyes to it. Many people couldn’t live without their lunches at Our Place, surrounded with local business owners and politicians. It’s always abuzz in there.

If you’ll branch out of your regular routine and open up a little, I guarantee you can find a spot to be a “regular” yourself. If you can’t find anywhere else, just meet us at Sneaky Pete’s for Saturday morning breakfast. It’s a bright spot in our week, and you never know when you’ll need that extra pick-me-up.

Remember, it’s not the food that sets the atmosphere, it’s the relationships with those around you — but good food sure does help.