Those British writers must find us Virginians terribly amusing. And when we’re not, they are not above making us amusing.
Take this article about Barack Obama that appeared today on the website of the British tabloid The Independent. With a dateline of Roanoke, the story caught our eye with references to “Billie Jo’s breakfast joint” where the writer interviewed colorful locals. He gets juicy quotes from Democratic strategist “Mudcat” Saunders “over a southern breakfast of grits and bacon.” Then he gets a few good lines from Roanoke lawyer Tony Anderson, who apparently just happened by.
The problem is that there is no “Billie Jo’s” in Roanoke. Anderson tells us that he did, in fact, stop to chat with Saunders at a Roanoke eatery yesterday. But it was dinner at Montano’s (above), not breakfast at “Billie Jo’s.” Montano’s, with its international cuisine and jazz music, would hardly be mistaken for a grits-and-bacon breakfast joint.
Update: Mudcat confirms that he did take the writer to a country-flavored breakfast joint: Bobbi-Jo’s Pancake House in Salem. The name was mangled, but setting was not fiction. The visit to Montano’s later in the day must have been to get the taste of grits out his mouth.
By Peter Vieth