Saturday, June 2, 2012

We Too Often Hear About…

a “clash of cultures.” Far less attention is paid to those instances

when seemingly disparate cultures do not clash but converge to create a community. “The logo of the Oddfella's Cantina sums up the town of Floyd, VA. Drawn in the style of Grant Wood's painting American Gothic, the logos' graphic shows three men standing side by side: a farmer wearing bib overalls, holding a hoe; a Jerry Garcia
lookalike, and a businessman in a suit sporting a bowler hat. Co-existing quite happily in Floyd are the farmers that have worked the land for generations, the hippies that started to arrive in the '60's, and the businessmen that keep the Floyd economy buzzing” (Wayne Jordan at

“Oddfella's Cantina is located in the heart of downtown Floyd, by the only stop light. We offer an exciting dining experience. We are focused on running a thoughtful, earth-friendly business where the skill, dedication and spirit of our employees shine through.

Supporting local famers reduces transportation miles, provides fresher food, builds a more secure local food network, and keeps money circulating in the local economy. Our fryer oil gets turned in to fuel for a VW Jetta. We compost all of our food scraps for Denise’s organic garden, our staff recycles aluminum, plastic, glass and cardboard. We clean with nontoxic cleaning supplies, our menus are printed on recycled paper, and we use recycled paper products in the restrooms. Our 'to go' cups are made from corn starch, boxes are made from tree-free paper—sugar cane paper is cleaner to make, is recyclable, and biodegrades faster than paper made from wood pulp. Besides saving trees, this paper can also be used to replace styrofoam and other petroleum-based products. We do it because we love the earth and want to give back to her...” (

In addition to being a restaurant, Oddfella’s also serves as a music venue with regular performances by local musicians that range from Irish to Old-time to Jazz.

The furniture is of the “mix and match” variety and looks as if the tables and chairs were gleaned from yard sales and flea markets. Some of the tables have been painted with intricate patterns and others in bright colors. The bright yellow walls were, on our visit, hung with the art of Kanta Bosniak who “became interested in art, religion and metaphysics at age 5, when I began making icons, mandalas and Mock-Monets with my crayons. My work reflects a love of the arts and artifacts of various cultures….I go to that place in myself where the joyous Inner Child basks in the love of the Creator and expresses itself with abandonment and full, authentic liveliness.
Whatever I have learned or experienced in meditation, inner work and personal healing goes into the mix…The icons, altars, and wearable art are intended for the owner to enjoy. My wish for him or her is to be validated and fed daily by the visual and tactile reminder of limitless possibility” (

Many of the works hanging in Oddfella's were portraits of such famous persons as Robert Redford, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, and the venerable Willie Nelson, whose portrait includes lyrics from song “Angels Flying Too Close to the Ground.”

Oddfella's describes their cuisine as "Appalachian Latino" and this is most apparent in the list of entrees that include: Mystical Chic with lightly spiced chicken, black beans, rice, cheese, sour cream, and pico de gallo; The Rainbow (vegan) with jasmine rice, sautéed Twin Oaks (an eco-village and egalitarian intentional community focused on sustainability, co-housing and resource-sharing)
tofu and rainbow slaw drizzled with spicy peanut sauce; the Pink Floyd (vegetarian) with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, black beans, cheese, rice, sour cream, and pico de gallo; and The Farmer with ground beef, black beans, jasmine rice, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa verde, and sour cream.

I started my lunch with a cup of the Roasted Tomato Basil soup, which was chunkier than a real puree. The tomatoes had a slight smoky taste, but also had the bright and slightly acidic taste of fresh picked tomatoes. Additional flavorings included the basil, onion, garlic, red pepper flake, and parmesan cheese. This was delicious and I was lucky to get the last cup available.

I followed this with the The Sacred Shroom sandwich that contained sautéed portabella mushrooms, melted cheddar and Jack cheeses, spinach, and tomato on fresh homemade bread. All of the ingredients were delicious, but I did have one complaint. I should learn that when grilling a sandwich that contains tomatoes the heating process makes the tomatoes extrude their juices and too often the bread becomes soggy. And the soggy bread detracted from what was an otherwise delicious sandwich.

Chuck chose the daily special of battered fish and chips. Ordering fish in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains might be a risk, but Oddfella's fish comes from Indigo Farms Seafood, a highly regarded fish and seafood purveyor in the New River Valley. As a man who enjoys good fish and chips, he was in heaven. The batter was super thin and almost crackled. And underneath the batter lay perfectly sweet and flakey fish. The fries were hand-cut but not twice fried and so not as crisp as they could have been.

We passed on dessert. We had other plans. So after our 4.0 Addie lunch we wandered a couple of blocks down the street to the Floyd Country Store. The objective? Ice cream.

For me it was one of my all time favorites—a single scoop of coffee ice cream topped with hot fudge and whipped cream (“Hurry up, Chuck, and take the photo! The hot fudge is melting my ice cream.”)

Churck briefly considered the "Floydian Split," but after reviewing the selection of bottled sodas,

he decided to order an Orange Crush float. “Boy is this good.” he kept saying. No fair. I’m allergic to oranges and couldn’t even take a taste.

This ends another fun-filled day in Funky Floyd. We’ll be back tomorrow.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

No comments: