Oh, Happy Day!
After a lovely trip to the state surplus warehouse, my coworker Krystyna and I were driving back to work. As I slowed for the upcoming light, to my left I saw the happiness store, AKA Andy's Barbecue. I braked harder and turned into the parking lot. This was a moment I've been wishing for for YEARS, people.
You see, my first job was at County Seat, a clothing store, at Cloverleaf Mall (now defunct, formerly scary as hell, before that a fine establishment :) ). In the food court there was an Andy's Barbecue, and they sold something called hush piggies. Once I discovered these, I became an addict. To the point that the guys who worked there would see me walking up and say, "Hey, piggie girl! How many today?!" (Now that I think about it, I guess that's not the best nickname to have. But if you KNEW what these things tasted like, you would realize that it is the highest form of praise.) And then, a tragedy: Andy's went out of business. I mourned for weeks, and then luckily was rescued by going away to college and having other things on my mind.
Before I go on, let me tell you about these delicious delights. Hush piggies are hush puppies with barbecue inside, and they come with barbecue sauce for dipping. If you have any taste, you're probably thinking, "Mmm, that sounds pretty tasty." Yet, people, let me tell you something: THEY ARE TEN TIMES AS GOOD AS YOU THINK THEY MIGHT BE. Yes, seriously.
So while I was in college my mom lived in Sandston (near the airport) for a short while, and I discovered that this was the site of Andy's HOME STORE! Woohoo! I think I had them once during college, but since then, a complete dry spell. I have often wondered if Andy's was still in business (it's a small, family owned restaurant), and thought that I needed to go check to see if that place was still open, but in true Lydia fashion, I haven't gotten around to it.
And then TODAY! Oh heavenly Friday, with beautiful weather and time spent with my friend on the way to and from surplus shopping and ANDY'S BARBECUE and HUSH PIGGIES!
If I wasn't already happy enough just waiting for my piggies, it turned out that I got to witness a little demonstration of the goodness of humanity. A homeless Hispanic woman had been pushing her cart past as Krystyna and I went in, and she ended up coming inside and plopping herself down in the waiting area. She sat there conversing with herself for quite a while, and finally the guy who was working the cash register went over and asked if he could help her. It was quickly obvious that she didn't speak a word of English, but I could understand that she was asking him if she could have some food. About the time I was translating this for the guy, a woman came in from the tax prep place next door and whispered to him (within my earshot) that this homeless lady regularly came and parking herself in businesses, and people had to call the cops to come get her to leave. So the Andy's BBQ guy walked away, presumably to call the police. Except he didn't. He went to the back and came back out with a bag full of food, which he handed over to the woman with a smile. And then she collected her things and left. I was impressed. Sure, there's a chance that woman will now come back all the time looking for food, but maybe she won't. And what harm is done in actually helping someone out who obviously needs it instead of calling the cops on her? I just love it when people are kind to strangers. It's a renewal of my faith in my fellow man, and I think we all need that every once in a while.
So, if you are ever out by the airport in Richmond, you must go check out Andy's Barbecue, on Laburnum Ave just south of Williamsburg Road. Not only will you love the food, but they're good people, too.
And now I must go back to lovin' on my hush piggies. :)