Nestled in Homewood, Meat and Three Cafeteria keeps American culinary traditions alive with home-cooked comfort food for customers either dining in or just passing through. Just as a dining-room table hosts different portions for all tastes, the menu features an array of country-style meats and vegetarian-friendly sides from which patrons can customize their own platters. Dishes such as beef tips, chicken and dumplings, and fried catfish join steaming servings of sautéed squash, fried okra, or yams, and desserts such as fresh pecan pie keep sweet teeth from storming out of their gums in envy.
In today's chatter-heavy world, delicious secrets rarely last a day, let alone more than a century. Yet according to LA Teen Festival magazine, the Anaya family behind Pinches Tacos has managed to guard its coveted mole recipe for more than 120 years. The sauce's undisclosed ingredients have transferred from bough to bough of the Anaya family tree, passing through the generations alongside methods for hand making tortillas, marinating carne asada, and blindfolding tour groups that walk through the kitchen. The authentic eats have also made the trip from Mexico to California and Alabama.
The Homewood location is owned by Ty Taylor, whom befriended the Anayas while living in Hollywood and moonlighting as an actor. Running his own Pinches location brought him back home to his native Alabama after years out West in the restaurant and entertainment industry. “I love reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in twenty years,” he told the Homewood Star last year. “Friends stop by weekly to say ‘hello’ and share a drink. It’s great to be back in a neighborhood surrounded by new and old friends.”
The Star also reports that the restaurant's name comes from the Spanish slang for cook, "pinche," which Pancho Villa would reputedly shout whenever he craved a taco meal. Today, the tacos on the Anayas’ menu would have made Pancho beg. They come cradling everything from slow-broiled and citrus-scented pork to shrimp and cactus, exploring the full possibilities of fresh ingredients and authentic Mexican combinations. Burritos, tortas, and sopes round out the list of street-food staples, carrying with them everything from Angus beef to oaxacan cheese.
When diners aren't sharing pizzas, they can instead feast on their own plate of classic veal parmigiana, shrimp pesto, baked zit, or sandwiches like the Chicken Philly, which are created with freshly baked bread that's made daily. The same goes for pasta sauces on dishes like Fettuccine Alfredo, Meat Ravioli, and eggplant parmigiana. Alfredo's Italian wedding soup—unlike Vegas wedding soup, which is traditionally served in an Elvis impersonator's boot—fills bellies with greens, savory meats, and warm, fuzzy feelings.