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It Takes a Village of People All Dressed Up in Costumes

No, this is not about Halloween.

It’s about one woman’s odd journey to the center of her universe, which, apparently, can be found at the King’s Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Three years ago, my husband and I, on a car trip South, decided to stay overnight in Colonial Williamsburg.  If you’ve never been there, I highly recommend you make the trip to see this restored colonial village which brings one back to a simple time via authentic buildings, costumed and knowledgeable people, and fabulous shops.  OK.  I’m just going to say it.  There’s even a Starbucks, which I am guessing might have been the first one – ever.

I did not expect to bring away more than the warm memories of history-made-live.  But it seemed that the longer I was separated from the King’s Tavern (the scene of our lunch prior to departing for our home in Maine) the more vivid the experience of that single chicken pot pie remained.

None has even come close, in comparison.  And just so you know, I do not spend my waking hours thinking about finding a better pot pie anywhere.  No, that tends to take up my nights.

Chicken pie.  Chicken pie.  CHICKEN PIE!!!!!!!

A few weeks ago, my husband and I began planning a family trip south and from the moment he mentioned “map” I knew we had to go back to Virginia.  The chicken pie was calling me and it could not, would not be ignored.  I realize I may have had a small part in  the pursuit of the perfect chicken pie, but I prefer to think of it as an unexplainable force in the universe that caused me to:

1) Call to make a reservation for a hotel room on the premises.

2) Engage in a lengthy phone call with the nice reservation lady who listened to my chicken pot pie story and told me that sadly, the restaurant was not open on the day of our arrival or departure.

3) Reroute our trip to stop at Williamsburg on the way home.

4) Call, during our time in the south, to make repeated inquiries about the restaurant hours…

5) …and find out that, in fact, said chicken pot pie was on the lunch menu but not on the dinner menu, causing me to…

6) …figure out how to work lunch in Virginia into our trip when we needed to leave Greenville, NC sometime after my grandson played his violin in church that morning, after we’d have time to go back to their house for last minute visiting and the arduous tasks of packing up the car, and then hit the road to drive to Williamsburg  and still get to Fredericksburg that evening but so what – there had to be a way – I mean, we’re talking about chicken pot pie here and…

7) …then speak with not only the reservations operator, but manager of King’s Tavern, Denise and maitre’d Shameka, and ultimately, Chef Gary himself (who will always be, to me, my Chicken KING) who was very sympathetic to our timing dilemma and thought a special arrangement could be made for us to have chicken pie at dinner and it’s also possible this very nice and talented chef was wondering if it wouldn’t just be easier to do whatever it took to keep me from calling back so many times.

I wish I had counted the number of times I pulled out my cell phone to dial and my husband said to me, “Are you kidding?  All this for chicken pot pie?”  That happened approximately every five minutes en route to Williamsburg, until the arrangements were firmly in place.  And double checked.  I’m not big on surprises when it comes to food.

We were told we could be squeezed into the dinner schedule at 7:30, but possibly earlier if we checked back.  Chef Gary would leave instructions and the aforementioned CPP for the evening chef to bake, and yes, casual clothing was fine.

It was only the wonderfully talented wandering minstrels with guitars and song, the kind and handsome waiter Marty, and the rest of the staff that were dressed for the part.  As for us, we came in off the road, weary travelers that we were, hungry and in search of ye olde drink (diet soda for me, icy martini for him) and some food to help us on to the rest of our journey.  We were met with “Oh, yes, you’re the one who called – we’ll be right with you” and “Come this way” as we were led to our candle-lit table in the tavern.   We felt like royalty, first served the relishes, then the warm bread basket, the exquisite salads, and finally…the chicken pot pie, with its light, flaky, buttery crust, full of big chunks of white chicken meat, a mild, savory sauce, and vegetables.

The way I figure it, on our next trip to New York to visit my in-laws , it’s just a little farther to get to the King’s Tavern.  I mean, if you look on the map, Virginia’s just a few inches away.

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  1. Here’s hoping you check your blog a few days after posting to see if there are any comments. You were in Virginia and didn’t call me? I’m sorry, I need to rephrase that: YOU WERE IN VIRGINIA AND DIDN’T CALL ME? That’s better. I’m going to Colonial Williamsburg next week on a field trip with my daughter’s school. Yes, that’s just how close it is. I’m glad you enjoyed a quiet dinner of delectable chicken pot pie with your husband. Don’t let it happen again.

    • Kathy Kathy

      Uh oh. And oops. But you must understand that when chicken pie is involved, my mind goes blank to everything else. But now that I know you live that close…well, let me put it this way. Do you remember that old episode of MASH when the medics sent to the U.S. to have BBQ ribs shipped to them overseas? Let me know if you’re catching on. Oh, yeah – and next time, I WILL SEE YOU. At the King’s Arms Tavern!!

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