Quality and quantity aren't always mutually exclusive in the restaurant industry.
There is a place in Jonesboro, where bountiful fried catfish are packed into to-go lunch cartons because the french fries that come with them are already overflowing and spilling out the sides.
The atmosphere is unassuming in contrast to the quality, which pummels a person when they bite into it.
I've started to develop a pretty bad habit for Steven's Fine Foods on N. Main Street. Once or twice a week is one thing. But recently I went on a four-visit stint in one week.
The depth of my cravings at lunchtime can be measured best in the steady escalation of my desperation while eating.
My first Fine Foods experience came with some skepticism. I picked at the food slowly, subconsciously acquiring the taste that may be my ultimate downfall.
During round two for the restaurant, I could feel the anticipation in the bulge of my stomach as I placed my phone order. I ate quickly this time but so fast that I didn't savor the taste.
Cocktail sauce and dreams of the next binge fed my fancy for the catfish platter even more.
On the third time around, I was hooked like the fish I was eating.
By last Friday, the experience had degenerated into an all-out feeding frenzy. I greedily snapped open the container and plowed through the mountain of fries and golden brown catfish, indiscriminately taking bites and spreading cocktail sauce.
This was too much. It was too good.
I felt the cold sweat of an embarrassing intervention at work close in. Some were even calling me a full-fledged addict.
Trying to defer blame, I told myself Steven's Fine Foods was just too good. It wasn't my fault.
Who did they think they were pedaling this stuff? Any fool can see it as a glutton's entrapment.
But I had to take some responsibility. There was evidence of overindulgence all around me. The loose clothes I was wearing to hide an extra five pounds the Fine Foods menus, receipts, and condiments piled on my desk the grease stains on my notes all added up to serious addiction to the restaurant's catfish platter.
The decadence culminated when I was unable to decipher my grease smeared notes for a story .
I was ordered out of the newsroom, told to seek out an exercise bike, and not return until I had conquered this "horrible affliction" as Rent Boy would say.
Justin Boron is the government reporter for the News Daily. His column appears Monday. He can be reached at 770-478-5753 or firstname.lastname@example.org .