Second Chances

Sunday was such a beautiful day, that He and She just had to get outside. So, they decided they would start to rake up some of the fallen pine straw and sticks and limbs that litter the yard this time of year. The fresh crisp air and the vigorous activity soon worked together to form a couple of healthy appetites. So, they decided to clean up and go out for a bite to eat.

They agreed they would try a new place located at Lake Martin, on Highway 63, called Catherine’s Market. The place is really beautiful and is part of a development by Russel Lands called Russell Crossroads.  The idea of the development is to be a town center, reminiscent of towns in the early 1920s. The concept and the location are excellent, and will no doubt be a hit with the local lake population.


When they first walked in, they were very impressed with the selections offered in the market area. It’s like a tiny Publix not far from home. Their fresh produce was beautiful, and the meat counter offered some beautiful cuts. She is not a fan of seafood, so she only surveyed that from a distance, but the desserts caught her eye right away and looked quite tempting.

To place an order from the menu, they had to approach the deli-style counter. There was a little bit of a wait before they were acknowledged by one of the many employees bustling around behind it. A lady came over to take their order, and after some confusion, a young girl came up and took over the order-taking. They were given a number and told to have a seat.

As it was late in the afternoon, they had their choice of seating areas, and chose to give the rather beautiful patio a try. They sat there for quite some time before giving in and going to the inside, as it was still just a bit too cool to enjoy sitting outside. Once they moved to the inside, it was still some time before their order arrived.

He ordered the James Beard Burger. The menu states this is an award-winning recipe by James Beard. Not being “foodies” by any means, He and She have no idea who James Beard is, but I found on the internet that there is a famous chef named James Beard, so that must be who they mean. She ordered the Old-fashioned Chicken Salad on a Croissant, as she would eat almost anything if it was on a good squishy croissant.

By the time the food arrived they were starving, but, much to her dismay, her Old-fashioned Chicken Salad arrived on Sourdough bread. Thinking there was a mistake, she told the sever she was supposed to have a croissant, who replied they were out of croissants, so they were using sourdough instead. She would have appreciated being told this at the time of ordering, so She could have asked for something else, instead. But, because She does enjoy good squishy sourdough, too, she let it go. However, she wished she hadn’t as the sourdough bread was not fresh, and the chicken salad was nothing to crow about. When She makes chicken salad, she adds quartered grapes, and toasted pecans or almonds, along with just the right seasonings to make it really special. The “old-fashioned” Chicken Salad at Catherine’s seemed to have only three ingredients. Chicken (well, that’s a start), mayo, and the occasional bit of celery. There was a side of pasta salad which was tasty, but the meal did not warrant its price tag of $8.99 plus the extra .99 because she asked for cheese.

Because She was so dissapointed with her sandwich, He insisted She try the burger. She did admit the burger was quite good, however, the french fries left a little to be desired. She has a theory that if you are not McDonalds, then you should not serve frozen shoestring french fries. Even with the somewhat better than average hamburger, the cost of this meal at $7.99 plus the additional .99 for cheese was a bit pricey, however, still a better value than the Chicken Salad.

Furthermore, he didn’t care for the tea at all, saying it must have been some special blend, not the straightforward southern iced tea he is accustomed to.

All in all, they weren’t bowled over with the cafe experience. The service was not particularly prompt, nor friendly, and the food was not equal to the atmosphere and prices. Based on their first visit, they won’t be making any recommendations of Catherine’s just yet. Maybe after another visit and a much better experience all the way around, they’ll have an improved opinion of the place.

If you would like to check out some pictures from the cafe and read about the experience of another customer, see this article from the Lake Martin Voice. He seemed to enjoy it much more.

Our He and She will most likely give Catherine’s a second chance to prove they offer quality and value along with exemplary service. After all, second chances are what The House of 9 Lives is all about. Most of us here are on our second chances, and you can bet we are making the best of it!




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