Chicken fried delight: Andy’s will soon be open again

For any newcomer or youngster who are ignorant to the fact that Rockdale was once home to what could arguably be called the most famous greasy spoon/ roadhouse/diner in these United States, it’s time for you to get edumacated.

For nearly 40 years until his death, Andy Milano was the proprietor of the eponymous restaurant which he opened after a serendipitous stop here to let his beloved wife Joyce visit her relatives.

They were headed from Florida to Las Vegas in 1952—they never made it—a legend was born.

Well, my good friend Randy J. Morgan and I have decided that we are going to purchase the building out on 487 that housed Andy’s and open it up again.

We are going to try and replicate each dish to it’s fullest. There will be no peanut oil in our kitchen—only lard.

“Man I can remember it like it was just yesterday,” Randy J. said. “Us going into Andy’s and ordering large chicken fried steaks.

Andy Milano Andy Milano “And those fries! The animal heads on the wall, ketchup bottles with no tops. Man, that was some eating.”

Randy J. has some previous restaurant experience, you may remember his mom Louise had J.C.’s place for years.

We have taken a major step in carrying out that goal by hiring Andy’s right hand woman, Vivian Wilburn, aunt to our good friend Insenell Richards, who has been free lancing since Andy’s shut its doors.

Much to our delight, Vivian still has Andy’s recipes, scribbled on butcher paper in his jittery scrawl.

“It’ll definitely bring back some memories,” Vivian said. “I haven’t been on the inside of that place for years and years. Ol’ Andy would get a kick out of it, I tell ya.”

My previous restaurant experience is that I ate at Andy’s just about every day of my high school life.

After my family moved out to Praesel Addition before my junior year, my mom would get a me an order of Andy’s french fries for lunch every day.

That was all—a bag of Andy’s fries. And for those of you that remember those delightfully greasy fries (that soaked through two brown paper bags), one bag could feed several families, or one teenage boy.

As an added bonus, Andy was my next door neighbor and I can tell you that he had the two happiest dogs in the world. Why? Because they got to eat leftover barbecue every day.

Speaking of barbecue, we hope to be able to duplicate all the Andy’s delicacies such as the shaved ham sandwich (which you could feed your family on for a week) meatloaf and the fish sandwich.

And of course it could never truly be Andy’s without his world famous chicken fried steak. I’ve never seen it duplicated anywhere.

When Vivian brought it out to your table, it would be hanging off both sides of a platter plate with a circle of freshly cut tomatoes on top.

Did anybody say gravy?

(Not sure if we’ll be able to keep up the 85 cent blue plate special however.)

It may be a while before we have fossilized spider webs, dangling from deer head to deer head like tinsel, which gave Andy’s its ambience.

We’re looking at a grand opening date of May 1.

I recently visited with Andy’s cousin April and I told her—I’m not a Fool—but could not resist the opportunity to bring a little bit of Rockdale’s past, back to the future.


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2010-04-01 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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