I did not like my food at Lantern House.
When I walked into the big stand-alone (and apparently old) restaurant, I was greeted by George. Â He’s the owner. Â He was friendly and chatty.Â I told him that I needed to take my lunch to go. Â He recommended the “General Lee’s Chicken” over everything on the menu. Â I ordered it and was a little stung by the $10.95 bill.
From my seat at the bar I could see that there was a bedroom area in the back room. Do they live here?
The chicken was dry, stringy, chewy and all of the other bad adjectives that often describe “General _______’s” dishes.Â I gave it 6 out of 31. I even got a kind-hearted, discreet DM on twitter warning that the food may not be good.
The conversation, however, was fascinating. Â I’ve been thinking about this restaurant and its owner all day. Â George makes giants.
While I was over-paying for my chicken, he asked me what I did for a living. Suddenly we were talking about his kids. George has 3Â grown children. They are all Doctors (1 PhD, 2 M.D.). Â During my 10 minute wait, George showed me two printed articles (including thisÂ New York Times article) about his children.Â He also pointed out his sonâ€™s diploma from Carnegie Mellon University â€“ which is hanging over the bar.Â Hereâ€™s Johnnyâ€™s profile on Ted.com (Iâ€™m honestly impressed).
For my taste, there is something wrong with the way George does chicken. But heâ€™s obviously doing something right.Â His kids are kind of a big deal. Â They seem to be making positive contributions to the world in larger-than-average proportions. Â Maybe the less-than-pretty restaurant and hard-on-the palette food are simply two ingredients in a recipe thatâ€™s perfect for changing the world. Â How dramatic is that? What the heck was in that chicken?
Iâ€™m trying to think of a way to hang out around the Lantern House without having to eat the food.
Lantern House is at 7430 Brook Rd. in Richmond.