Southern Agenda

Slaw of the Land

Lee McAlister won’t give you the recipe for his family’s famous poolroom slaw. “It started with my great-grandpa, and I’m the last person who knows how to make it,” says the owner of Honey’s Restaurant in downtown Fayetteville, a pool hall turned diner that celebrates its one hundredth anniversary in 2023. But he will offer some hints. “It’s a sweet mustard slaw, sweet and sour,” he says. “When the vinegar and sugar hit you, it’s magic.” Each week, McAlister makes some forty gallons to sell in local stores and to serve at the diner atop what are fittingly dubbed slawburgers. “People will say that their grandma has the recipe. They don’t,” he says. Although the joint ditched the pool tables in 2006, the Honey’s aura remains mostly the same as a century ago, and McAlister plans to keep it that way. “I’m fifty-six, but if I live to be a hundred and six, this place will still be open,” he says. “It’s like Willie Nelson’s guitar: It’s beat-up and it’s dated, but it’s still beautiful.” 931-433-1181