According to a widely-broadcast TV commercial, there is a “fish sandwich war” going on between Arby’s and McDonald’s. Both seem to look pretty appetizing, but fall far short of being hot, crunchy and truly down-home tasting.
A great fish sandwich can be the flagship of a good soul food place as are turnip greens, hot links, BBQ and fried chicken. Luckily, residents of Caswell County can get one, and a good one, down at Evelyn’s Take Out in downtown Yanceyville.
Recently, the Caswell Messenger visited the popular little grill to learn more about the food and its owner, Evelyn Tardy, who describes herself as: “a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.”
In her spare time, the hard-working owner/cook likes listening to the radio, watching TV and going to church. Otherwise, you will usually find her busy preparing food orders and taking care of people’s appetities.
Born in Caswell County, Ms. Tardy attended Caswell County schools and worked for Dan River Mills “for a short time.”
In 1984, she went to work at the Express Mart on RT. 86 North and stayed there for 13 years. She was responsible for keeping their busy deli business stocked and ready for the all-day rush of customers.
After the mart was sold, Ms. Tardy moved her kitchen talents to the Marathon Station deli in Yanceyville. Most Southern folks know that a “full service” gas station in the South will always have grits and groceries on hand to lure in hungry drivers and passengers.
“In 2000, I decided to open up my own food place and started “Evelyn’s Take Out” in nearby Casville (15 miles east of Yanceyville). I stayed open for one year and due to no fault of my own, it didn’t work out”.
The amicable lady moved to the present in-town location of Evelyn’s at 22 Main St. in August of 2001. The immaculate short-order commercial kitchen used to be a consignment shop until Evelyn’s was christened. To get through the initial financial start-up, she worked four years at the Caswell House, an assisted-living facility west of town.
There, she worked the third shift and also kept Evelyn’s open from 10 AM to 2 PM., from Monday until Saturday. Yes, she was really putting in the time to say the least.
“Now it’s only Evelyn’s in 2021. I’ve always been in the deli business and the hours are Monday through Friday, 10 AM until 5 PM (may vary) and Saturday goes 10 AM to 3 PM. I usually get some of the younger kids’ walk-in business after the schools get out. And my takeout sandwiches and dinner business has stayed steady.”
Coincidentally, right next door to Evelyn’s is her husband’s business, Albert Tardy Roofing, that specializes in the popular Terne Tin and Painted Metal Roofing so prevalent in regional colonial homes.
Ah, but back to the fish sandwich, which was ready to go: two large whiting filets, freshly breaded with fine cornmeal and deep fried quickly in vegetable oil. Now comes the important part that the fast-food joints have no clue about.
Take two slices of plain white sandwich bread (no buns allowed), spread a little tartar and hot sauce on, put a slice of American cheese down and then add the hot, crispy whiting. That will soften the cheese and add salt and pepper. Top with some of Evelyn’s creamy cole slaw and neighbor, that’s a bona fide fish sandwich from a real Southern cook in a real Southern town. Hot, mouthwatering, and made to order!
Don’t like fish? Not a problem because Evelyn has about 30 other choices including hot wings, pork chop sandwiches, BLT’s, burgers and fried bologna sandwiches. And a convenience feature to late-risers; breakfast is served all day. Contact Evelyn’s Take Out at 336-694-4880 and the current menu can be seen online at WWW.ZMenu. Com.