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Flavors of the Fair Can be Found Year-Round in Smithfield

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SMITHFIELD — If you crave the kind of food you can get at the State Fair, you don't have to wait for October. Just cruise through downtown Smithfield in Johnston County.

The usual fast food franchises do business on the outskirts of town. But in the heart of the business district, you'll find the flavor and spirit of the midway.

The big names in fast food are miles away from Brightleaf Boulevard. This is the land of the flying chicken leg, big boasts and low overhead.

Three of the hottest fast food joints in town have several things in common: long lines, good help and a woman's touch. They all read from the same recipe for success.

"Well the customer's number one," says restaurant owner Denise Hill. "And a lot of dedication and a lot of time and your whole heart."

"It's just good old down-to-earth home cooking and good friendly people," says Millie Hockaday, owner of Millie's Hut.

"Oh the price," says restaurant owner Sathian Lockamy. "And the food and the good service, I believe."

This is the kind of food you associate with the midway at the State Fair.

"We have good old country ham biscuits with red eye gravy, chitlins, all that good stuff," boasts Hockaday.

Prices here are lower than on the midway. Best of all, these windows are open all year long.