My first memory of restaurant owner Jodie Royston doesn't involve Jodie himself. It centers on a tightly cropped photograph of the man's head, framed and hung on the wall of his six-seat diner in Albany, California.
That photo is the purest marriage of food and joy I've encountered. Jodie, a seasoned mug wrapped around a mustache and a pair of bifocals, sucks the last morsels of chicken off a leg bone, eyes clenched. I did the very same with my plate of fried chicken and eggs at Jodie's.