Tuesday’s Treats #163

The Swanson

Perry, Ga.

This is a beautiful, old antebellum home renovated to a restaurant. The atmosphere and the staff are pure Southern charm! The food makes you feel as f you’ve just staled back in time to grandma’s table in the Deep South (for those who grew up there).

They bring out these tiny “biscuits” that just seem to melt in your mouth, and before you know it, you will have consumed four or five of them! We also ordered the fried green tomatoes for an appetizer…wow! Just wow! The menu is full of delicious Southern Home Cooking with dishes like Southern fried chicken, baked chicken and cornbread, chicken n’ dumplings, country fried steak, pot roast and even salmon croquettes!

I ordered just a simple veggie plate, and it was absolutely delicious with fried okra, green beans, squash casserole and creamed corn. With over 20 veggies on the menu, they have just about every veggie you can think of: lima beans, Mac and cheese, rutabagas, steamed cabbage, and even collard green soup, just to name a few! I definitely wanted a whole lot more than my stomach could’ve held! Lol.

We were so stuffed that we didn’t order dessert, but I can just imagine it is amazing! We are here about a month ago, and I’m craving it so bad, I can’t wait to go back!

Here is the website; so, you can get directions and check out the menu. Enjoy!

**my apologies for not getting pics of the meal! We were so hungry, I didn’t even think about taking the pics until we were done! 🙄🤦‍♀️😂

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Tuesday’s Treats #117

Michie Tavern (aka The Ordinary at Michie Tavern)

Location: Charlottesville, VA

This is the most intriguing restaurant I’ve been to in a long while! If you are looking for an experience, as well as, good, home-cooked, country food, you won’t want to miss this!

From the original log cabin entrance looking upon the beautiful roaring fire and hearth to the colonial dressed wait staff to the tin cups and plates on which you eat, you will immediate feel as if you have just stepped back in time. This place was incredible!

The food is incredible with choices of Southern fried chicken, hickory smoked pulled pork, and marinated baked chicken, black eyed peas, green beans, mashed potatoes, stewed tomatoes, baby beets (not really my fave), Cole slaw, biscuits and cornbread. This is all-you-can-eat; so, don’t be shy to ask for a little more. You’re gonna want to! The beverages of choice are good ol’ Southern Sweet tea, old fashion Root beer, coffee, old fashion Nehi orange soda and several others. Don’t miss dessert with homemade peach cobbler, Cookie sundaes and and root beer or orange dream floats (see pic above).

Upon entering, it will appear the seating capacity is small; however, don’t be fooled. There’s plenty of seating to the left of the buffet line, and they even have a covered patio if you prefer a little fresh air. Once you fill yourself full, don’t miss the gift shop just outside the Tavern, and the short museum tour upstairs is worth the few extra bucks. (Self guided, too. Those are my favorites. 😉) The gift shop is full of unique, colonial and Virginia-specific items. I could spend hours in there, as well as, in the General Store locates across the parking lot. It’s located in the old grist mill.

I love stuff like this, and I hope you will, too. I always feel like I walk away from an experience like this with a little deeper richness to my life, and I hope my character has deepened as well. Hope you will enjoy!

PS. Don’t be thrown off when you go to their website to find more information. I’m not sure if they are working on it, or if they simply chose the simple approach. You might feel as if you’ve clicked on the wrong link; however, I assure you, it’s the right one. Just click on the pics at the top for more pictures, and click on Dining to get to other options and the Menu. (Or just click on the links I’ve given you here! Lol!)

Tuesday’s Treats #111

Papa Jack’s Country Kitchen

Location: Flowery Branch, Ga

We’ve been to Papa Jack’s twice. The atmosphere is comfy and homey-like. They’ve just recently moved to a new location in Flowery Branch. Everything is nice and clean, free of clutter, trash and that time-layed grease to which many local restaurants fall victim.

The food on the first visit was amazing. We got veggies, salad bar, burgers and chicken fingers. Everything was delicious. They have a great salad bar, and all menu items are served fresh and cafeteria style. There are mostly tables and chairs for seating, but a few booths are available in the first room. They have great southern sweet tea, and the wait staff have a true Southern hospitality charm.

Our second visit was not as great as the first, but I’m hoping maybe it was just the time of day. Sometimes, cafeteria style restaurants can get hit with the “overheated, sitting too long” menu items. So, we’ll probably try them again, and I’ve been told by many to try their breakfast on Saturdays. They say the biscuits and the pancakes are to die for! Hmmm, I think I’m getting hungry. Maybe I’ll try them this weekend…

Here’s the website for the updated location and daily specials.

Tuesday’s Treats #92

The Swan Coach House

Location: Buckhead, Ga


Ok, so I have to be completely honest. I’m not what many would call a “girly girl.” I’ve always leaned toward the more rugged, tomboy type, or maybe just down right practical. I am much more comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt, boots and a ball cap while packing a pistol than I am dressing in frills and thrills, painting my nails and accomplishing the latest trendy shopping list.

It’s not that I have anything against all that stuff or any angst against “girly girls,” and it’s not like I can’t hang with the best of them. I’m a pretty good “adapter” when the occasion calls for it, and I have a huge variety of personality types in those who are close to me. In fact, two of my very best friends in the whole world are exactly that, girly girls, and they won’t be ashamed to say it. So, you shouldn’t fault me, or even shame me, for not being a “girly girl,” ok? It just hasn’t been my thing. Ever. In my whole life. In. My. Whole. Entire. Life. I’ve simply accepted that fact about myself and, despite being looked at as being weird sometimes, I’ve just learned to become comfortable in my own skin.

I went on that little diatribe to describe to you just how much I might not have been necessarily giddy the day I was to meet some of the most amazing women I know at this well known restaurant in Buckhead. I had never heard of it before, but the website was definitely full of “sugar and spice and everything nice,” metaphorically speaking.

So, I dressed appropriately, in a cute little black and white, trendy apparel, planned to arrive a little early, and just enjoy the people I was joining for lunch. I can say, from the moment the valet took the keys to my truck, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed.

Everything gushes with Southern Belle charm, and it is absolutely beautiful. We were escorted up the elevators and directed to Sally’s Porch, which is completely “described to a T” on their website:

Sally’s Porch is a radiant glass-enclosed front porch where sunlight filters and flows in through full-height glass windows. Furnished with four antique round tables and green curtains, this is an excellent choice for daytime soirees.

…I’m not even sure I knew what a soirée was before that day. I’m just kidding, but it was quite stunning with the sweet roses on the tables, the charming decor and the beautiful floor to ceiling windows with the warm sunbeams shining through.

The meal was tasty with their famous timbales of chicken salad, a frozen fruit salad and Swan House cheese straws, complete with a beautiful flower center. It was finished with a yummy slice of key lime pie. Everything was done to perfection and great care was taken in every presentation. A nice little gift shop is located downstairs where there is a plethora of specialties from which to choose, including a cool gallery of local art, pottery and such. After our lunch meeting, we went to tour the old Swan House Mansion and learned of its beautiful history and character, too. It was very intriguing, to say the least. (Oh, and Hunger Games fans, there’s even a sweet surprise for you inside.😉)

Treat yourself to a day of purely feminine, Southern Belle charm, this is the place to go. If you’re looking for a fun girls day lunch or dinner, this is your place. If you’re looking for a great place to make your daughter feel like a true princess on your Daddy-Daughter date, this is a wonderful choice.

…You get the picture. 😉 I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, and I think you’ll find this to be true, as I was reminded that day, it’s a beautiful thing when you can elegantly move past your own place of comfort and familiarity and join someone else in theirs to form a beautiful bridge of friendships, both old and new.

Please, be sure to check out their website for all the beauty and details.

Tuesday’s Treats #43

Loretta’s

Location: Oakwood, Ga

If you’re looking for a home cooked meal and can’t find the time to cook it yourself, this is you’re best choice! Loretta’s is the place to go for comfort food.

They have a variety of daily choices; so, if you’re a little more selective like me, you’ll want to check out their daily menus. However, I’ve yet to be disappointed in a meal. They have some of the best pot roast, green beans, creamed potatoes and biscuits around. They have everything from livers and onions to fried shrimp. The fried chicken, chicken and dumplings,  and fried okra is to die for. The sweet tea is purely Southern sweet, and they even give you a choice of biscuits or cornbread with your meal. All the desserts are homemade, and just to make your mouth water, I’ll share a few: banana pudding, chocolate silk pie, and strawberry cobbler.

They also serve breakfast with some of the best chicken biscuits you’ve ever put in your mouth! So, you can get good comfort food for one or three square meals. Your choice.

Now, just like any good Southern Country Cookin’ restaurant, especially those that serve breakfast, you better prepared to smell like it for the rest of the day, or you better bring you an extra set of clothes to change after! 😉 For either breakfast or lunch, if you want to beat the rush, you better get there sooner than later. It fills up pretty fast around there!

Oh, and one more thing, if you’ll stick to the menu “combos” of meat item(s), combined with a few sides and a choice of beverage, your cost will be as stated on the menu board. However, if your family is prone to be more like mine, with growing boys who want more than those “preset” combos, yourvnill mightvrack up fast, as all other items are charged a la cart. 😬 I would have to say it’s worth every penny! It is that good!

If you need catering, they do an excellent job for both b’fast and lunch/dinner items. That’s saying a lot for breakfast items such as eggs and gravy, because those things aren’t real great cold, or even cooled down, and with Loretta’s catering, you don’t have to worry! They take care of it all!

Check out the daily menus and location here.

Southern Heart

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I am a Southern girl, born and bred, and I am proud of it. In the South, we grew up knowing trust in God, family and country were three of the most important things to take care of in life, and when one of those got out of balance, the others were soon to follow. We were taught to respect our elders, appreciate our relatives, (even if they’re a little crazy), and good friends and food go a long way to make a good day great. Old dirt roads are best enjoyed on the back of a pick up truck, and front porches were made for rocking chairs and long late night talks. Fireflies were made to catch in mason jars and catfish were made to fry up for dinner. Sweet tea is made only when the sugar is poured before the tea gets cold, and chicken is best served fried with a side of mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits…oh, and with an apple pie for dessert.  “Yes ma’am,” “No, ma’am,” and The Pledge of Allegiance isn’t just polite, it’s expected, and being a sass mouth is just plain rude…there can be found a hickory switch or two for that one. Barefoot and swimming holes are sought for in the summertime and wintertime is simply harder to find. Thanksgiving is for pumpkin pies, turkey and dressing, and Christmas is for gatherings of family and friends to remember our Savior’s birth and sing of that glorious story. Being from the South makes up who I am, and even if I wasn’t born here, I don’t think you could drag me away. It’s in my heart, and it’s here to stay.

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If you aren’t from the South, don’t like the South, or you’ve never been here, that’s ok. You may be proud of where you’re from, too. You don’t have to love my home, and I don’t have to love yours, but I will try to respect it; that’s just the Southern way. 😉 It bothers me to no end those who ridicule the South by saying we’re less educated or less cultured, because our dialect is a little different than theirs, or because we didn’t grow up where they did. I won’t spend a lot of time here on that soapbox; however, I don’t believe it’s from whence you came that makes you smarter or more stupid than the next guy; it’s all in how you act, react and treat your fellow man that will determine your intellect or lack thereof.

I am so thankful to be from the South, and I can’t think of many other places I’d rather live. I’ve been to many other states, and I’ve yet to find an area I like more. So, if you’re from the South, “Welcome Home, Ya’ll!” and if you’re not, “Come on back to see us soon!”

Daily Prompt: South

Tuesday’s Treats #11

The Country Kitchen

Location:  Pine Mountain, Ga

This place is great, but you probably wouldn’t see it, unless, you know about it. I apologize for not having a pic of the actual dinner we are here. We were traveling back from Florida, had stopped at the beautiful overlooks and were totally consumed with the atmosphere and the sunset as our food arrived.

I’m going to include the menu; so, you can check it out. It was simply a delightful place, and we got to watch the sunset over the horizon, too. That was an incredible ending to an incredible week of chasing sunsets. 😊

They have a little country store with all kinds of goodies and specialty items.

These are the views from the overlooks, but I thought I’d include them to entice you just a little. 😉

Honestly the pics really don’t do it justice…

Ok, enough distractions. On to the menu… 

 Our party of 8 ordered chicken pot pie, veggie plates, grilled chicken salad, cheeseburger, chicken fried chicken, and chicken tenders. Everything was delicious. The fried okra on the veggie plate was a little greasy, but that happens sometimes. The mac and cheese wasn’t processed; it was homemade. They serve biscuits and corn muffins, before your meal, with homemade muscadine preserves. Oh. My. Word! Incredible. It was a great meal.

The only drawback was I do wish someone would come and wash the Windows from the outside (and in), because we couldn’t get any really great shots of the sunset as the windows were messy. Other than that, we had a wonderful time! 😊 

If you’re looking for an enjoyable dinner, with beautiful surroundings and down home country food, this is the place to go. You can find their website here.

Tuesday’s Treats #5

1907

Location: Ellijay, Ga

I’d have to give this restaurant a solid “B” rating. It’s good, and some things were great. It’s edible, but I’ve definitely had better. This restaurant is loud just off the square in Ellijay. The town is a great place to find quaint antique stores and pottery pieces. 

  
The presentation is awesome. This appetizer, the Firecracker Shrimp, was wonderful!!   

I ordered the shrimp and grits without the sauce, because it being a tomato based, more Lousiana-style sauce, I wasn’t sure I would like it. However, I poured it on top once I tasted it, because it was great! The sauce has sausage and mushrooms in it. A little different than I normally get but still rather tasty.  

My son got the fried chicken sliders with sausage gravy and grits. Again, the presentation was incredible; however, the meal was a little less than desired (just like this picture). You could tell biscuits were frozen biscuits, and the gravy was so-so. The veggies seemed a little oddly placed with the gravy.   
My husband ordered the burger, as did several in our party, and they just weren’t good. I really hate that, too, because my shrimp and grits were great. Now, they’re not the best shrimp and grits I’ve had, and I probably won’t come back here just for that, but they were enjoyable. 

So, if you’re in Ellijay, and you need something to eat while you’re downtown, and you don’t mind eating at a more “B rats” restaurant; then, you won’t be disappointed to eat at 1907. Now, if you want a great place to eat, check out my post next week… 😉

Wednesday’s Ode #19

  Shrimp and grits at Madison’s Restaurant, Highlands, NC

I just love shrimp and grits! I know, I know, this is really just a Southern thing, but I am a Southern girl; so, I guess it fits. I have to say, if you haven’t tried shrimp and grits, you must give it a try. Actually, you must give it at least two tries, because shrimp and grits can come in so many different styles, and it takes a bit to realize which style you might like. 🙂

There are two main preparations for shrimp and grits. What I will call the Louisiana-style usually has a lot of sausage, spices sauce and tomatoes added to the dish, and, what I will call the “Southern” style, has more grits and shrimp. My favorite style is a little less Louisiana-style and a little more Southern style. Both are really good, it just simply depends on your personal preference. For this post, I will be referring to more of this Southern preparation. 

If the restaurant we visit has shrimp and grits, you can just about bet that it will be part of my order that day. It is very rare that I won’t order it, unless it is a restaurant at which we often eat, we will be visiting again soon, it’s not the style I prefer, or it’s just an “off” day for me, and I plan to try them later. I love shrimp and grits that much!!

My favorite preparation is the kind in which the grits are freshly stone ground, cooked to perfection with a texture which is both creamy and gritty with just a touch of cheese. The shrimp are blackened just a bit and sautéed in a sauce of just the right amount of buttery sauce and spice. …Mmmm, this post is making me hungry! 

Now, yesterday, I had a new kind of shrimp and grits, and the grits just won me over! The menu read “pimento cheese grits,” and when the plate was set before me, I was surprised to see the grits had a fried batter around them! Oh. My. Word! They were delicious!! These grits had actually been cooked thoroughly and then “pattied” and fried to a yummy perfection! I am sorry that I didn’t take a pic of them before I devoured them! At another restaurant, several weeks ago, in Charleston, SC, I had a dish of shrimp and grits that was also scrumptious. This dish I did capture a pic, and you can see it below. The chef prepared it by sautéing the shrimp in a lobster butter sauce. Oh. Wow. It was yummy! 

So, as you can see just by the two photos I have included, as well as, these different descriptions, shrimp and grits can come in a variety of ways, but you will never know which you like best until you try it! So, be adventurous. Try a new dish, and, if at first, it isn’t so wonderful, just simply try, and try again until you have reached the plate you just can’t live without!! Lol. 😉  

Shrimp and Grits at The Oyster Room Restaurant at Foley Beach, SC (near Charleston, SC)

Wednesday’s Ode #17

  
I absolutely love Highlands, NC! At over 4,000 feet in elevation, it is the second highest town on the East Coast, and it is simply a wonderful little town. If you’ve ever visited Gatlinburg, Tn, we always say Highlands is everything Gatlinburg should be…without all the Tshirt shops and commercializations. It is simply beautiful, and if you’ve never been, I encourage you to make a trip! It is a definite favorite for me and my husband, as we spent our first and second honeymoons here, and due to the cooler temperature year-round, we come here at least 4-6 times a year, if not a good many more. 

  
It’s not a big city. It’s a quaint little mountain town with a little bit of “high society” living. They’ve got wonderful accommodations, restaurants and shops. One of my favorites is The Old Edwards Inn; the character of this place is incredible. They have a library, in which, you can actually find a book to sit and enjoy, high vaulted ceilings and even a hidden butler pantry where the staff may come to serve the guests. Their restaurant, Madison’s, has some of the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever put in my mouth…and being a Southern girl, that’s quite a bit! They have inside seating, a wine garden with outside seating, and even a rooftop terrace where you can choose to have your meal.   Now just imagine: a lovely rooftop terrace, with beautiful shutters, table settings and cushioned seating, overlooking the little town, and a gentle summer breeze blowing in the “heat” of summer with ceiling fans gently rolling. The temperature gauge rising no more than about 70-72 degrees, because you’re at such a high elevation! The waiter brings you a pleasant cheese and cracker tray for an appetizer, “just right” sweet Southern tea, mini biscuits and cornbread made fresh daily, and your meal consists of fish and chips and the best shrimp and grits you’ve ever tasted. They even serve the shrimp and grits in a mini iron crock; so, they stay warm throughout the duration of the meal. It is a fine Southern meal to remember! 😉

  
   Doesn’t that look just awesome?! …It tastes even better!!

For dessert, you’ll want to walk down the street to Kilwin’s, where you can choose homemade fudge and chocolates, or you can choose from a mass variety of Mayfield ice cream. The pralines and chocolate dipped Nutter Butters, PB cups and Oreos are some of my family’s faves; however, my personal favorite is the turtle caramel apple! They take a Granny Smith Apple, dip it in caramel, roll it in pecans and, then, drizzle it with chocolate, and they will slice it right there for you; so, you don’t have to try to bite into that monstrosity! It is divine!!  If you’d like a wonderful cup of coffee with your dessert, you can also find it there; however, I prefer a cup of Buck’s Coffee, preferably a cup of white chocolate mocha, just across the street. Outside Kilwin’s is a brick patio with lots of umbrella tables and chairs where you can enjoy your coffee and yummy desserts, and on Friday and Saturday evenings, often times, they will have a live bluegrass, country (or other Southern genre) band playing. It’s simply a delightful ending for a great day. 

These things have just got to be in heaven! 

Now, if you’d like to work off some of those delicious calories you’ve added to your waistline during your stay, they have a ton of shops for you to find any number of items, and they have a numerous amount of hikes for you to explore. You can stop by the Highland Hiker and pick up a local booklet of all the Day Hikes Of Highlands, and explore till your heart is content. You can check the local weather and head out for a delightful, cool climat-ed, adventure. 

We, personally, love Dry Falls, Glenn Falls, Sunset Rock and Whiteside Mountain. Dry Falls had recently had a remodeling of the parking lot and walkway, and it’s an incredibly easy walk to a beautiful waterfall which you can walk behind. When it has had a lot of recent waterfall, the roar can be so loud that you can barely hear each other talk while standing behind it. Glenn Falls is a little bit longer of a hiker but definitely an easy one. Many people who go to this one say they’ve always ended up at the bottom of the falls, but haven’t ever been to the top. Upon starting out, there is a sign to the falls on the left, and to another location on the right. Choose the left; then, a little bit further down the trail, there is a fork in the road where you must choose the right side path in order to get to the top of the falls. The left path takes you to the bottom. We always choose the top of the falls, because we like to put out feet in the water, but please, please be careful here! There are no boundaries once you cross over the overlook area. You can get as close to the edge as you’d like, and if you have adventurous boys like mine, your mother’s heart can very easily suffer about three heart attacks during your enjoyment of the view and the cool waters!! 

 …WAY too close, JGrizz!!

If you are visiting the area with your significant other, Sunset Rock is a must! You drive to it, and walk just a tiny path that opens up to an incredible sheer-faced rock that overlooks the town of Highlands. The view from here at sunset definitely earns its name! If you’d prefer to just drive to the many water falls, you can pick up a map, head out and literally drive under Bridal Falls and drive around to see many others. Just beware of the very curvy, and often, very narrow highway you must travel to see these. You might want to have a designated driver who doesn’t want to sightsee and drive! Haha. 

If you’d prefer a bit longer hike, Whiteside  Mountain is a great choice. We hiked here during our honeymoon week and saw our first Peregrine Falcon face to face. The little snapshot camera I had (these were the days before iPhones and digitals!) didn’t really do it justice, but he was about 3-4 feet from us and just seemed to sit there and simile for the camera. The hike is pleasant, and the views are simply breathtaking! 

If you are on the East Coast and have never been to Highlands, it is well worth the trip!! It is a beautiful town that is surrounded with breathtaking sights, and the weather, especially in the summertime, is a very welcome delight! If shopping, hiking and sightseeing is your kind of thing, this is definitely a must-see!