I think I have it pretty good that I have family connections in Georgia! Visiting my family over the past few years has given me the opportunity to explore the history, culture, and hearty cuisine of this Southern state.
As you know, each state and even down to the city has their own culture. Going back to ‘The Peach State’ gave me many chances to experience what Georgia had to offer. From the city of Atlanta, to the Alabama border, and to the coastal towns along the Atlantic Ocean; each region was different, and special in their own charming and tasty way.
From a delightful wine tasting inside a Braselton Chateau, to throwing back a chili dog with slaw at the famous “Varsity” in Downtown Atlanta, my “What I ate in GEORGIA – A Food Journal – Part 2”.
👩🏻💻 For more GA Food, please visit ➡ What I ate in Georgia – A Food Journal – Part 1
Vic’s on the River – Savannah
My daughter and her fiancé were meeting me in Savannah, and we decided to have a cocktail lunch at Vic’s on the River. Vic’s is a nice casual upscale restaurant, that is snuggled in-between River Street and Bay Street. It made for great mid-day cocktails, a table of Southern Cuisine, and all with a lovely view of River Street.
On the Table:
- Bloody Mary
- Savannah Peach Cocktal
- Riesling Pear Salad
- Shrimp and Grits
- Oyster po’boy
For restaurant information and reservations- Vic’s on the River
Savannah Seafood Shack – Savannah
I am a huge fan of seafood boils and seafood in general. Savannah Seafood Shack located in downtown was a great place to get flavorful seafood, at a great price. We came in during lunchtime, and I ordered the lunch portion for $9.50 and it was huge. Typically in Las Vegas, the same size will cost you around $20+ for lunchtime. I know that it has to do with locality, but I was still astounded by the amount of food for the price.
The boils are served in two bowls which was nice. One bowl for the food, and the other for the shells and trash, instead of just throwing it on the table. It was more civilized than the typical seafood boils that I have been to.
My daughter’s fiancé ordered the clams, and he said that he should have ordered the Low Country Boil instead. He joked that about getting an oyster size serving of meat from the clams. It was fine though because he finished off my daughter’s Low Country Boil, since there was so much of it.
For restaurant information – Savannah Seafood Shack
Tramichi Restaurant – St. Simons Island
I came into Tramichi with my Aunt and her friend for dinner, since this restaurant is one of my Auntie’s favorites places. I believe finding good restaurants runs in the family because Tramichi was an excellent place to dine on St. Simons.
On the table:
- Calamari Frite
- Farfalle Bolognese with Italian sausage, pork, veal, beef, tomatoes, and parmesan
For restaurant information, Tramichi Restaurant
Parma Tavern – Buford
It’s all about the buns baby! I will not lie. The reason I came to Parma Tavern was to partake in the Krispy Kreme burger. A medium rare cheeseburger with bacon, caramelized onions, bbq sauce in-between two warm Krispy Kreme donuts which are the buns, baby!
This burger was actually a very delicate thing, so I advice to eat it like a Brit and use your utensils. I could not help but notice that both the burger and Krispy Kreme donuts melted in my mouth at same time. The donuts were warm and you know how KK donuts are when eaten warm. The cheese and bacon added a bit of salty to the sweetness of the donuts and BBQ sauce.
For those who want something not so donut-burgerish, I would suggest the Potchos. It is an appetizer that can feed several tablemates. I was only able to get through 1/5 of this potato dish, but then again I had a burger, and a salad as well. The Mista salad was very delicious too. The greens were fresh and tossed with a balsamic-oil dressing which was perfect. They also have a full bar and signature cocktails.
For restaurant information, Parma Rustic Tavern
Plucked Up – Columbus
While in downtown Columbus, close to the border of Alabama, I found myself “Pucked up” one chilly morning. On the counter was ‘The Chelsea”, which was fried chicken, pimento cheese, bacon, and jalapeno jelly on a biscuit. I also ordered a side of white cheddar grits. Some of my Sothern favorites on one blue plate, and red bowl.
Now this chicken biscuit had attitude! Although Plucked Up has fantastic reviews which drew me in, I had to knock it down a star due to the “Plucked up” attitude of the staff. I gave them an average three stars because my food was very good but the rudeness did not sit well with me, which I noted fully on my Yelp review.
Bojangle’s Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits
For those living in the South, adding Bojangle’s to my list would be like adding El Pollo Loco to us West Coast folk. First of all, I love fried chicken, okay! I am a fried chicken addict, who has not eaten at KFC since 1992. I need alternatives. Several years ago while driving through the South, I found an alternative- Bojangles.
On this trip to Bojangle’s, I ordered the two piece with green beans and rice. It is as solid as fast food fried chicken as you can get, and I love it. I do. The fried Chicken was crispy and very tasty, and it has a slight kick to it. The rice is one of my favorite sides, as well as the mashed potatoes. I just ordered the green beans so I could have something green on my plate. I am an honest addict.
Paris Baguette – Duluth
Before Paris Baguette came to Las Vegas and other Western cities, I initially tried this Asian-Parisian café in Duluth, Georgia. My cousin who lives in the area mentioned it to me, and I checked it out in 2016 and in 2017. This bakery is self-service, and the concept is simple. You grab a wax paper lined tray, a pair of tongs, and pick out your sweet and savories. Coffee and other beverages are at the end of the line.
As for food, it is French style café with a hint of Asian. If you have been to Asian bakeries in larger cities, then you will understand the fusion concept and taste. Everything looks French but the taste is a little different, and some of the ingredients are American-Asian.
On my first visit, I chose a sweet pastry, and a bacon wrapped savory. My second visit, I chose two savories, and a horchata latte for my sweet. Everything was delicious, and a great way to start my mornings while visiting Duluth, Georgia. Now whenever I visit Paris Baguette in Vegas, I always pick up a lot more so I can bring it home.
For locations and cafe information – Paris Baguette Boulangerie
Château Élan Winery – Braselton
Drive into the foothills of Northern Georgia, and you will find a French-style Chateau surrounded by lush vineyards. That is where I found myself when my cousin said that we would visit a winery while I was visiting. You see, this is why I said that choosing lovely places to wine and dine runs in my family.
A beautiful day at Château Élan Winery – a tour of their facilities and wine tasting with my charming cousin! Cheers 🍷
A wine tasting is not complete with out a cheese board. Cheese is another passion of mine besides wine, so this day in Braselton was a very good day. Wine, cheese, and my beautiful cousin.
Tasting the wines from Château Élan Winery, and visiting the resort had me curious about staying at the Château in the future. They also offer an afternoon tea, which you know is a passion of mine. Plus, with the added luxurious amenities and fine cuisine, the whole package sounds like a divine three day Southern break to me.
For resort and winery information- Château Élan Winery
Minnie’s Uptown Restaurant – Columbus
BAM- This how to do it! Keep it simple. Soul food should be simple, it’s roots are simple, and made by hand. When I lived in Missouri for 10 years, I was educated about soul food from friends/ co-workers who were from the South. Everything was not complex, it was simple, and straight from the heart. Minnie’s does just that, everything was made with that homestyle- homemade feel.
I decided on the the whole fried catfish, mashed potatoes, and collard greens. It came with a legit hush puppy rolled in corn meal, and a piece of cornbread. Everything was scrumptious and homemade tasting. The catfish was fried perfectly, and I was able to pull dem bones out in one pull.
For dessert, I chose a Chocolate Fried Pie. It was so good. I should have bought one of each flavor, and brought them back to the hotel. Ah, regrets but at least I got to try one of Nellie’s Southern Fried Pies.
The Varsity – Downtown Atlanta
How could I not eat at The Varsity while in Downtown Atlanta? One of my dining thrills is to eat at historical, the oldest, the first, or an establishment that has been around for a very long time. The Varsity opened it’s doors in 1928 becoming the “World’s largest Drive-In”. This restaurant is enormous, spanning a couple of blocks in Downtown Atlanta.
I first heard of The Varsity from Keith, as his father used to eat here while being a Graduate Student at Georgia Tech. This was after we saw it featured on a food show back in the 2000’s, and of course I became intrigued. I made a note to myself that one day I would eat at The Varsity, and I did back in 2016. 🌭
On my tray was a few of The Varsity’s classics: The Chili Cheese Slaw Dog, which is a Chili dog with mustard, cheese, and slaw on a toasted bun. Plus, a side of their crispy onion rings, and their famous Frosted Orange Shake.
Since childhood, I have loved Chili Dogs. Growing up, my mother used to order them all the time from drive-thru’s in the SoCal area. The Varsity is known for their Chili Dogs, so dining here was like taking a tasty flashback to my childhood.
For restaurant information, The Varsity
The Peach Tree Café – Lawrenceville
You know there is some ‘Southern Comfort’ happening when you are offered grits with your breakfast. Growing up in Los Angeles we were not keen on to eating grits, although we heard about them. Que Flo from the TV show ‘Alice’- “Kiss my grits!”. When I moved to the Midwest in 2001, was when I learned how grits should be made and eaten. From that point on when I see them on a menu, especially while in the South, they are part of my meal at any time of the day.
While in Atlanta, I went to breakfast at the cozy Peach Tree Café in Lawrenceville with my cousin. I ordered the corned beef hash, which you can consider a Filipino thing. Also egg whites, a SoCal thing, and a side of grits which is just Southern. I guess you would consider this a fusion breakfast, and a delicious one at that.
For restaurant information- The Peach Tree Café
Just an old, sweet song – Keeps Georgia on my mindRay Charles
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property- Trixie Navarre