Whistlin' Dixie

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Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/13 01:11:56
3 Olives

Country fried steak in the Southeast is cubed steak dredged in seasoned flour and fried. Swiss steak is not Country Fried Steak. There is NO baking.


If you look at WJ's post #38, he states---
"Country fried steak, mostly found in the Meat n Three's in the South, is floured, baked and simmered in brown gravy and onions..... "
Country Fried is a misnomer---Country Fried Steak IS Baked! Just like Swiss Steak!
 
love2bake
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/13 01:15:50
wanderingjew:  That BBQ sandwich looks outrageous!!!  I so love southern food.
 
I have a question about the hash at the SC BBQ place: it looks like chili--did it taste like chili or sloppy joes, maybe, or what were the primary flavors in it?  Thanks!
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/13 01:29:23
I'd never heard of Hash & Rice before so went hunting and found this one .
Saw numerous ones for Texas Hash & Rice.
HASH WITH RICE
Printed from COOKS.COM

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. green pepper
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 c. canned tomatoes
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 3/4 c. cooked rice
Saute beef, onion and green pepper with the chili powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder until meat is no longer pink. Stir frequently to crumble meat. Add tomatoes and rice. Spoon into a greased 2 quart baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serves 6 to 8. 
  
 
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/13 07:43:56
Carolina Bob
  
Glad to have you back!
Strom Thurmond isn't enough ???
 
PNW Chef and 3 Olives
  
Nailed it on the Country Fried Steak controversy. Yes, PNW Chef, the meat is fork tender, there is a clear and obvious difference between chicken fried and country fried steak and we're only a couple of chapters away from the real thing.
 
Nancypalooza
 
They had me fooled, I never would have guessed that the mural at Cola's was new, it seemed so 1950's or 60's. The building itself appeared deserted when I tried to take a peak through the locked glass doors.
I did take some more photos of the capitol grounds but I didn't post them, so perhaps I did catch a photo of your scoundrel.
 
Foodbme
 
I always thought Swiss steak was akin to Salsbury Steak? If that's the case then Country fried steak ain't no salisbury steak.
 
The recipe that you posted for hash  is not the SC BBQ Hash I enjoyed at True BBQ
 
love2bake
 
I too love southern food and I'm glad I live far enough north where I can avoid it. If didn't I'd be in real trouble.
 
BBQ Hash does have a consistency similar to sloppy joe. it's made from "pork innards" ( I don't want to get more specific) and the sauce to me tastes like a more subdued version of the South Carolina mustard sauce, it's almost always served over rice. To me it seems like a substitution of the brunswick stew commonly found in North Carolina or Georgia or the burgoo found in Kentucky
 
I hope to continue the next chapter tomorrow evening which will be my only free time over the weekend.
post edited by wanderingjew - 2012/09/13 07:44:59
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/13 08:22:08
Count me as another fan of Community's barbecue sandwich - it looks fantastic!
kevincad
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/13 09:27:20
Foodbme

I'd never heard of Hash & Rice before so went hunting and found this one .
Saw numerous ones for Texas Hash & Rice.
HASH WITH RICE
Printed from COOKS.COM

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. green pepper
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 c. canned tomatoes
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 3/4 c. cooked rice
Saute beef, onion and green pepper with the chili powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder until meat is no longer pink. Stir frequently to crumble meat. Add tomatoes and rice. Spoon into a greased 2 quart baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serves 6 to 8. 
 
 

Hash, like Brunswick stew and bbq sauce has many different variations in the southeast, particularly South Carolina.
Heartbreaksoup
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/13 11:25:12
True that, Kevin.  I've had hash at a dozen or so places, and only once was it made with ground beef.  The hash at Midway BBQ in Union SC is my favorite, and that beef is shredded.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/13 13:23:45
WJ-
Wish you had told me about Community BBQ while I was down there, so I could have visited, too!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/13 13:25:21
Besides the usual outstanding photos and descriptions in this report, this thread has become a favorite just for having Nancypalooza back posting again!
CNW
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/13 23:08:07
In Kansas, the terms Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak are used interchangably. Minute Steaks simmered in a Tomato based gravy are called Swiss Steaks. The steaks that Wandering Jew is talking about with Onions and Mushrooms in a Brown Gravy is called a smothered steak here in Kansas. But what something is called definately has regional connotations.
 
I was taking a required class for my major a few years back on how to design public opinion surveys and polls. One of the surveys that we were shown was done by a group of students from a college in Oklahoma. They surveyed people from every county in the country and created a color coded map of the United States. It indicated what the majority of those surveyed each county called a carbonated beverage. It was interesting to see where soda, pop, soda pop, and Coke were used. It was the first time I had ever heard that Coke was used as a generic term for any flavor of carbonated beverage.
 
CNW
tcrouzer
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/14 07:00:19
And the South is one of the places where you will find "coke" used for any flavor of carbonated beverage. We also ask folks if they want a "drink" (usually a carbonated beverage) and we will not be serving you an alcoholic beverage - so be forewarned! LOL!
carlton pierre
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/14 08:20:03
Another great trip report, WJ.  I'm ready to head towards SC to get there in time for lunch!
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/14 18:13:46
Buffetbuster
 
Yeah, I was very remiss.....
 
Carlton Pierre
 
 (and anyone else I may have missed)- Thanks!
 
 
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/14 19:32:27
Thursday August 30
 
I began my first full day in Atlanta with coffee and a muffin at the San Francisco Roasting  Company in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood. I previously visited back in 2008. I loved the atmosphere, however the coffee wasn't as good as I remembered although it wasn't bad. That's ok I'll have another coffee house up my sleeve that seemed intriguing for the next day.
 
After breakfast, I decided to tour the Margaret Mitchell House.
 

 
 

 
Located in the Midtown neighborhood, this is where Ms Mitchell lived when she wrote Gone with the Wind.
This was actually an apartment building and Ms. Mitchell and her husband lived in one of the apartments.
 
 
Photos were allowed in the museum but not in the apartment itself which looked just like it did in Ms Mitchell's heyday in the 1930's.
 
 
 

 
 

I believe these were the initial rough drafts for the characters Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara.
 
One interesting tidbit about Clark Gable who played, Rhett, he agreed to play the character only under the condition that he did not have to take on a southern accent.
 

 
 

 
These were the actual typewriters used by Ms Mitchell, one of them she used for her job at the Atlanta Constitution
 
The museum was very informative although I wished they would have allowed photos in the apartment...
 
Afterwards it was time for lunch....
 

 
Matthew's Cafeteria 
 
in suburban Tucker. I was really looking forward to trying this place.
Good ol' southern style cooking doled out cafeteria style
 
 

 
I began with some warm slightly sweet corn bread.
 
I was hoping fried chicken would be on the menu, but it wasn't....Instead I went with the pork chops.
 

 
 
The pork chops quickly eased my disappointment about the fried chicken. Believe it or not, those are rutabagas on the left. They were pureed into a sweet creamy mass of heavenly delicousness. Truly the best rutabagas on the trip. And those limp porky green beans are what every southerner should be proud of...
 
But that's not all folks...
Here it comes... YES!!!
 

 
Finally I've been vindicated!
Real honest to goodness NANNER Pudding....
Now this is what nanner pudding should look and taste like...
 
If Community BBQ was my favorite meal of the trip, then that makes Matthew's Cafeteria my second...
 
Today was another day where it looked like rain. In fact it would drizzle on and off for most of the day.
In other words, it would be the perfect afternoon to spend at
 

 
 

 
 
At the Atlanta History Center in the Buckhead neighborhood. 
In fact, I will be spending most of the afternoon here.
 

 
 

 
There was a really interesting display about the 1996 summer olympics held here.
 

 
I believe this was one of the mascots..
 
There was also some Native American art on display
 

 
As well as some interesting local crafts
 

 
 
And some crafted musical instruments indigenous to the region.
 
 

 
The civil war display was immense...
 

 

 

 
 

 
 
This is supposed to be a woman in mourning...mourning perhaps her son, her husband or her father that served in the confederate army....

The end of the civil war display left me with this message.

 

 
Besides the olympic and historic display indoors, there were also some outdoor exhibits as well..
 
Specifically..
 

 
The Smith Family farm which was moved a short distance to the museum in the 1970's. The exhibit also included an open hearth kitchen and slave quarters.
 

 

 
Unfortunately photos were not allowed inside the Smith House itself...
 
After leaving the museum, I  crawled in rush hour traffic up to suburban Roswell....
 
 

 


Anticipating the worst of rush hour traffic, I arrived early, with just enough time to check out the town square and gazebo.


 


 
 
Right next to the town square I made my way to
 

 
Spiced Right Rib House
 
 

 
A very local chain with only 2 or 3 locations..
 
The inside has a nice feel to it..
 

 
 
Shortly afterwards, roadfooder Heartbreaksoup arrived, with his lovely wife Marie, and their little 16 month old tyke (unfortunately he was too young to enjoy some bbq)
 
Both Hearbreaksoup and his better half have a food blog called Marie Lets Eat. 
Both the blog itself and Hearbreaksoup were very helpful with my decision making about which BBQ Joints I would hit in the Atlanta area during my trip.
 
The menu is on display on the wall behind the counter.
 

 
I ordered the pork sandwich which comes with choice of two sides 
 


 


I chose the corn souffle and slaw, however fresh cut fries came instead. 
Our waiter was really nice and brought over the slaw  and let me keep the fries as well.

 
 
 
I also ordered a cup of some of the smokiest Brunswick stew of the trip...
 
'
 
There were several squirt bottles of bbq sauce, one was spicier than the other.
 
Besides the average slaw, everything was a winner. 
However the most curious side was the corn souffle, it reminded me of cheese grits but with the consistency of 
Virginia style spoon bread. 
The Q itself was smoke nicely with lots of shreds of "Mr.Brown" .
 
Heartbreak Soup, his wife, Marie and I spent most of our time at dinner, talking about their blog, bbq around Atlanta, and my trip and where I was heading.....
 
I wish we could have spent more time taking but I had to had up to Alpharetta to meet up with a friend I haven't seen in 8 years....
 
I took the 15 minute drive up to Five Seasons Brewing, a brewpub in Alpharetta, to meet my friend Bob. We used to work together when I lived in Pittsburgh and he moved to Atlanta about 6 or 7 years ago. He lives about 40 miles north of the city in Cumming, so Alpharetta was the obvious half way point...

We taked about old times over a couple of local brews.  I wasn't hungry, but Bob ordered an alligator appetizer, I tried some, it tasted like chewy chicken......

 
Afterwards, I headed back to my hotel for some much needed sleep after running around all day....
 
That's it for now until next week....
 
The Roadfooding will be picking up "double time" in the last remaining chapters (guess whose coming into town for Labor Day weekend?)
 
More to come...next week....
 


 
love2bake
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/14 20:17:07
Foodbme

I'd never heard of Hash & Rice before so went hunting and found this one .
Saw numerous ones for Texas Hash & Rice.
HASH WITH RICE
Printed from COOKS.COM

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. green pepper
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 c. canned tomatoes
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 3/4 c. cooked rice
Saute beef, onion and green pepper with the chili powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder until meat is no longer pink. Stir frequently to crumble meat. Add tomatoes and rice. Spoon into a greased 2 quart baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serves 6 to 8. 
 
 

Thanks foodb!  I'd never heard of hash looking like that, so wondered about it.
love2bake
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/14 20:20:24
wanderingjew

Carolina Bob
  
Glad to have you back!
Strom Thurmond isn't enough ???

PNW Chef and 3 Olives
  
Nailed it on the Country Fried Steak controversy. Yes, PNW Chef, the meat is fork tender, there is a clear and obvious difference between chicken fried and country fried steak and we're only a couple of chapters away from the real thing.

Nancypalooza
 
They had me fooled, I never would have guessed that the mural at Cola's was new, it seemed so 1950's or 60's. The building itself appeared deserted when I tried to take a peak through the locked glass doors.
I did take some more photos of the capitol grounds but I didn't post them, so perhaps I did catch a photo of your scoundrel.

Foodbme
 
I always thought Swiss steak was akin to Salsbury Steak? If that's the case then Country fried steak ain't no salisbury steak.

The recipe that you posted for hash  is not the SC BBQ Hash I enjoyed at True BBQ
 
love2bake
 
I too love southern food and I'm glad I live far enough north where I can avoid it. If didn't I'd be in real trouble.

BBQ Hash does have a consistency similar to sloppy joe. it's made from "pork innards" ( I don't want to get more specific) and the sauce to me tastes like a more subdued version of the South Carolina mustard sauce, it's almost always served over rice. To me it seems like a substitution of the brunswick stew commonly found in North Carolina or Georgia or the burgoo found in Kentucky

I hope to continue the next chapter tomorrow evening which will be my only free time over the weekend.

wandering:  You are brave!  If they'd said "pork innards" on the menu, I'd have skipped it for sure.  There's a place in my neighborhood that sells a taco of guts.  Mmmmm boy! 
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/15 09:18:48
love2bake

wandering:  You are brave!  If they'd said "pork innards" on the menu, I'd have skipped it for sure.  There's a place in my neighborhood that sells a taco of guts.  Mmmmm boy! 

 
 
love2bake
 
Thankfully, there was no menu description, but when I first learned about SC style Hash and Rice through the Sterns, that's how they described it.
3 Olives
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/15 09:31:39
Foodbme

3 Olives

Country fried steak in the Southeast is cubed steak dredged in seasoned flour and fried. Swiss steak is not Country Fried Steak. There is NO baking.


If you look at WJ's post #38, he states---
"Country fried steak, mostly found in the Meat n Three's in the South, is floured, baked and simmered in brown gravy and onions..... "
Country Fried is a misnomer---Country Fried Steak IS Baked! Just like Swiss Steak!

Again. it is fried in in a cast iron skillet in the southeast.

kevincad
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/15 13:43:43
Heartbreaksoup

True that, Kevin.  I've had hash at a dozen or so places, and only once was it made with ground beef.  The hash at Midway BBQ in Union SC is my favorite, and that beef is shredded.

 
Heartbreaksoup:
Indeed, and a lot of it is made with left over pulled pork that's very good, too!
kevincad
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/15 13:51:22
Wanderingjew, I've lived in the Atlanta area for 18 years and love it here! I did get a chuckle about crawling in Atlanta traffic, I thought "welcome to Atlanta"!! Nice report, I can't wait to see the rest. I hope you made it to Mary Mac's!
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/15 14:35:19
Alligator=chewy chicken, that's exactly right.  :)  Maybe I haven't had enough examples of gator.  They seem to be really fond of it in Atlanta.
3 Olives
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/15 17:22:40
Thanks for the report. I live here and haven't visited some of those places.
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/15 18:09:27
WJ,
Would you please describe what was in the Hash & Rice you had at True BBQ beside the Rice? (I figured that part out all by myself!))
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/15 20:40:52
(I ate there with Dale.)  It's mostly very finely chopped pork with spices.  There *can* be organ meats in barbecue hash but in most commercial places, they're serving a hash made entirely of trim from pulled pork.  There's not a huge amount of meat in hash so it has always been a 'what to do with leftovers' type deal, and it's up to the skill of the cook as to how it tastes.  I am sure the recipe above is legit, but there are as many variations as there are people making it.  True BBQ advertises that they have the best hash around, and they probably do.  The hash and the collards are my favorite two things on their menu, and they are items I typically don't eat anywhere else.
agnesrob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/16 08:44:16
Beautifully done report, as always, WJ! Your pictures always make me hungry!!
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/16 20:27:57
Prediction - the Wanderingjews of the distant future will be going to Atlanta for their now well established culture of excellent pizza
 
Atlanta is fast becoming home to some of the finest pizzerias in the country
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/16 22:01:44
The wanderingjews of the even more distant future will disdain the few legendary remaining Atlanta pizzerias, maintaining they are now only tourist traps that no local would be caught dead in.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/17 07:19:48
agnesrob and 3 Olives
 
Thanks for reading, 3 Olives, you should definitely check out the places I visited in the Charlotte area....
 
foodbme,
 
I think Nancypalooza explained it better than I ever could and she did a great job of doing so.
 
TJ
 
Funny you should mention that right before the chapter where Buffetbuster makes his appearance because he and I discussed your pizza place (but we didn't go)
 
Bruce
 
I think that will happen when the Bruce Bilmes' of the far distant future will finally conceed that just because they don't care for a place  (no matter now legendary and uniquely LOCAL),  doesnt' make it a tourist trap.
 
--
 
New Chapter tonight....
post edited by wanderingjew - 2012/09/17 07:21:20
carlton pierre
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/17 08:13:56


Beautifully done report, as always, WJ! Your pictures always make me hungry!!

Absolutely!  I'm heading to the Buford area of NE Atlanta and thinking of sneaking off to Tucker for some downhome eats.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/17 08:21:57
TJ-
I certainly remembered you raving about the pizza place in Atlanta, but truthfully, pizza is one of my least favorite foods.  That doesn't mean I wouldn't be willing to try it on a future trip.  
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/17 18:21:50
By the way, Dale, I fancy myself as Scarlett.......
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/17 18:29:29
By the way, Dale, I fancy myself as Scarlett.......
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/17 19:30:32
Friday August 31
 
Returning once again to the Virginia Highlands for some good coffee, I decided to try Aurora Coffee this time, and I believe I made the right decision to switch coffee houses although admittingly I did prefer the atmosphere at San Francisco Roasting, however I declare Aurora Coffee the best coffee  of the trip.
 
Today I'll be checking out of my hotel in Buckhead, unfortunately due to a plethora of events and goings on in Atlanta over labor day weekend all the hotels in Atlanta are all booked up, that' means I'll be moving on up the the NE suburbs- out in Duluth.
 
After checking out of my hotel, I realized that since I enjoyed my visit yesterday at Matthew's Cafeteria in Tucker, a return visit was in order...Checking out their website and discovering that fried chicken will be available was certainly a motivator.
 
I began my meal once again with some warm, slightly sweet cornbread
 


 
 


Making my way to some fried chicken, mac n cheese and limas...
 

 
The fried chicken was fine, but did not blow me away. I found  it was slightly saltier than what I'm used to, and I thought the serving size was a little stingy (just one breast) but it certainly wasn't bad.
 
Once again the veggies just shined, porky lima beans and custardy mac n cheese clearly puts Matthew's once again as my favorite of the trip...

Dessert of course was a must...

 

 
Peach Cobbler (which I'll have 3 more times during the course of the trip) and yes this was the best of the lot!
 
After lunch, I thought about dropping my car back at my old hotel and taking the short walk to "Marta" which is Atlanta's Rail System and heading to the King Memorial, however I decided against it for two reasons, I had already been there (although it has been over two decades) and I didn't want to spend all day and night in downtown Atlanta, as it was exceptionally warm and muggy.
 
Instead I decided to check out a place I never visited- Marietta Square out in the burbs..
 
Lined with really interesting shops and restaurants, the square seemed classically southern to me..
 


 

 

 
I have no idea who this guy is. Mr Marietta perhaps?
 
I did make several stops during the course of the afternoon (probably more than I should have)
 
My first stop was at Cool Beans Coffee Roasters for an exceptional cool and refreshing coffee frappe (shake) as if that wasn't enough....
I stopped at this very interesting ice cream shop called
 
Sweetreats
 

 
for this amazingly creamy cup of  raspberry cheesecake ice cream. It actually had chunks of cheese cake in it....This was truly a treat...It's a regional chain with a handful of locations in North Carolina too, but I believe this is the only location in Georgia
 
As if this wasn't enough, I found another "conventional" ice cream parlor in the square...
 

 
 
Sarah Jean's Ice Cream....

I love their sign in the window.....

 
Here's a closer look..
 


 
They even had a miniature "choo-choo" n that was making it's away around the shop..
They use local Greenwood ice  cream out of Atlanta  but it is not made on the premises.
 


 
I went with the Banana Pudding ice cream, it was ok, but was lacking that "Moo Factor"..
 
I decided to leave Marietta right before rush hour traffic got too hectic...
 
I parked at my old hotel which was a short 1/2 mile walk to  the  "Marta" stop and found myself at Five Points Station in Hotlanta after dealing with a packed subway car of college football fans who were heading to the Georgia Dome.
 
I ended up walking the underground for a bit- which to me is just another shopping mall..
 
I then got out and decided to check out the sights and sounds of downtown "Hotlanta"
 
 

 
Including this nice park....
 

 
It was also great to see folks playing a stimulating game of chess..
 

 
Peachtree center lurks in the background...
 
As I was making my way up Peachtree Street walking towards mid town, I observed all the freaks and weirdos in costume getting ready for Dragoncon weekend.
 
Finally I ended up walking to my dinner stop....
 
The legendary....
 

 
 
Mary's Mac's Tea Room
 
This is the Katz's Deli or Durgin Park of Hotlanta
 
Frequented by folks like Ted Turner and former president Jimmy Carter some folks really, really like this place (Travelin Man) and some...errrr....not so much (Buffetbuster) ,,,
 
Put me somewhere in the middle...
 
I haven't been here since 1994 so I was looking forward to checking it out again...
 


 
 
My meal began with an assorted bread basket of corn bread, cinnamon roll and other stuff...
 
 
This time when I ordered something, they actually gave me something that I was expecting...
 

 
Country Fried Steak, Tomato Pie and Brocolli Casserole...
 

 
Now this is what Country Fried Steak looks like- fork tender with a rich brown gravy, very reminiscent of what I enjoyed at Sylvan Park in Nashville earlier this year...
 

 
The brocolli casserole was fine but I've had better veggie options..
 

 
The true star of the meal was the incredibly rich and decadent tomato pie......recommended by Nancypalooza, this was almost too much of a good thing... and it's as simple as diced tomatoes, ritz crackers and cheese and mayo
Dessert was completely out of the question, not only becasue I over indulged in ice cream earlier in the day, but also because I knew what I was going to be in store for later on in the evening...
 
Afterwards I walked back up to Peachtree Street and made my way further into midtown. I stopped at Taco Mac- a chain of multi taps in the Atlanta area. I tried a local pale ale from Sweet Water Brewing...as well as a wheat beer from Boulevard in Kansas City....afterwards I walked up to 10th and Peachtree at which time I had to head back towards downtown Atlanta... for another legendary stop...
 

 
The Varsity...
 
Probably the largest drive through in the country...
 


 
This is where I'll be meeting up with Buffetbuster who flew down for Labor Day Weekend...
 
I love the neon at this place...
 

 

 
After locating Buffetbuster 
 
We approached the order line as the counter girl yelled out "What'lya Have, What'ly Have??"
 

 
After perusing the menu...
 


 
I ordered two chili slaw dogs after some of my appetite returned from all the walking I did...
 

 
The dogs were fine...I could certainly see really enjoying these after a night of binge drinking...
 


 
Buffetbuster ordered a burger, a chili slaw dog and some onion rings to share (I did like those onion rings)
 
as well as a  frosted orange. I tried a sip or two and it tasted just like a creamsicle..
 

 
and for dessert...
 

 
a fried pie-  I don't recall the flavor as I didn't try  any....
 
Now it was time for round number 2
 


 
Fat Matt's Rib Shack
 

 
 

 
Bottle of their BBQ sauce are on display in front
 

 
The atmosphere seems cool although A bit contrived...
 
I wasn't hungry at all at this point but the trooper I am- onward march...
 

 
Taking a  look at their menu board I went with a chopped pork sandwich and a side of brunswick stew...
 
Taking photos were a challenge as the restaurant was very dimly lit, so this is the first (and only occasion) where I had to resort to flash...
 

 
The chopped pork sandwich was a complete and utter disappointment. Probably one of (if not the worst) meal of the trip....It was just swimming in sauce... it had a pasty consistency and complely lacking in smoke flavor...
 

 
Unfortunately the brunswick stew didn't fare any better- it had a pureed consistency and an overwhelming flavor of bbq sauce...
 
I did try some of Buffetbuster's "rum beans" and they were well.....rummy
 
On the bright side....
 
 

 
Although they did have a  decent  blues band playing count me as someone who will not be returning to Fat Matt's in the future......
 
Afterwards we called it a night...Buffetbuster dropped me off at my car in Buckhead and I took the drive out to my new hotel "La Quinta" out in Duluth......
 
Much more to come later in the week....
 


 


post edited by wanderingjew - 2012/09/18 09:00:21
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/17 20:18:45
Since WJ has spent a lotmore time in Atlanta than I have, it came as a surprise that this was his first visit to The Varsity.  Not that it is that great of a restaurant, but it is something that every Roadfooder should experience at least once.  On most of the prior visits, I didn't get anything along the lines of the famous "What'll you have, what'll you have" call the order takers are supposed to use.  This time, most of the registers were open and just about every single one was calling out.  Having lots of options, we walked over to the smiling face of the young lady

who was calling out the loudest!
 
WJ's assessment of Fat Matt's is spot on.  It just isn't very good.  This was my second visit and I don't see any reason to go back.  I think the band's name was Spanky and the Love Handles and they were also playing when Mariton and I stopped in last Summer.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/09/17 20:20:01
BigGlenn
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/17 21:11:09
I cant see calling that "Chicken Fried" Steak....Whats fried about it? I call it "Smothered Steak" or even "Salsibury Steak" But true Southern Chicken Fried Ssteak is deep freied in oil or on a flat top with or without gravy on top after its on the plate. Just my opinion......Love your Trip Reports May have to do one with you some day...LOL
 
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/17 21:47:27
Fun to read your report and see the fun you both had.  I loved the Varsity and the Silver Skillet and the MLK site. Hope someday to go back.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/18 08:56:42
BigGlenn
 
Exactly, it's not Chicken Fried Steak,it's Country Fried Steak. Just about every meat n three around the south serves it just like this.   If I recall you're an Arkansas native, yes?  I'm guessing Chicken Fried Steak is probably more commonplace there considering that its close to Oklahoma . I don't know if I've ever had "smothered steak" but it certainly ain't Salisbury Steak...
 
Would love to head back to the left coast again. I had a great time with all of you in LA 3 1/2 years ago (still can't believe it's been that long)
 
Mr Chips
 
We never made it to Silver Skillet .  I know that Travelin Man is going is going to have severe anxiety attacks, but we actually CALLED  QUITE A FEW RESTAURANTS IN ADVANCE because we figured several would be closed over labor day weekend, and unfortunately Silver Skillet was one of them
post edited by wanderingjew - 2012/09/18 09:02:17
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/18 09:04:04
I'm still bitter that Silver Skillet was closed the entire weekend.  It is far and away my favorite Atlanta Roadfood restaurant.
icecreamchick
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/18 13:38:04
Great report, WJ, and I'm looking forward to reading more.
 
I've been to the Varsity at "prime time" -- it was after midnight and apparently it was prom night for at least one school in Atlanta the night we were there. It was a long time ago (2002 maybe), but I do remember the "What'll you have, what'll you have!"  It was quite a night with a lot of characters in the restaurant.
 
I also clearly need to do some more research on mac and cheese. Debates aside, it's one of my favorites, and quite a few of the pics in this thread have me wanting to make some. Or do some traveling to Dixie Land!
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/19 00:15:19
wanderingjew
  I know that Travelin Man is going is going to have severe anxiety attacks, but we actually CALLED  QUITE A FEW RESTAURANTS IN ADVANCE because we figured several would be closed over labor day weekend, and unfortunately Silver Skillet was one of them 

You want to call restaurants in advance, go ahead. It seems like a waste of time to me. On the other hand, the fact that you searched all over the south for good banana pudding, but chose not to order any at Mary Mac's is quite disturbing.
 
As for Fat Matt's Rib Shack, I did enjoy the place on my visit. I ordered the ribs, which (a) are in the title of the restaurant; and (b) conspicuously absent from your order. It's possible that this is the item in which they excel? Also, despite the fact that they're open late, I have generally found good barbecue to not be a late-night thing. 
 
Fat Matt's could also fall into the continued discussion of the quality of the reviews written by folks that are not on the Roadfood editorial staff.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/19 10:29:05
TTM
Actually calling in advance was Buffetbuster's idea. But you are the expert on perfect timing.
 
You're almost as bad  with your Banana Pudding @ Mary Mac's as TJ Jackson is with his Atlanta Pizza. However, you're right, I shouldn't have loaded up on ice cream and coffee frappes that afternoon. My mistake.
 
I've seen Fat Matt's on the food network and travel channel before so I'm glad I got to check out the place at least once.  Next time you're in Atlanta, you really should check out Community BBQ in Decatur or Spiced Right BBQ in Roswell, I think you would like them.
 
Unfortunately there will be one more bomb on this trip- and it's a Roadfood legend too that everyone either loves or hates. It will be the last meal of the trip on the way back to Charlotte from Atlanta.
 
icecreamchick
 
The south is probably the only part of the country where I'll indulge in Mac N Cheese.
Looking forward to seeing you and Ralph in CT next week.
 
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/19 10:34:33
wanderingjew
You're almost as bad........as TJ Jackson
*grin*
 
Glad to see my efforts still considered to be the benchmark :-)
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2012/09/19 11:53:12
kevincad
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/19 11:06:38
wanderingjew

BigGlenn
 
Exactly, it's not Chicken Fried Steak,it's Country Fried Steak. Just about every meat n three around the south serves it just like this.   If I recall you're an Arkansas native, yes?  I'm guessing Chicken Fried Steak is probably more commonplace there considering that its close to Oklahoma . I don't know if I've ever had "smothered steak" but it certainly ain't Salisbury Steak...

Would love to head back to the left coast again. I had a great time with all of you in LA 3 1/2 years ago (still can't believe it's been that long)

Mr Chips
 
We never made it to Silver Skillet .  I know that Travelin Man is going is going to have severe anxiety attacks, but we actually CALLED  QUITE A FEW RESTAURANTS IN ADVANCE because we figured several would be closed over labor day weekend, and unfortunately Silver Skillet was one of them

WJ and BB, your assessment of Fat Matt's is spot on. I go there for a few beers and blues, NOT for the que! As for Mary Mac's, the AJC (Atlanta's newspaper) gave out a recipe for the outstanding tomato pie. BUT, I've made it at home, it's very, very good, BUT again, not as good as getting at Mary Mac's! Also, the statue in Marietta's square is of noted Marietta orator Alexander Stephens Clay.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_S._Clay
 
kevincad
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/19 11:07:18
buffetbuster

I'm still bitter that Silver Skillet was closed the entire weekend.  It is far and away my favorite Atlanta Roadfood restaurant.

Yes, I love the Silver Skillet!
kevincad
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/19 11:10:35
wanderingjew

TTM
Actually calling in advance was Buffetbuster's idea. But you are the expert on perfect timing.
 
You're almost as bad  with your Banana Pudding @ Mary Mac's as TJ Jackson is with his Atlanta Pizza. However, you're right, I shouldn't have loaded up on ice cream and coffee frappes that afternoon. My mistake.

I've seen Fat Matt's on the food network and travel channel before so I'm glad I got to check out the place at least once.  Next time you're in Atlanta, you really should check out Community BBQ in Decatur or Spiced Right BBQ in Roswell, I think you would like them.

Unfortunately there will be one more bomb on this trip- and it's a Roadfood legend too that everyone either loves or hates. It will be the last meal of the trip on the way back to Charlotte from Atlanta.

icecreamchick
 
The south is probably the only part of the country where I'll indulge in Mac N Cheese.
Looking forward to seeing you and Ralph in CT next week.


The original Spiced Right is in Lilburn, east of ATL. If the Roswell location is anywhere near as good, you had a real que treat!
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/20 19:17:20
Saturday September 1
 
Considering this was Buffetbuster's first full day in Atlanta, this was going to be a straight eating day.
Since we were heading for points north and were going to do a half circle loop around the periphery of Rural Atlanta from north to sout.  I had to settle for Mc$tarbuck$ near my hotel. 
 
Our breakfast stop was
 

 
 
Longstreet Cafe
 
 
In Gainesville GA
 
The building itself was rather generic
 

 
Service was cafeteria style, at least for breakfast it was and everything was a la carte
 

 
 
There was a kid in front of us with his family who seemed very knowlegable of all the items on the menu. Apparently he's been going there practically since day 1.
 
This item at the beginning of the lne caught my attention
 

 
I believe its' called ambrosia and has apples, marshmallows, raisins and other stuff...
 

 
I couldn't turn down the cheese grits
 

 
I also ordered the tenderloin on the top left, the oddest country ham I ever had to it's right, along with some cathead biscuits and gravy. I didn't care for the country ham the way it was prepared- it was battered and fried, however the tenderloin was actually pretty good and I really enjoyed those cathead biscuits. The rest of the meal wasn't overly impressive.   
 
Our next stop certainly had much more character and the food was actually a little better too.
 

 
Ye Old Colonial Restaurant 
 
Located on small town main street in Madison GA
 

 
This place (or at least the building) has been around since the 1800's and it certainly shows. Housed in a former bank, it appears the inside is a little run down however it still wreaks of character
 
 

 

 
 

 
The specials are posted as you walk in.
 
And once again, service is cafeteria style, albeit the choices are much fewer than at the Long Street Cafe
 

 
I enjoyed the warm slightly sweet cornbread
 

 
The black eyed peas were just about perfect and I really enjoyed the sweet potato casserole. I think I enjoyed the fried chicken moreso than Buffetbuster did but I don't think it was the best of the trip.
 

 
Unfortunately we found the peach cobbler a bit too soupy (it was still warm)
 
Overall I enjoyed Ye Old Colonial Restaurant but I'm not sure if I would go out of my way to head back there.
 
 
We were trying to decide where to head for our next stop...We finally agreed on 
 

 
Jim Stalvey's Fine Foods
 
in Covington GA
 
Apparently famous for their steaks and onion rings we figured we would try both.
 

 
 
The meal begins with a bread basket. 
 
We decided we would each order a different plate and split it.
 

 
Buffetbuster got the vegetable plate after consulting with some locals who actually brought over a sample of their
portertdale sweet potatos.
 
I thought the dressing and cranberry sauce were just so so and the as were the pink lady peas, The rutabagas were really good however the star of this plate were the porterdale sweet potatos, named for the town where they originated from.  They tasted like "candy"
 
I went for the petit filet and the onion rings...
 


 
The onion rings were completely greaseless with a tempura style coating and although I'm usually overcritical that filet's tend to be on the dry side, this one was actually quite juicy...
 

 
Here's a close up of that filet...
 
Jim Stalvey's was a nice surprise. And you can't beat fraternizing with the locals for a truly unique experience.
 
We had a decent drive before hitting lunch number 3 (or early dinner # 2)
we were getting a little nervous as we were concerned about hitting traffic  as we were getting closer to the Atlanta Motor Speedway as they were having a big Nascar event later that evening. Surprisingly we did not hit any traffic.
 
Our next stop was 

 

 
 
Southern Pit Bar B Que
 
In Griffin GA
 

 
 
Decorated with Piggy Portraits
 

 
 
and happy pig figurines...
 

 
 
Its always fun to see happy piggies smiling as they head for a gruesome demise before being eaten...
 

 
 
Where there's even a choo-choo that winds its way through the restaurant.
 
 
 

 
Squirt bottles of bbq sauce on each table
 
Anyway, 
 
How was the food?
 
 

 
 
For the most party pretty good!
 
Like  the now closed Harold's BBQ, Southern Pit is one of the few places that serve cracklin' corn bread which went very well with the exceptional brunswick stew which wasn't as thick as the others I've had but it was just loaded with shredded meat and bursting with smokey flavor.
 
The pulled pork itself was well smoked and loaded with plenty of Mr Brown and Ms White. This went well with the creamy slaw. My only gripe is that the q came pre-sauced, although the vinegary-sweet sauce did go very well with the pork...
 
 

 
Here's a closeup of the crackin' corn bread
 

 
and the Brunswick Stew
 
 

 
 
Unfortunately I didn't think the pre-sauced baby backs were anything special... Although they were certainly not the worst I've had (that will happen tomorrow)
 
Now on to dessert which are home-made....

Buffetbuster ordered I believe what was called "snickers pie"
 

 
I had a bite and it tasted fine......However I think when it came to choosing dessert, I won this time!
 

 
This blackberry cobbler was clearly the best cobbler of the trip...
 
I thought Southern Pit was another winner (minus the baby backs)
 
We made our way back towards Atlanta, actually passing the Atlanta Motor Speedway without any traffic. 
 
We headed back to our respective hotels for a brief resting break (Buffetbuster rested, not me) before dinner.
 
Our last stop of the day was a burger joint in Dunwoody.
 


 
Village Burger 
 
in Dunwoody

You'll notice the closed sign, I actually took the photo after we ate. We got there late
 
You will all have to bear with me, I forgot my camera so these photos were taken on my smart phone
 
 


 
 
I got the house burger with cheddar and grilled onions. What I liked about this burger is the big beefy, juicy flavor which seemed to be lacking at those burger joints on the south left coast....
 
 


 
 
We also got some fresh cut fries to share...
 
Although I thoroughly enjoyed a fine burger, that wasn't actually the star of the meal...
 

 
This Rye Pale Ale from the Terrapin Brewery out of Athens Georgia was clearly the best beer of the trip. I would have easily ordered another if they weren't ready to close....
 
Overall it was  a very productive day. We were both tired and we were looking forward to another full day in Atlanta ...
 
More to come....next week.......Two more chapters and the "epilogue and footnotes" 

The trip report will be completed prior to the Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour.

Heartbreaksoup
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/20 19:56:28
I'm still not really sure that Village Burger counts as Roadfood, but they are pretty good.  I like the similar Moxie Burger in Mayretta a little better, though.  Other than Longstreet, we've featured each of these places on our blog and liked them all, and I'm glad you enjoyed Southern Pit!  That's a special place for my wife and me - we stopped there for the first time on our way to the coast to get hitched in '09.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/20 22:06:25
Now hold on a second here - a burger and a steak in Georgia?
 
Seriously?
 
Where's the strict regional appropriateness we have come to expect - nay, DEPEND on - from you, WJ? :-)
 
Next, you'll go off the deep end and order, oh, i don't know -- maybe a pizza in Atlanta.  CRAZY TALK! 
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/21 08:41:09
Heartbreaksoup
 
I'm curious why you think Village Burger is not Roadfood?
Like I said when when we met for dinner, you and your blog were tremendously helpful when I/we decided where to go (pre and post Buffetbuster)
 
TJ
 
Last I checked, burgers and steaks are pretty much universal. I'll admit I was hoping they would have the southern style burger offering at Village Burger and you can't discount those southern veggies at Jim Stalvey's
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/21 08:53:25
TJ-
Feel free to blame the visits to Jim Stalvey's and Village Burger on me.  Who knows, left to his own devices and without me there, maybe he would have gone for pizza afterall!
 
Since we were staying north of the city, we also considered a stop at Owen Webb's Snack Shack in Jefferson, which is written up in 500 Things to Eat for their biscuits.  But WJ called them and they have apparently changed their name and made some other changes, too.  Hey WJ, what was that?  Was it something like they only offer biscuits at lunchtime or something like that?
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/21 09:25:53
Buffetbuster
 
If I recall, Owen Webb's or whatever they changed their name too did not open until lunchtime.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/21 09:27:30
buffetbuster
left to his own devices and without me there, maybe he would have gone for pizza afterall

More crazy talk :-)
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/21 10:05:39
Heartbreaksoup

I'm still not really sure that Village Burger counts as Roadfood, but they are pretty good.  I like the similar Moxie Burger in Mayretta a little better, though.  Other than Longstreet, we've featured each of these places on our blog and liked them all, and I'm glad you enjoyed Southern Pit!  That's a special place for my wife and me - we stopped there for the first time on our way to the coast to get hitched in '09.

Heartbreaksoup---
How do we get to your blog?????
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/21 10:12:24
WJ, did Ye Olde Colonial's $3.29 chicken special include everything on your plate or did you add some ala carte items?  That's a really good price.
 
And is Longstreet Cafe owned by a blind insurance investigator?
Heartbreaksoup
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/21 13:11:45
Foodbme:
 
My blog is called Marie, Let's Eat!, and you can find it at http://marieletseat.com/ .  A handy tag, http://marieletseat.com/tag/roadfood-com/ , will let you read about all the places we have visited that are reviewed on this site.  I think we're only about four shy of a full set of Georgia places.
 
Wanderingjew:
 
I'm not sure what it is, and I'm sure that another genre definition argument will engage nobody, but Village Burger doesn't fit for me.  It's not as egregious as some of the odd things that find pages here, like that millionaires' investment club in Darien GA, or that one outpost of the 100-odd store Lee's Chicken chain in Rock Hill SC.  It's just weird to see it here, when Atlanta does have some much more interesting, and superior, burger joints that have thrived for years and have such great reputation for being destination driving for diners.  Ann's Snack Bar, the Vortex, or Grindhouse Killer Burgers would all make much more sense to me to be represented here than Village.  They do what they do all right, but they don't do it any differently than at least three restaurants that I have to drive past to get there (Bobby's, Moxie, Lucky's), and they've got no identity other than "neighborhood hangout for Dunwoody soccer / lacrosse moms."
 
What's really weird is that one of the lone remaining Old Hickory House locations is within a stone's throw of Village Burger.  Now that's roadfood.  It isn't a patch on what it once was, and it's eclipsed by, honestly, dozens of area 'cue joints, but for history, color, stories - the "diablo sandwich and a Dr. Pepper" scene in Smokey & the Bandit was filmed in one of their since-closed stores - and nostalgia, Old Hickory House fits all my roadfood requirements.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/22 10:22:54
ScreamingChicken

WJ, did Ye Olde Colonial's $3.29 chicken special include everything on your plate or did you add some ala carte items?  That's a really good price.
 
 
Unfortunately the prices are in fact alacarte. Still very reasonable though...

ScreamingChicken 

And is Longstreet Cafe owned by a blind insurance investigator?

 
And a confused one too- I lost you on that  
kevincad
Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/22 11:43:08
buffetbuster

TJ-
Feel free to blame the visits to Jim Stalvey's and Village Burger on me.  Who knows, left to his own devices and without me there, maybe he would have gone for pizza afterall!

Since we were staying north of the city, we also considered a stop at Owen Webb's Snack Shack in Jefferson, which is written up in 500 Things to Eat for their biscuits.  But WJ called them and they have apparently changed their name and made some other changes, too.  Hey WJ, what was that?  Was it something like they only offer biscuits at lunchtime or something like that?

Both were wise choices!! 
cavandre
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/22 12:02:47
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/22 15:04:44
longstreet was a private detective series where james francicus played a blind private investigator. Of the era where Buddy Ebsen played Barnarby Jones, an elderly P.I.and william conrad played Cannon, a fat P.I.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Whistlin' Dixie 2012/09/24 07:05:57
Screaming Chicken
 
I thought  you were referring to my profession as a claims adjuster  and it was something I left out in my report that was clearly obvious.. I don't think Long Street was something that I was watching on TV when I was in the first grade.
 
On an aside, I'll continue the report this evening...
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