Yesterday David and I took a fun road trip with our friend Crystal and her adorable son. She wanted to visit the tiny middle-Georgia town of Juliette. Now, if you don't know about Juliette, you may find that you actually do recognize it from Hollywood and the silver screen. Back in the 1990's, a little movie was filmed there called Fried Green Tomatoes. If you haven't seen it, you should find a copy to watch! The movie is based on the book by Fannie Flagg, called Fried Green Tomates at the Whistle Stop Cafe. I need to watch the movie and read the book again - it's been too long!
This tiny town got a makeover for the movie, and thus the Whistle Stop Cafe was born. Located about 10 minutes off I-75, it's very easy to find if you are traveling to or from Florida or South Georgia. Turn right on McCrackin Street and the cafe will be past the stores and on your left. It's a small cafe, but you can make reservations online or if you go during the week, like we did, it's not likely to be packed. We left Crystal's house (near Cumming) around 9:30, made two fast stops along the way and still got to the Cafe about 12:10. We did have to deal with some construction delays on Hwy 400 and again on I-75.
Entering the cafe is like going back in time!! First, the front porch is rustic and so cute. Pull the old fashioned handle on the door and you're inside the cafe. Walk on time-worn, wooden floors and you'll see white-washed planks on the walls and ceiling. Old signs and pictures dot the walls, and check out the safe built into the bar next to the cash register. The ceiling fans lazily circle and the lights are not too bright. It's just perfect! There are booths along both walls, and a few tables for larger groups. There are also stools at the bar for additional seating.
The waitresses here are precious!! Never saw one of them without a big smile. They greeted us and invited us to sit anywhere. We chose a booth towards the back where we could see the railroad tracks. Not two minutes into our visit a train flew by our window!
You know we like our iced tea here in the South. I am a huge fan of unsweet tea, so that was my choice, and D & Crystal ordered sweet. Our drinks arrived in icy cold mason jars - wide mouth for unsweet, regular for sweet. The girls kept our glasses full throughout the meal, which is always a plus when you are dining out. There was no charge for refills or our to-go cups of tea, but sodas only come by the can, so if you want refills, you will pay for each. Remember you can click on the pictures to see a bigger version! You can purchase the cute t-shirts the waitresses wear at the brick depot gift shop just down the street. (forgot to take a picture!)
The menu was two-sided and simple. I ordered a basket of Fried Green Tomatoes to bring home to my husband. He loves them, and no way would I let him miss the ones from this Cafe! Crystal tried one and said they were delicious. D and I think tomatoes are disgusting, so we took her word for it!!
For lunch I ordered the Sampler - I thought we could share it. It had two massive chicken tenderloins, a pile of onion rings, a pile of sweet potato stix and several more fried green tomatoes. It also came with cups of honey mustard, ranch, a tangy horseradish sauce for the FGT, and the most amazing BBQ sauce EVER!! The chicken was seriously the best chicken I've ever eaten. Tender, moist and so flavorful. I brought home so much leftover food though - that platter is massive!
David chose a grilled cheese - it looked so good - cheese melting over the edges and some kettle-style chips, plus a pickle on the side.
Crystal ordered the pulled BBQ pork. She declared it delicious, as well as the slaw and the garlic mashed potatoes sides she chose. Her son (he's under two) shared sweet potato stix and the bun from her sandwich. Everyone was full and happy.
Then we decided to share dessert! They had some delicious sounding choices - pecan cobbler, peach cobbler, apple dumplings, and a hot fudge cake. But we chose the lemon cheese cake and it was perfect. Light, sweet, and chilled from the fridge. It was the perfect ending to our meal at the Whistle Stop Cafe.
We didn't have time to explore after lunch, since we wanted to get back to the other side of Atlanta before rush hour. We left there at 1:30, dropped Crystal off before 4, and were home before 5. However, if you'd like to explore the area, Jarrell Plantation State Historic Site is only a few minutes away and offers a museum, plus the chance to explore an 1800's cotton plantation. There are also some darling stores and such right there on McCrackin Street in Juliette. There is even an Opry House and Opry Land across the street from it. Such a cute little town and well worth the drive!
The Whistle Stop Cafe is located at 443 McCrackin Street, Juliette, GA 31046. They are open 11 am to 4 pm daily.