This is the Buzzard Roost, which was the outdoor smoking section at Johnnie’s Drive In. It was really just a place where a lot of tales were told, mostly of the “tall” variety. Johnnie’s closed in 2015 after 70 years and it was a much-loved part of the town it served so well.
Tag Archives: South Georgia Restaurants
If you’ve ever driven between Cordele and Americus via Lake Blackshear you’ve probably noticed this eclectic structure, built to look like an old river boat. It was a popular restaurant/nightclub known as the Anchored Flint and is still in use today as a banquet facility at Lakeshore Marine on the Sumter County side of the lake. The “flint” in Anchored Flint refers to the Flint River, from which Lake Blackshear was created. Thanks to Lydia Cook for the identification.
Just east of the Florida state line at the St. Marys River, Moniac is a an isolated community in deepest South Georgia. What they lack in population, they make up for with this friendly store, which doubles as a restaurant. Since I’d already had lunch in Yulee, I bought some Mexican 7-Up (made with real sugar) in glass bottles. They had several brands in glass bottles.
Since 1866, five generations of the Harris family have cultivated the land they call White Oak Pastures. Today, it’s the most diversified farm in the South and the gold standard of sustainable agriculture in Georgia. Their grassfed beef and lamb and pastured poultry are sold throughout the Eastern United States. Driving around the Bluffton area, it’s obvious that White Oak Pastures is having a major economic impact on the area.
A little background from the White Oak Pastures’ website:
Will Harris is a fourth generation cattleman, who tends the same land that his great-grandfather settled in 1866. Born and raised at White Oak Pastures, Will left home to attend the University of Georgia’s School of Agriculture, where he was trained in the industrial farming methods that had taken hold after World War II. Will graduated in 1976 and returned to Bluffton where he and his father continued to raise cattle using pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics. They also fed their herd a high-carbohydrate diet of corn and soy.
These tools did a fantastic job of taking the cost out of the system, but in the mid-1990’s Will became disenchanted with the excesses of these industrialized methods. They had created a monoculture for their cattle, and, as Will says, “nature abhors a monoculture.” In 1995, Will made the audacious decision to return to the farming methods his great-grandfather had used 130 years before.
Since Will has successfully implemented these changes, he has been recognized all over the world as a leader in humane animal husbandry and environmental sustainability…His favorite place in the world to be is out in pastures, where he likes to have a big coffee at sunrise and a 750ml glass of wine at sunset.
I knew it was a good sign when I saw Purple Martins (Progne subis) scouting nesting locations at one of the “apartments” near the entrance.
The organic quesadilla I had in the restaurant was literally one of the best I’ve ever eaten. We got there a bit after the normal lunch hour, so we missed the pork chops and sweet potatoes that were on the menu for the day, but this was a great substitute.
I’m glad this is one place and way of life that is not vanishing. Drive a little out of your way and have a meal, stop by the general store in Bluffton, or, if you need to escape the daily grind, spend a night in one of their on-farm accommodations.
This is currently home to the Country Corner, a Southern meat-and-three establishment. My mother and I ate here for lunch and it was great, and maybe more importantly, the sweet tea was perfect (I like it sweet but not syrupy and theirs fit the bill). And they have really good coconut creme pie. Though it was obvious we were not locals, the employees were very welcoming. Since I do my best to patronize small local restaurants when I’m on the road, it’s nice to be made to feel at home in a new place.
I’m unsure as to the building’s original use, but it was likely a general or hardware store.