Tag Archives: South Georgia Soul Food
In many South Georgia towns, historic storefronts are finding new life as restaurants. Jim Howard writes: This building was built as a bank. When the bank failed the property was purchased by my mother and stepfather. Hazel & Frank Griffin. And they started the cafe. The Suwannee store was on the other end of the block. In between was the picture show, Sat. Mon & Wed nites
The structures seen above are still standing and largely unchanged in appearance, but it’s been many years since they served the purpose indicated here. The sign on the Cafe reads: Specializing in KC Steaks, Chops, Seafood, Frog Legs & Channel Catfish Dinners, while the back of the card notes the presence of a swimming pool, bowling, fishing, a mineral well 673 feet in depth and a Camellia & Azalea nursery.
Today, they’re used as a school for a nearby Christian community.
Relatively inexpensive, Boston Butt is actually from the upper front shoulder of the pig. It’s used to make barbeque, Brunswick stew, and everything in between. A gentleman at this location* was smoking them and a steady procession of customers were just driving through and picking them up. I regret that I didn’t get a chance to speak to him as the traffic was heavy and I had to wait and wait just to get a shot incorporating the sign and the great old Ford pickup. But if you’re in the area and see this sign, you might want to stop by and pay him a visit. As busy as the place was, it must be good.
* just outside town heading toward Springfield on Georgia Highway 119
Brinson’s is a well-loved institution in Jenkins County. Located south of Millen on West Old Savannah Road, you’ll know it’s open if there’s a plume of smoke pouring from the pits behind the simple cinder block building and a parking lot full of pickup trucks. Unless you have a big appetite, order the small barbeque plate. I ordered the regular and it was enough food for two people. (They also have a large plate). The sauce is a bit tangier than you’ll find further south in Georgia, but it was very good. And the Brunswick stew was served over rice, not something often seen in restaurants. Three slices of Sunbeam bread, a generous helping of potato salad, and Brinson’s sweet tea complete this classic Southern meal. Brinson’s actual address, in case you need to put it in your GPS: 3924 West Old Savannah Road, Millen, Georgia 30442. Their telephone number is (478) 982-4570.
Though they can still be found in most communities, truck farmers who sell produce door-to-door are much less common than they once were. Most grow small plots of vegetables for family use and sell the extra. This farmer from Wayne County was selling mustard greens in Ludowici and began the day with a truckload. When I photographed him, he was nearly sold out. He noted that he doesn’t use chemicals and composts with manure.