Sunday, April 27, 2014

A visit to Juliette, Georgia

Wish I could say that this was my ride to the Whistlestop Cafe. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

I love places with literary connections. I've been to Hemingway's house in Key West and heard all the stories of carousing and six-toed cats. And I toured Mark Twain's house in Hartford, Connecticut, a stylish Victorian filled with books and stories. Closer to home, I've visited the Wren's Nest, home of Georgia's version of Twain, Joel Chandler Harris. My latest literary stop has all the charm of the others, but the advantage of crispy, crunchy fried heavenliness ~ fried green tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe in Juliette, Georgia.

Juliette, Georgia. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Juliette is the middle Georgia town that became Whistlestop, the fictional town in Fannie Flagg's essential novel of the South, "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe." When filming completed in 1991 in this sleepy former mill town, the business owners banded together and made a tourist stop out of the picturesque setting, a charming street of buildings next to the train tracks.

We visited Juliette a few weeks back and here are some of my favorite scenes:

Haven't seen these prices for awhile. Lucy Mercer/ A Cook and Her Books

Luzianne Coffee. Lucy Mercer/ A Cook and Her Books

Texaco sign. Lucy Mercer/ A Cook and Her Books

Outhouse. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Ruth and Idgy. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Whistle Stop Train Station. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

As charming as the stroll around town was, the very best part of the visit was the basket of fried green tomatoes at the WhistleStop Cafe. They call this sauce a "radish sauce," but I could detect no radish in it. It was a spicy (is there any other kind?) remoulade with a healthy kick of cayenne.

Fried green tomatoes. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

If you ever find yourself near Forsyth, Georgia, on I-75, drive about 10 miles off the interstate and take in a meal and a stroll in Juliette. Ever been to Juliette? What's your favorite town or house with a literary connection?


Terry said...

My town here in Columbus GA was home to Carson McCullers ~ author of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and The Member of the Wedding among a few of her classic novels. She attended Columbus High School where my girls graduated from and her home is a lovely little bungalow. Come visit it!!

Lucy Mercer said...

A few years ago, I saw the play of "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" ~ I would love to tour Carson McCullers' house in Columbus!