Welcome to the first installment of our new series, Peaches on the Road. Due to the popularity of the Hidden Gem Restaurant Challenge, we want you to know we heard you, so we’ll soon change our format to include more restaurants and fun things to do.
Each year, thousands of people, from all over, flock to Florida’s Emerald Coast, and the Beaches of Bay and South Walton Counties. Some of you have been vacationing there for generations and others will be going for the first time this year. No matter which category describes you, everybody likes to hear about delicious food and where to find it, as well as cool places for shopping and entertainment while you’re there. So grab the sunscreen, buckle up and come along with Peaches on the Road! It’s going to be a great ride!
After escaping the Atlanta traffic, we got a little hungry and decided to stop at Sprayberry’s Barbecue in Newnan, Georgia. Located just off I-85 south of Atlanta, it’s a great place to stretch your legs and grab a bite to eat. This Newnan institution started in the back of Houston Sprayberry’s gas station on Highway 29 more than 90 years ago. By 1926, his barbecue sandwiches had become so popular that he stopped selling gas and opened a restaurant. Four generations of the Sprayberry family have continued the traditions that started with Houston’s barbecue sauce and his wife Mattie Lou’s Brunswick stew. After several additions to the original building, they opened a new location near I-85 so it would be convenient for travelers.
If the name sounds familiar, you may remember reading about it in the late humorist/columnist Lewis Grizzard’s column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution many years ago. It was his favorite place to eat and he called it, “merely the best barbecue joint on earth.” They even have a Lewis Grizzard Special on the menu (a barbecue sandwich, Brunswick stew, and onion rings) because it’s what he usually ordered. It’s worth the drive, not only for the food, but to take a stroll down memory lane and read some of Grizzard’s editorials which are proudly displayed on the walls at Sprayberry’s.
Here are some selections we highly recommend:
The barbecue sandwich was very lean and flavorful. You can choose pork or chicken, sliced or chopped, sandwich or plate. It’s served with a small bowl of extra sauce. So good! We prefer the chopped pork.
They really won our hearts with their church homecoming-worthy, homemade side dishes. The sweet and sour slaw is tangy and refreshing with absolutely no mayonnaise in it. Celery seed, vinegar and other spices give it a nice zip. The baked beans turn any of the barbecue dishes into a barbecue-lover’s comfort food. If you grew up thinking the best potato salad was yellow, you’ll enjoy the potato salad. It’s yellow because it’s made with yellow mustard and a small amount of mayonnaise. Chopped boiled eggs, pickle relish and onions round out the flavors. The one that invokes the most memories has to be the orange congealed salad, which is orange gelatin with fruit cocktail congealed inside. It’s served the traditional way, on a bed of lettuce, with a side of mayonnaise and saltine crackers, because after all, it is a salad. If you’re unfamiliar with this traditional southern dish and are a fan of Jell-o, give it a try. You might find it refreshing.
The mouthwatering, homemade desserts will make you wish you were a kid at grandma’s so you could lick the bowl. Offerings include Fried Apple Pie, Fried Pecan Pie (Yes, that’s a real thing), Fried Peach Pie, Boot’s Chocolate Pie and Lemon Icebox Pie. Enjoy one plain or indulge and have it a la mode.
Of course they have iced tea and they have “good ice”. Crushed, a little short of being a slushy. You know the kind we mean. If you’re not a tea drinker, try an Orange Special (mixture of Sprite, Fanta orange, splash of Fanta grape) or a Grape special, (mixture of Sprite, Fanta grape, splash of Fanta orange).
If you’re not hungry enough for a full meal, they have a nice variety of ice cream flavors and milkshakes.
Enter the parking lot carefully, because the drive-thru window is on the front of the building and cars may be heading toward you.
Sprayberry’s Barbecue, Hwy. 34 at I-85, Exit 47, Newnan, GA. Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:30 am – 9:00 pm. CLOSED SUNDAY. sprayberrysbbq.com
Join us next week for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in the jungles of Florida when we take a boat ride that would make Wild Kingdom’s Marlon Perkins pea-green with envy. It’s still as unspoiled and untamed as it was when it was used as the setting in two classic Hollywood movies.
Until next time, Love and Peaches!