Sugar. Darlin’. Honey. Sweetie. We were called all of those things, and other terms of endearment, by our attentive server, at The Hole in the Wall, our fourth stop in the Hidden Gem Restaurant Challenge. This downtown Blairsville landmark, which opened in 1931, is known for its down-home cooking and homemade pies. When we say down-home, we mean down home. Hearty side dish items include black-eyed peas, pinto beans, mashed potatoes, spiced apples, green beans, turnip greens, cornbread dressing and homemade biscuits.
When you walk in the front door of the historic Blairsville diner, you’ll enter the first of two dining rooms. The second one is upstairs. Check in at the cash register, because you may have to wait for a table. We waited less than 10 minutes on a Saturday at lunchtime. If you’re able to climb stairs, we encourage you to request a table upstairs. The casual, homey atmosphere isn’t the only thing that will remind you of your grandma’s kitchen, just wait until you taste the food.
Here are a few items we highly recommend:
If you’re a fan of Country Fried Steak, you don’t want to miss this one. It is absolutely delicious and so tender you can cut it with a fork. Order it with sawmill (white) gravy, which tastes like grandma’s and is obviously not from a powdered mix. It comes with your choice of two side dishes. We chose the mashed potatoes and the delicious turnip greens. The mashed potatoes are perfectly seasoned and made from real potatoes. The turnip greens were cooked perfectly and lightly seasoned with spices. If you’ve only had turnip greens that were boiled to death, using pork as a seasoning, and you didn’t like them, then we definitely encourage you to try these. They were delicious.
Since they serve homemade biscuits, we couldn’t resist giving one a try and we were so glad we did! It was fluffy, lightly browned and not doughy inside at all, like so many fluffy biscuits are. It’s a perfect complement to the sawmill gravy. You can order a biscuit on the side or sandwich style with bacon, eggs, cheese, ham, tomato, or sausage. No matter how you get it, we bet you’ll eat every bite.
For burger lovers, the Chili and Slaw Burger is a messy, decadent, satisfying choice. We like it slathered with mustard and cheese. OK, two of us like to add mayonnaise too. Yes, you’ll definitely need extra napkins. Unless you specify otherwise, burgers are served with lettuce, tomato, onions, mayonnaise, pickle and fries. It’s big enough to share, but you’ll probably want to eat it all yourself.
Top it all off with a slice of homemade apple pie. Made with local apples, cinnamon brown sugar and, we suspect, a few secret ingredients, this pie was heavenly. If they don’t have apple pie the day you go, get whatever other equally wonderful pie they’re serving that day.
For those of you who’ve committed to eating lighter in the New Year, don’t let reading about all this Southern goodness make you fret! Any of the tasty vegetables can be combined for a satisfying vegetable plate. They also have several fresh salads on the menu.
The Hole in the Wall serves breakfast all day and offers an extensive menu with something for everyone. The breakfast menu not only features the traditional country breakfast fare of eggs, hash browns, biscuits and gravy; it also offers eggs Benedict, omelettes and strawberry stuffed French toast.
Important details: No credit cards or debit cards. Cash or check only. Senior menu available. This is not the easiest place to eat if you have food allergies, but it can be done if you don’t have to be strict.
Psst! The upstairs restroom was very clean.
Located at 90 Town Square, Blairsville, GA. Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sunday, 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Before or after lunch, check out Sunflower Antiques and Interiors which is conveniently located next door. Anyone who enjoys beautiful things will appreciate the lovely assortment of upscale gifts and home furnishings. If you need a fun, reasonably-priced gift, or just something for yourself, stop by From Me 2 U boutique. They have a nice selection of clothing, shoes, books, jewelry, puzzles, lotions and so much more. It’s just a short stroll across the corner of the town square on the same side as the Hole In The Wall.
Join us next week to add a big word to your vocabulary, and see what we did after lunch. You don’t even have to drive all the way to Blairsville to do it. You can probably participate much closer to home.
Until next time, love and peaches!