We Have To Keep Meeting Like This
For various reasons, we have been unable to take any extended trips of late. Funny how life gets in the way of big plans. However, don't ever underestimate the therapeutic value of the day trip. This past Saturday, as we were having our morning coffee, tea and McDonald's sausage biscuit in the bunker - even discriminating Nomads go off the reservation on occasion - we looked outside at the clear sunshine and nice, cool day and asked - What can we do on such a beautiful day here in God's country? Not long ago, Susie - an obsessive reader and crossword aficionado - read about a small, family owned, grass fed, free to run around and enjoy nature group of most happy cows which produce, according to their web site, the most delicate, delicious cheese this side of the French Alps. So, we decided to take the roughly one hour trip to the south Georgia border town, just north of Tallahassee, to check out the appropriately named Sweet Grass Dairy.
After deciding on a destination for the day, we needed to find a place to eat. That's where the Nomad and the laptop come in. I studiously checked out the web for some places to eat without any particular expectations in Thomasville. Only thirty minutes north of the capital city, Thomasville was just a small town we used to go through on our way to Atlanta. Even though Sweet Grass serves lunch, I noticed a couple of other places that sounded interesting. After reading one particular restaurant menu that featured fried green tomatoes, hush puppies and shrimp & grits, I made an executive decision - Jonah's Fish & Grits it would be! One of the truly great things created by the world wide web is the ability of small, local hotels, restaurants and even cheese shops to get the word out to a wider clientele, and, ironically, to remain local and organic in the truest sense of the word. Maybe that think globally and act locally thing is more than just a marketing slogan. Yes my fellow Nomads, its not all Chic-fil-A's and Starbucks. Creative entrepreneurilism is alive and well.
As we headed to the big/little city, I placed a call to our beautiful daughter and asked if she wanted to join us for lunch. She did not hesitate. Like the good child we raised, she never turns down quality face time with mom and dad. What is it about eating together that brings out the best in those you love?
Thomasville, We Hardly Knew You
As an architect, with an interest in urban design, I have witnessed the slow disappearance of the small southern town as a viable economic entity. Thomasville appears to be the exception to that trend. I was very much impressed with the downtown area of this small, quintessential southern town. With a varied collection of small restaurants, retail shops and other specialty stores, this town center has maintained its historic character while fostering the growth of new, locally owned businesses. It all has an accretionary, natural quality that only happens when a community embraces the real experiences of true small town commerce for locals and visitors alike.
After parking, we made a beeline for Jonah's, gave the young lady our name and decided to wait outside for our daughter. After a few minutes, we were seated in this very busy, hip eatery. A simple former retail space, complete with white walls, 12 foot high ceilings, black vinyl floors, funky chandeliers and half of a small wood fishing skiff hung unpretentiously from the ceiling, it featured an open view kitchen where all the good stuff gets created. And the menu featured a veritable smorgasbord of good stuff. I settled on the shrimp and grits, Susie ordered the fish and chips and Lauren decided on the chicken/fried green tomato sandwich. We shared a nice little slice of New York cheese cake for dessert. The two women in my life spoke well of their choices and my shrimp and grits were a 9.5. I am somewhat of a shrimp and grits expert. I have had this southern culinary creation from the low country of the Carolina's to the Texas panhandle, including some of the best ever made by my very own Sweet Magnolia, and Jonah's had the perfect combination of fresh shrimp, white cheese grits, a light sauce and roasted veggies, with a delicate hush puppy on the side. And of course, this was all accompanied by the southern nectar of the gods - sweet ice tea. Hot damn!
After bonding over the great victuals at Jonah's, we headed around the corner to Sweet Grass Dairy. Finding a vast selection of cheeses from other like minded natural farms and cheese makers as well as Sweet Grass's own, we selected an organic goat cheese from Capriole of Greenville, Indiana and a mild tomme from Sweet Grass. Both proved to be outstanding and well worth the trip and the price. After Sweet Grass, we wandered into another organic establishment, Grassroots Coffee, and picked up a bag of organic home roasted coffee, served by a long bearded twenty something right out of 1967. Not your grandfather's Thomasville anymore, this still small southern town is alive and kicking with a unique blend of old school and new ideas for Nomads of every age to enjoy.
So, next time the weather is great and you just need to get away for the day, head on over to Thomasville, Georgia for a little mealtime R&R and pick up some of the best cheese around.
From Our Little Bunker in Dixie!