Marie and I had set aside a Saturday to take a day trip with the children somewhere for lunch. We decided against anywhere south down I-75 as she and my son had just come back from that direction the week before, so I turned to roadfood.com for a little help. I decided that as long as we’re still living in Georgia, we should try and hit each of the restaurants in the state to get featured reviews on that site. Except the one I’ve heard awful things about, which you’ll just have to figure out from its regular and consistent absence from this blog. This time out, we moseyed down to the town of Warm Springs in Meriwether County for a lunch at the Bulloch House, so you can cross that off the list of “Places Marie and Grant are not going to visit.”
I’d been to Warm Springs only once before, when I was around my son’s age and we took a school trip to the Little White House, where Franklin Roosevelt kept a home, and where he passed away. I think we had packed brown bag lunches; we certainly didn’t have a meal as good as the buffet here. It’s a classic Southern-styled selection, on this Saturday featuring three meats and a variety of veggies and a salad.
It reminded me of the better-known Blue Willow Inn up in Social Circle, although it must be said that the Blue Willow, with its much larger selection, is the better of the two. On the other hand, the Bulloch House still has much to recommend it.
Truth be told, this is exactly the right time to be enjoying big country lunches with lots of fresh vegetables. The salad bar at the Bulloch House proved to be one of the best I have had in ages, with really wonderful tomatoes, pickles and bell peppers. The fried apples were extremely good, as was a soupy serving of spicy stewed tomatoes. Chicken livers and tuna croquettes were nice additions to the meal, and while I wasn’t mad about either the pork or the fried chicken, they got better reviews from the rest of the family. Besides, with veggies this good, I can overlook personal disappointment about the meat.
I have to say that while this place is by no means outstanding, it’s nevertheless quite good and probably the best restaurant in the region, making it a sensible destination for anybody touring the area. We arrived alongside several tables of bikers who were making their way through, along with some antiquers and junkers who were planning to hit the restored downtown of Warm Springs. The place went into a steep decline after the president’s death, the closure of the old spa and swimming pool and the shutdown of the railroad, but it began crawling back to life in the late eighties. The Little White House and grounds is said to be a really attractive park and good for a nice hike, but probably not in the middle of July. We did just a bit of looking around before making our way back home, and it seems like an attractive getaway from the city, really. There’s an old hotel with a teeny little ice cream parlor in one of the front windows, and a couple of bed & breakfasts in the region, and it’s all very cute and quiet. I could totally see the attraction in making this place a fine little escape destination.
Actually, and I’m sure the good people behind the Bulloch House won’t appreciate me saying this, but no matter how good the lunch was, the best part of the trip came a few minutes before we arrived. We got off I-85 near Hogansville and took GA-100 down to the town of Greenville to get there. I had my fingers crossed that if we found a grocery store that close to the Alabama line, we might get lucky and find some Buffalo Rock. Sure as shooting, we did, at an old Piggly Wiggly store which must hold the state record for most anti-vandalism signs pasted up outside a retail establishment. We brought home two twelve-packs and some Grapico as well, and I figure that if I tell enough people that you can buy my favorite soft drink this close to Atlanta after all, then maybe they can afford a night security guard or something.