Piggie Park, Thomaston GA

Two Saturdays ago, I was about as sick of snow as it is possible to be. I’m sure I was not the only one. The winter storm that walloped Atlanta earlier this month was the biggest in eighteen years. We spent three days trapped in our house, and I didn’t get back to work at all until the Friday, and then I had to climb over a danged fence just to get to where I needed to be, because the employee parking lot was inaccessible. Long story. Anyway, if you’re a local, you have your own tale of woe and boredom and board games, and if you’re not, here’s the confirmation that Atlantans just don’t handle snow well at all.

So by Saturday, I was screaming to be outdoors somewhere without any white stuff anywhere, so I charted out a day trip down to middle Georgia, where Marie and the kids and I could stretch our legs and enjoy some sun. So naturally, then, because we’re contrary, the first place we went didn’t require us to get out of the car and actually do any leg-stretching, as it was a drive-in. I planned this day trip to hit two more of the Georgia restaurants featured at Roadfood.com, and the first of these was down in what some of the sillier locals and billboards call “T-Town,” a little place called Thomaston.

Thomaston’s a bit of a drive from Cobb County. We took I-75 through the city and exited on Tara Boulevard, just a few exits beyond the southside perimeter, and continued down US 19 for about fifty miles. With the exception of a single bookstore which I’ll mention in the next chapter and the impressive edifice of Atlanta Motor Speedway near Griffin, there’s not a heck of a lot of anything other than food on this road these days, but not a lot of traffic or backup, either. (There is, incidentally, a magnificent barbecue shack called Southern Pit which we really love, and will revisit for this blog on a visit later this year.) It was a very nice day for a drive in the country, especially after being cooped up indoors for so long, although I sort of wish it was a degree or three warmer so we could have had the windows down.

Piggie Park first opened about sixty years ago, and while they serve burgers and milkshakes, this place is, with good reason, best known for its sliced barbecue pork. This was absolutely exceptional, and the best of the three barbecue joints that we visited that afternoon. The pork was so moist, yet not at all greasy, and with a lovely smoky taste. The sauce was the traditionally dark ketchup and vinegar combo of middle Georgia.

Since we would be visiting three restaurants in a (barely) four-hour block, we broke up the orders so that we could all sample the goodies at each place without, in theory, getting completely stuffed. At Piggie Park, the four of us split a barbecue plate with fries and slaw, one sandwich with a side of fries and two bowls of Brunswick stew. Everything was extremely good, and we all loved the fries, which, unlike the pork, really were delightfully greasy and full of flavor.

I think the restaurant is definitely worth an hour and a bit’s drive; I just wish there was some more to do there. I’m not sure what else there is to do in Upson County. Maybe sometime when the weather is nicer, we can justify a trip out this way to a nice state park or something and do a little hiking. Since a trip to this drive-in won’t even give us the exercise of going from the car to the building’s front door, we’ll need to do something else.

Our next stop was a few miles back up the road, at a place we drove past on our way to Piggie Park. More about that in the next chapter…

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