Riverside Cafe, St. Marys GA

This is Marie, contributing an article about Riverside in St. Marys. I’d taken a rare opportunity to kidnap my boy for a weekend at my folks’ while Grant and the teenager did their own thing. It worked so well we plan to do it in reverse this spring.

Anyway, my father decided to bring us to see the departure of the steam engine (since my boy is a big Thomas fan) and we intended to have lunch at one of the places near the St. Marys pier after that. We had a good time watching the boy run around the pier area and get his wiggles out afterward while we chatted, then took him for ice cream at the candy shop on the corner opposite the pier, then wandered around for a bit. The pier area is cute and very walkable, and we enjoyed our stay even though it was extremely quiet and we were almost the only people around. Actually, that was a bonus since the boy really wanted some running around time and we got a terrific parking spot.

Riverside Cafe was the first restaurant to open, and the clerk at the candy shop gave it a clear thumb’s up; apparently the store’s staff eat there a lot. We got a seat and as it filled up around us it was clear that the majority of patrons had come from the train we’d seen depart some time earlier, based on the number of boys carrying train-related props. The server, who said the place had been around for about 15 years, said it was pretty common to fill up all of a sudden like that on a weekend.

Riverside has a number of classic greasy spoon options such as patty melts and burgers, but the majority of the lunch menu is given over to Greek American options. I gather the breakfast is well regarded (again, the candy store clerk’s opinion) so perhaps if we go next time I will try the breakfast-all-day and see how that goes.

My dad got the eponymous wrap and I took the spinach pie and were both pleased with our choices. The boy got the kid’s burger, which is absolutely huge, and had no chance whatsoever of being finished even if he hadn’t had a scoop of raspberry sorbet before lunch, but he gave it a good attempt. My food was tasty, and the crust on the spinach pie had just the right amount of flakiness. It’s got to be challenging, running a business where your clientele comes as a tsunami of 50+ people in a 15-20 minute time frame. Our server was patient with my dreadful indecision and kept our drinks full even after the wave hit. It’s a pleasant place and very convenient. Not the cheapest ever, but it does serve a tourist area and so you have to expect a little lift in the prices to make up for the down season.

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