Last month, we took a road trip to middle Georgia with our friends from Spatialdrift, and as we were batting around ideas, Emily suggested that we visit Andersonville National Historic Site, which was the location of the Camp Sumter military prison during the Civil War, and the present-day home of the National POW Museum. Since a friend of my family had spent the entirety of the Korean War in a military prison after his plane was shot down, I was especially interested to visit. For even amateur historians like myself, the experience is a fascinating and somber one, and I certainly recommend that our readers consider making a trip here.
We drove to Andersonville and back to Columbus in a loop, driving through the communities of Geneva and Tazewell there, and Buena Vista back. We stopped by a farm wagon on the town square of Buena Vista for Marie to buy a watermelon, and made it back to Columbus’s downtown around 4.30 for drinks – incredibly refreshing drinks after this heat – at The Cannon Brewpub. From there, we planned to meet our friends Ric and Maggi for an early dinner at Thibodeaux’s Low Country Boil and Wings, a Cajun place that recently relocated to Whittlesey on the north side of town from its original home on Second Avenue. The owner, Daniel Thibodeaux, considers himself an, ahem, “coon-ass ragin’ Cajun from Lafayette,” and he is serving some really terrific meals here.
I get slightly different answers each time I ask about the difference between Cajun and Creole cooking. Thibodeaux told us that he thinks Cajun food is all about the richness of flavor, but not necessarily spiciness. Interestingly, the shrimp creole that I ordered was certainly among the best that I’ve ever had, but also the mildest. I’m used to this dish burning my tongue, and loving it, but despite being unexpectedly mild, this was a very pleasant surprise, completely delicious and so very tasty.
Marie ordered the low country boil, which comes with shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes, and onion. For a $5 upcharge, you can add snow crab to that and give yourself quite a feast. Marie agreed that the meal was spiced and seasoned just right, and really loved the sausage, which reminds me that this place makes boudin and I completely forgot to order any! They also do chicken wings and keep things deliberately simple with styrofoam and plasticware, which suits us just fine, but this might not be the place if you’re looking for someplace frou-frou. You may have to find a Creole restaurant for that; Cajun food is meant to be simple.
The seven of us had a very good time and ate really well. We shared anecdotes about trivia – for years, Maggi and Ric have run the weekly trivia game at The Uptown Tap and have lots of stories about their silly regulars – and caught up on stories about travel and children and good food. When Daniel Thibodeaux stopped by our tables, I told him that On the Bayou in Smyrna edges this place out on proximity to our house alone. We’d love to come back here, or stay so long talking that we all got hungry again and needed to order more food, but the hour was getting late and so we needed to motor on home. Any trip that has you looking forward to the next time you come back has to be called a good trip, I’d say!
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