One of my all-time favorite barbecue restaurants is Old Clinton Bar-B-Q. We’ve visited their place in Gray a handful of times over the years (not nearly enough, but most recently last Christmas), and I fell immediately in love with their chopped pork, their stew, and their mild vinegar-pepper sauce. They simply do remarkable work here, and I was curious whether their second location, in Milledgeville, was as good.
Honestly, it tasted pretty darn close to identical to what they offer in Gray. I had my usual plate of pork, stew, and slaw and just loved it. This was completely wonderful. It’s a slightly different dining experience here than in Gray, despite some very similar decorating choices. They both have some pictures of the “Goat Man” hanging around the place, but the original location has a cafeteria setup, and this one is an order-at-the-counter place.
Old Clinton was started by Roy and Mittle Coulton in 1958. Their son Wayne, who passed away in 2010, ran it after his parents passed. I believe it remains in the family’s hands. We didn’t visit the place until 2011. Marie thinks it’s pretty good, and I think it’s just about unbeatable. It’s an absolutely terrific place to kick back for a while and enjoy an unhurried meal.
Driving north from the town center to Old Clinton, drivers will pass a very large farm on the left, with a thick wall of trees hiding the property from the road, and from any developers. This is Andalusia, the 544-acre farm where Flannery O’Connor moved in 1951, and lived until her death in ’64, at the tragically young age of 39. Andalusia is available for tours of the house – a donation of $10 is suggested – and nice, long walks around the property, and although the upper floors of the house are off-limits, guests can see her bedroom, work, and living spaces. It’s a very simple place, with a handful of young volunteers staffing the facility and answering questions.
It’s fair to say that I admire O’Connor’s work more than I embrace it. Some of her best is gleefully macabre and gruesome, black comedy in a style that cuts a little closer to home than many readers of my friendship and experience will happily tolerate. I got a little something in my eye looking over her old typewriter. Then we went outside and our son offended the territoriality of the farm’s peacock so seriously that the bird didn’t so much strut as he did show his rear end. It was a very fun little visit.
You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s a terrific resource for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!