Chasing Cajun Flavor in the CSRA
When I think about quintessential Augusta restaurants, my mind goes to the places I grew up going to for birthday and anniversary celebrations. I was lucky to be brought up by parents who pride themselves on making meaningful connections with people in the community and continuing to support those restaurants came naturally as an adult with my own little family. My Dad had a co-worker who would give him a gift certificate to French Market Grille every year for the holidays and I looked forward to that Friday night where we’d get to put on something a little nicer after school and gawk at the historic houses lining Walton Way on our drive to Surrey Center.
From the moment you walk through the doors you’re welcomed with the spirit and hospitality of New Orleans. The walls are plastered with vintage jazz posters that bring the energy and color of the Big Easy to Augusta. Plus, there aren’t many places in town where the owner personally greets you almost every time you visit. The bar is the perfect place for drinks and dessert but my favorite place to sit is in the solarium. It’s a little secluded but gives plenty of opportunities for people-watching.
For starters, indulge in the Red Beans and Rice.
For dinner, my top picks are the Crepes Louisiana, Seafood-Stuffed Trout, Honey Pecan Chicken, or Crawfish Pasta.
For lunch, the Shrimp and Feta Salad or the Crawfish Pontchartrain are essential but you can’t go wrong with a classic Po’Boy.
You absolutely have to order a side salad with the house dressing. It’s a smooth, deliciously creamy avocado dressing like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. If they packaged it up to go, I’d buy it by the pint.
If you’re lucky enough to go on a night when the lamb is being offered on special, you can’t pass it up. Trust me, I’m extremely picky about meat and it’s fall-off-the-bone tender and infused with tons of flavor.
Last but not least, the Peanut Butter Pie is the stuff legends are made of. It’s arguably the best dessert in the CSRA. Make sure you save room for it because you’ll regret not ordering it. Even the golfers that swing by during a certain tournament each Spring know what’s up! It’s proof you don’t have to travel far for good food.
For an authentic taste of the bayou with plenty of southern hospitality to go around, visit the French Market Grille in Surrey Center.
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