We are Thankful for Revolution Doughnuts

908 W College Ave, Decatur GA

“We are starting a doughnut revolution in the south – returning to a time when doughnuts were simple and tasty – made from scratch with real food ingredients…”

Ever since I saw Revolution Doughnuts in Decatur raising funds at Kickstarter.com, I knew I had to see what Maria Moore Riggs and her team were up to.

Maria sold doughnuts and other pastries at farmers markets, but yearned to have a storefront, and to open a brick & mortar shop. Early this year, she & her family took that huge leap of faith and rented retail space.

In no time, her savings was invested in the build-out. They were so close they could taste the doughnuts coming out of the kitchen. So she came up with a plan to raise money on Kickstarter.com, and attracted 333 backers for a total of $12,271!

Revolution Doughnuts officially opened its doors on National Doughnut Day, June 1, 2012. My tongue hung out farther and farther as I read reviews. But I seemed to be in Decatur only on Mondays. And, bless their hearts because I KNOW they need some time to rest, these folks are closed on Mondays.

Yesterday was the day. We tooled up & down College Avenue, so desperate we even asked the Grouchy Lady (my phone’s GPS guru), finally pulling into a parking spot in front of nirvana at 908 W College Ave.

We waited patiently in a line nearly out the door (3pm on Saturday), trying to decide between the bacon caramel, the peppermint white chocolate, the toasted almond, the gingerbread… we saw stars twinkling from their lush toppings we were so happy to be there

100_5996Sharing an egg nog latte, we inhaled our doughnuts – orange pistachio for the gentleman, shredded coconut for me. His was yeast; mine was cake. Absolute gooey, round perfection!

There is no wrong choice here. If you are in or near Avondale Estates or Decatur and have not been to Revolution Doughnuts, you haven’t got an excuse. People come from North Georgia and Middle Georgia just to see if the place lives up to the hype. Walk or ride your bicycle to the shop immediately. It’s everything you’ve heard and more!

They call the group of stores next to the Thankful Baptist Church the Homer Simpson Plaza because they sell pizza, beer and doughnuts. And you can get your hair done, too.

Revolution Doughnuts

908 W. College Ave

Decatur Georgia 30030

678/927-9920

http://www.RevolutionDoughnuts.com

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Rhinehart’s is Beyond Casual

Two Rhinehart’s Oyster Bars are in Augusta, but whichever one is closest is the best choice. One is in Evans, and one is close to downtown. Both serve fresh, well-prepared seafood, pub food, and sandwiches.

Nobody would wonder if they were owned by the same people. They  look like beach restaurants attacked by graffiti artists. “People won’t get nervous if your restaurant looks like a broken down beach shack” is one of their sayings. Nope, we couldn’t find any!

“Beyond Casual” is their theme. Great food is what you get!

This isn’t exactly what I had, but spicy shrimp like the ones in this picture were a part of our $21.21 Friday Date Night Special. For that price, we got two meals. Mine was spicy boiled shrimp and Bill Ronay’s was medium chicken wings. Paired with awesome french fries, home baked bread, chunky cole slaw, and washed down with Yuenglings, our meals couldn’t have been better on any beach, anywhere.

The Yuenglings were part of the $2.10 Friday beer special. Coors Light is the other choice. They have specials every day. And if you are a Facebook friend who gets their emails, there are a host of extremely well priced late evening specials.

I have no clue where they source their shrimp, but they are big, juicy, flavorful and THE BEST I’ve had in I can’t remember when. I saw a bunch of fried shrimp meals around me. So if peel and eat doesn’t suit you, the fried shrimp is probably a good alternative. Or oysters… raw or fried.

“Ice cold beer make the world a friendlier place” is some more of their homegrown wisdom. Sure enough, you’ll find yourself in conversation with folks over at the next picnic table. People come from all over to chow down at Rhinehart’s.

Catfish, crab legs, fish sandwiches, and an array of beef choices are all good.

Anytime you are hungry in Augusta Georgia, fill up at Rhinehart’s. You’ll be plotting a return trip. Guaranteed.

Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar

3051 Washington Rd

706/860-2337

Augusta Georgia

303 N Belair Rd

706/868-6850

Evans Georgia

Buy Georgia Made, Serve Georgia Grown!

GMGG icons

Georgia Made Georgia Grown Category Icons

Georgia Made Georgia Grown LLC is getting it together and on the verge of rolling out its programming. Within the next couple weeks, our beautiful new website will be functional, and we’ll have the information available for both potential members AND buyers of Georgia Made Georgia Grown products.

In the meantime, get more familiar with our Twitter and Facebook presences. Bookmark them, and check back every time you get on your social media sites.

These buttons are our category icons. You’ve probably already seen them down our Facebook  and Twitter pages down the left column.

The big red georgia home button is the easiest to recognize. And our eight channels – Communities, Festivals, Food & Wine, Family Farms, Arts, Shops & Galleries, Hospitality and Entertainment – are the creative businesses’ homebases. You can click on any of them on Facebook, and hop to those specific topics. Be sure to “Like” them and copy them to your profile and pages as “Favorites”.

On Twitter, to follow the categories, simply go to each of the URLs, and click to “follow” them:

Home: http://twitter.com/GAMadeGAGrown

Communities: http://twitter.com/thriveGMGG

Festivals: http://twitter.com/festsGMGG

Food & Wine: http://twitter.com/eatGMGG

Family Farms: http://twitter.com/farmsGMGG

Arts: http://twitter.com/artsGMGG

Shops & Galleries: http://twitter.com/buyGMGG

Hospitality: http://twitter.com/stayGMGG

Entertainment: http://twitter.com/performGMGG

Check back to your favorite pages often. We update – and you can add your happenings and successes, too – frequently. You’ll read and see videos about the industry, products and solutions to life’s issues. Be entertained and informed!

Savannah Meetings & Eateries

I was in Savannah for an overnight to do some meetings and touch base with the CODA – Craft Organization Development Association – conference support team at the City of Savannah Department of Cultural Affairs. I had good meetings, and was able to enjoy a couple of new (to me) eateries.

I had a breakfast meeting at Gallery Espresso, 234 Bull St. It is a homey, welcoming coffee house serving excellent coffee and scones, muffins and coffee cakes. Art and eclectic collections make the walls and decor especially warm and fun to examine. Patrons chat, work on their computers, and people/dog watch out the big windows. The Gallery embraces the essence of Savannah – hospitable, calm and delicious.

Jamie Galloway, a graduate student in SCAD’s Fibers program, invited me to hear her quarterly project presentation titled “An Organic Cotton Initiative in Southeast Georgia”. She advocates Methods of Slow Design in which the program “sustains not only our environment and community, but the human connectedness as well”. Working with agriculture champions on Hampton and Cumberland Islands, she intends to grow, harvest, gin, spin and knit/weave/felt the cotton into objects for the home environment.

Jamie went on to say that “Through the use of local artisans to felt, spin and weave locally-grown cotton, it will be possible to create 100% sustainable products… My goal is to create an opportunity for growers, makers and consumers to reconnect through a product infused with life, reassuring a sense of community and independence.”

I’ll be following Jamie’s work, and reporting back often.

After the presentation, we went over to Soho South Cafe,Where Food is an Art, at 12 W Liberty St. The lunch crowd lingered, even on a rainy afternoon about 2:3opm. Jamie & I sat on a comfie sofa in a Victorian-esque gathering room with all the others waiting for a table.

Soho South Cafe interior

Finally, after the room was cleared, we realized we’d talked right through our summons. So we asked, and were seated right away. Choices here are difficult, because everything coming out of the kitchen looks noteworthy. A blackboard lists the specials of the day, to add to the confusion.

I selected the Cuban Panini with a cup of butternut squash soup ($1.5o extra, when substituting for a standard side). Jamie had a tuna pita. My soup was excellent, not too sweet; and the Cuban Panini, delicious with just the right amount of mustard and pickle.

Jamie’s tuna pita was stuffed. She mentioned that this is her favorite lunch item. She orders it all the time.

When you come to the Soho South Cafe, remember you are coming for the food. The service isn’t uber attentive, nor is the coffee hot. But the food is definitely worth the walk.

Forsythia Festival & The Grits Cafe, Forsyth

Forsyth is preparing for the Forsythia Festival this weekend with yellow ribbons, banners and forsythia sprigs popping up all over town. The entrance to Flowers by Helen on the square certainly cheered me up yesterday when I saw it!

The Forsythia Festival traditionally kicks off the outdoor festival season in Georgia. Organizers are expecting 100+ exhibitors in all mediums of art and craft. Artists and craft makers come from around the area, as well as from far away. From time to time, artists will use Forsyth as a stopover between leaving their winter shows in Florida and getting back to Montana or another exotic locale.

I was in Forsyth Tuesday to meet Fay for lunch. We picked The Grits Cafe, and joined a crowd happily dining on grits every way imaginable.

Soup & Sandwich

My grits were in the collard soup. Collards and carrots and grits were rough chopped into chicken stock. Not bad at all. The sandwich was grilled smoked turkey and swiss cheese on French Toast bread. It’s on my list to order again.

Fay had a chicken Caesar’s salad with grits croutons. Between all our catching up and yarn-spinning, both plates were licked clean.

It’s hard to decide what to order at The Grits Cafe. Fried green tomatoes, salmon, trout, and cheeseburgers sounded really good, too.

The Grits Cafe, on the Square in Forsyth

If you’re in Forsyth for lunch or dinner, stop in and have some grits. Bring your Northern friends. They’ll get a kick out of it!

Girasoles in Watkinsville

Girasoles Restaurant

Bill Ronay & I have always enjoyed meals at Girasoles; and last night was no exception! The cuisine is Italian, Mexican and French fusion; but to us, it is plain ole good. Chef/owner Jose Zambrano personally greets everyone, and performs culinary magic to please his happy diners.

When our party barely tasted the first round of Margaritas (little glasses, lots of ice), Jose found bigger glasses for the second. He personally made sure we had enough of the delicious bread and balsamic vinegar/garlic sauce. And when Bill Ronay rattled off his ideal pasta dish – fettucini, tomato cream sauce, sausage, sweet caramelized onions and peppers – Chef Jose delivered!

We watched him take care of every table just like he did ours.

I had to take home the second half of my shrimp & grits. It was perfect hot from the kitchen last night, and great this morning straight from the refrigerator. The texture of the grits was a delicious balance to the fresh shrimp. Bill Ronay required no to-go box. Chappelle Chicken – chicken breast stuffed with spinach, feta cheese and sundried tomato – and crab cakes were standard orders of the friends we were with. Kathy & Jerry are gold star regulars at Girasoles. Kathy had crab and lobster soup as an appetizer. Jerry had alligator and shrimp. Bill had tomato and basil soup.

We hadn’t seen our friends for a long time, so we laughed and caught up as we ate and drank. And Girasoles is perfect for seeing everyone. Dave, Mario and Mrs. Shearon from Ashford Manor also came in for dinner.

Dessert was cheesecake with dulce de leche for Bill & Jerry and flan for Kathy. Kathy’s flan wasn’t the best she’d had there – overbaked, no whipped cream or drizzle – but the cheesecake was excellent.

We had a fine meal at Girasoles Restaurant in Watkinsville, and would highly recommend it as a place to enjoy an evening with old friends. It’s on Main Street (Hwy 441 Business) just at the split of Hwy 15 down from Town Center. 706/310-0410.

Mary Mac’s, the Flying Biscuit, and Stricklands

We were lucky enough lately to have some mighty fine meals at local eateries.

Last Thursday, we were at Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center to hear Michael Kaiser’s brilliant presentation about how to sustain a healthy arts organization. The presentation is a different blog. Mary Mac’s is my topic in this blog… Mary Mac’s Tea Room, the Flying Biscuit, and Stricklands…

Years ago, before we escaped the big city, we were regulars at Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Midtown on Ponce de Leon, just a few blocks from the Fox Theater. Jimmy Carter was President. Carter’s Custard was a dessert choice at the Tea Room. For whatever reasons, we hadn’t been to Mary Mac’s for years. What a grievous error in judgment!

The restaurant has changed considerably since we were there before… a mural across one of the dining room walls was painted in 1988. Had it been that long since we’d been there?

The tables had cloths on them. The stubby pencils to write out our own orders were replaced by pencils made special for Mary Mac’s. The dining rooms were fancier.

Although we didn’t get their famous cinnamon rolls for lunch that day, we slurped our way through country fried steak and broccoli casserole and fried green tomatoes and lots of the hot-from-the-oven yeast rolls! To make sure all our lunch got where it belonged, we chased it with perfect iced tea. We waddled out stuffed. And oh so happy!

If you haven’t been to Mary Mac’s in a while, get thee hence! As they say in their tagline, it’s “A Revival of Southern Hospitality”.

Saturday, we were back in Metro, looking for a lunch spot in Sandy Springs. We chose the Flying Biscuit on Roswell Rd, directly across from Whole Foods, just north of I-285. When we first walked in, we saw pottery by Atlanta’s Polly Sherrill.

Immediately we fell in love! We have some of Polly’s work that we bought at OCAF’s Perspectives exhibition in Watkinsville last September. And we enjoyed talking about it with our server. She said she’s sold a lot of Polly’s work. Many of her customers are attracted the first time they lay eyes on it.

We decided to split the fried green tomatoes and the turkey meatloaf. Our server assured us we’d made wise choices. She kept our coffee cups full until the tomatoes arrived.

Barbara Juhan, the owner, brought them out. She was bright and sparkling and full of pride. And she should be! The tomatoes were served with a dollop of goat cheese and a dollop of cashew relish, a spicy sweet condiment we’d never had before.

Bill Ronay & I made short order of the appetizer and settled into our turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes and trulicious biscuit. We were both full, sassy and happy when we’d cleaned our plates.

Barbara told us there are nine Flying Biscuit restaurants now; most are in Atlanta, but a few in Charlotte and one in Gainesville Florida. Again, before we escaped Atlanta, we’d eaten at the first of the chain near Little Five Points.  On their website, they say they are “out to reinvent the breakfast category in the US, and plan to do it with great food, attentive service, and a truly unique environment.

With stars on the counters and walls, Polly’s pottery, and bright colors with purple accents everywhere, they’ve succeeded!

Yesterday, Bill Ronay & I finished a meeting in Athens and, oh, too bad, it was lunchtime again! It was a difficult choice since Athens has so many really tasty eateries; but we ended up at Stricklands, out on US 78 along with workers, businesspeople and a sprinkling of visitors who could smell a local hot spot from any distance.

I don’t know whether Stricklands or Mary Macs has the best iced tea. Both are exactly like my grandmother’s was back in the good old days. In keeping with my grandmother’s spirit, I had mashed potatoes and squash and pinto beans. Bill Ronay had green beans, more country fried steak and mashed potatoes. Back to basics. But that’s what they sell… basic southern fare.

You can’t go wrong at any of the restaurants we’ve lunched in lately. A+ to Mary Mac’s, in Midtown Atlanta, the Flying Biscuit/Sandy Springs and Stricklands in Athens!