Prior to my retirement from the North Carolina Department of Correction
on March 1, 2012, I started a Things To Do List
and some folks call it a "Bucket List"
meaning things you want to do before you kick the bucket.........grin if you
One of the many things on my To Do List was a trip to the
Whistle Stop Cafe in
Juliette, Georgia with my bride of 44 years. Fannie Flagg's very
successful novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe which was
later made into a movie, "Fried Green Tomatoes" featuring award winning
actresses Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise
Parker; Chris O'Donnell and many others of which both my bride and myself fell in love with the movie which
sparked an interest in visiting the Cafe and little town that was given new
life by the filming of the movie. Prior to the filming of the movie
"Fried Green Tomatoes", Juliette, Ga. was
literally a Ghost Town and it took a couple months or more to get the little
one road main street town safe enough to begin filming the movie. They
filmed the last part of the movie first showing the run down condition of
the town before the renovation began. Juliette, Georgia has to be
"The Most Famous Town Saved By Hollywood".
After the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes",
Fannie Flagg received thousands of letters from people all over the world
asking if there was a Whistle Stop Cafe and did she have one in mind when
writing the book and the answer was "Yes". There was such a cafe.
The Irondale Cafe was purchased by
her great Aunt Bess in 1932 and she ran it for over 50 years.
It is located in Irondale, Alabama, a small town just outside
of her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Obtain
Fannie Flagg's Original Whistle Stop Cafe
Cookbook featuring FRIED GREEN TOMATOES and more than 150 other great recipes for
additional information. Ok, the background/history lesson is
over.....grin again if you must!
We got our clothes and personal hygiene items prepared the evening before
and started our two day short trip on June 4, 2012 and departed Wadesboro,
NC around 0715. Prior to leaving, I made a short run to our
local BoJangles Restaurant and picked up a couple Bacon, Egg and Cheese
biscuits and deposited some outgoing mail at the Post Office. We
topped off our gas tank near Chesterfield, SC about 15 miles down highway
742S where the regular gas was at $ 3.14 per gallon; about .30 less per
gallon than our NC gasoline. I map quested the route earlier and
decided to take the scenic route as much as possible with the majority of
the road trip on Interstate 20W for 186 miles out of the 296 miles to
Juliette, Ga. We made one "pit stop" around 1030 at McDonald's
to use their restroom facilities and purchased some coffee and a quick snack
to hold us over until lunch at the Whistle Stop Cafe.
The weather was a little on the rainy misty side after a couple hours into
our trip but not bad enough to inhibit safe driving. The posted speed limit on
Interstate 20 was mostly 70 miles per hour and many vehicles passed by us like we
were in reverse although I had the cruise control set to 70 mph. The
scenery was beautiful along the Interstate with plenty of Mimosa trees with
their pink flowering
blooms dotting the highway road frontage ever so often.
The mild rain/mist subsided before
we reached Juliette, Georgia with the sky a little overcast at times but the sun
did get a chance to come through displaying her golden majestic rays of
sunlight which brightens the inner spirit and soul as well.
We arrived in the little town of Juliette, Georgia around 1:30 P.M. and it
was as if we had gone back into the 1930s. We received a
big welcome from the Whistle Stop Cafe waitresses as we entered the front
door it was like being in
the movie set itself. It is amazing how the large format movie camera
lens had captured the depth of field and details of the Cafe for the movie
of which depends on the skill and experience of the camera operator and
director. I could just about see the food fight that Idgie and Ruth
had in the little kitchen and Sipsey saying,
"The Secret's In The Sauce". Pictures and narrative comments
follows with the bulk of the pictures in thumbnails, so click on the
thumbnails for a larger view:
The facade of the Whistle Stop Cafe is pretty close to the actual movie set except
there were a couple hand cranked gas pumps on either side of the steps and
of course the entire street and area in front of the cafe leading across the
railroad tracks and out of town where the filming took place was covered
with red clay dirt for the authentic 1930s period look aka
The Great Depression Era.
Victoria Wallace our lovely waitress was fantastic and very knowledgeable about
the history of the town of Juliette, Ga. and the making of the movie
although she might not have been born when the movie was made.
She gave us excellent service and a pleasure to be around........just check
that beautiful smile out!
I ordered Cubed Steak n Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Green Beans,
Yeast Roll and we both shared an appetizer of Fried
Green Tomatoes of which
the food was seasoned in the Southern Style and the portions were gigantic!
My bride aka Joyce ordered the same things except substituted the green
beans for collard greens. A big tall glass of cold Sweet Tea served in a pint Mason jar of which
didn't run dry with Victoria Wallace keeping it filled.
An appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes. Fannie Flagg authored a
titled, Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook which has a couple
recipes for fried green tomatoes.
Our recipes for Fried Green Tomatoes is here:
Fried Green Tomatoes.
Debbie Cheatham, another outstanding waitress took the above pix of my
bride and myself with Victoria Wallace in the back ground.
Following thumbnails of the decor inside the Whistle Stop Cafe and some
original movie set pixs that was taken on display:
Pix of my bride and myself on the porch entrance to the Whistle Stop Cafe
after that outstanding meal. I was "Tight as a Georgia Tick on
the back of a coonhound in the month of July" from
the meal consumed!
They actually got a grin out of the "ole boy" on this pix.........grin if you must!
The below thumbnail pixs taken of one of the outside windows at the
Whistle Stop Cafe and the surrounding gift shops, BBQ area and railroad
tracks with a train coming through. The train caught my bride off
guard and she gave a little "holler" out when the train sounded its
the railroad crossing..........I grinned for sure!
Pix of the rock BBQ used in the set. I can visualize Big George cooking
the meat over the hot live orange colored embers as I type this narrative.
A few souvenirs purchased at the Whistle Stop Cafe Gift Shop. All
items will definitely get a workout.
We spent the night at the Day's Inn in Forsyth, Georgia which was
reserved earlier and for the price the accommodations were excellent.
We got a handicap room on the first level for my bride since she has some
mobility issues and the staff called us later to ascertain if everything was
fine of which it was. The room had pretty much standard amenities; microwave, refrigerator,
coffee maker with coffee supplied, ice bucket, bathroom accessories, flat
screen TV, plenty of disposable cups, etc.
and a King size bed and adequate storage space. The shower was wheel
chair accessible and had a held shower head, safety rails and a chair/stool
with a back. There was a Continental breakfast offered but we decided
to have a full course breakfast up the road the following morning.
We departed around 0830 on June 5, 2012 and got back onto highway 83N and
had breakfast/brunch at a Waffle House before getting onto Interstate 20
East which was about 47 miles from Forsyth and enjoyed a waffle with syrup, eggs, bacon, grits and/or hash browns,
toast and black coffee. Again, we ran into rain while on Interstate 20
most of the way and the rain stopped right before we got into
Chesterfield, SC. We arrived home in the mid to late afternoon; don't
remember the exact time....grin if you must!
In Summation, this was an outstanding
short road trip for my bride and myself and if you enjoyed the movie "Fried
Green Tomatoes", you will love the visit to the
Whistle Stop Cafe in
Juliette, Georgia. Every person there was extremely friendly and
interested in you enjoying a great meal and visit. I highly recommend
this tourist attraction if you like going back in time to the 1930s era and/or enjoy Southern
cuisine food. You will not be disappointed!
Web posted on 06-06-12 by Bill aka Mickey Porter.