Friday evening, I attended the annual “Victorian Christmas” in downtown Thomasville. Mild weather and the promise of a variety of food enticed me to make the 35 mile drive into Georgia to this small city north of where I live. Since the festival brings out not only local residents but “tourists” from Tallahassee, I drove with two friends to ease parking issues.
After we rendezvoused with another half dozen friends at a coffee shop, I began with a cup of coffee to keep warm as we toured the food and other booths. I was disappointed that the only coffees available were “blends.” A “blend” means you are getting an unknown coffee which cannot stand on its own merit so it is just thrown in with other coffees that are low on the hierarchy. (A single origin bean, such as Guatemalan Antigua is what you want.)
Besides booths, there were various forms of entertainment such as a fire dancer, ice sculpting and a very large rocking horse. And of course Santa was there…
The local Boy Scout troop was handing out free small bags of roasted chestnuts and a $1 donation was typical. I hadn’t had roasted chestnuts since I was in Hong Kong in 1995!
Unfortunately, that was the only food I had at the festival. I saw someone with chicken pita salad and wanted that but one of the group who said she knew where it was could not find it. She wanted to taste some fried alligator but we couldn’t find that either although it was available somewhere.
After walking (and sitting) for three hours, we retired to a bar. It was packed since it is the city’s only bar! The restaurants, which also have liquor were doing a brisk business too.
The bar did serve sushi and other light fare, so I tried to order chicken nachos. I say “tried” because by the time we arrived, they had long sold out of the nachos. I ordered a draught Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Ooops..sold out too! I ended up with a craft beer called “andygator.”
Around 11:30, we headed back to Tallahassee. The night was young and I needed to get something to eat, so we headed to one of the few late night restaurants in town which is conveniently located on the north end of town on…Thomasville Road. (Yes, take Thomasville Road to Thomasville, Georgia.)
Luckily, because we were a small party we were seated in about 10 minutes. Coincidentally, it was also graduation for the two state universities and there were parties of 10 and more wanting to be seated together who were going to have a long wait for the few tables of that size.
One of my favorite “entrees” at this restaurant (Friday’s), is a combination platter of three, four or five appetizers. I chose boneless chicken “wings” (actually, breast meat), loaded potato skins, and mozzarella sticks.
My friend in the above photo with Santa decided on an interesting martini. Called a “pink punk” martini, it comes with pink cotton candy in the glass and they pour the martini over it, causing it to turn pink (and adds sweetness). Other ingredients are Skyy Vodka, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and fresh lime. At another local restaurant, this martini is $12 but at Friday’s it is only $8. (But during the other restaurant’s happy hour, the martini is half price, or $6.)
I find it…interesting…how the price of alcoholic drinks varies among restaurants and Happy Hour pricing. One of my preferred “beers” is a local microbrewery’s Mango Whit. Normally $5 at Grub Burger Bar or $4 during happy hour. But at Bella Bella, a much more upscale restaurant, that same Mango Whit is only $2 during Happy Hour. But only if you buy it at the bar or the adjacent, separate cocktail lounge. If you are at a dining table, Happy Hour prices do not apply. What a loophole!
By the time I got home, it was 1 AM and I had to set my alarm clock for the first time since I can remember because I was meeting the foodies at 10 AM for coffee at a nearby lake and park. What I like about “local” non-chain coffee bars is that you’re unlikely to find a “blend.” I was pleased that Black Dog Cafe’s coffee of the day was a high-grown Kenya AA (actually a classification, not a type). Same price as a Starbuck’s “blend.”