Tag Archives: Georgia

A Weekday Lunch at Sprayberry’s BBQ in Newnan, Georgia

2 Feb

sb menu cover

Sprayberry’s is a longtime stalwart of Southern BBQ. They have been around since 1926, so staying power is one of their strong suits. Country music star Alan Jackson once waited tables at Sprayberry’s. There are 2 locations now (both in Newnan, GA). We hit the Jackson Street location several years back and enjoyed it. This time we were traveling from Atlanta back to Mobile, Alabama and our timing was just right. We arrived just before noon — beating the lunch rush.  

sb lg

We were promptly seated in the spacious dining room and handed large tan menus (see the 2 images above). I immediately noticed the Lewis Grizzard Special (details shown on photo above). The late Grizzard was a popular Southern humorist who is still something of a folk hero in these parts. I owned a couple of his comedy tapes and sometimes read his column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He was a funny man with a hearty appetite for Dixie-style chow, so this BBQ combo is a fitting tribute.

sb plate

I wasn’t feeling up to onion rings, so I ordered the Chopped Pork Sandwich with a side of Brunswick Stew and a Sweet Tea with Lemon. My sandwich came with fresh chopped slaw (lacking the usual heavy mayo), a few pickle slices, and a small cup of Sprayberry’s singular BBQ sauce. It’s kind of a thin, vinegar-based condiment — not too different than sauces you find in Eastern North Carolina. The sandwich was quite tasty — lean, smokey swine paired with crunchy grated cabbage and the peppery tang of the sauce.

sb stew

I consider myself a bit of a Brunswick Stew aficionado, so I braced myself to be disappointed when I first viewed Sprayberry’s mushy concoction (see above). Virginians and Georgians have long debated about which state bubbled up the very first Brunswick Stew. I am not here to argue that point at this time. I will say that I am more accustomed to a stew with more texture. Kernals of sweet yellow corn, visible strands of meat (most often chicken), tiny green butter beans, etc. Sprayberry’s Stew looks more like baby food, but I am pleased to report that it is suitably flavorful. I added just a sprinkle of salt and a tiny splash of Tabasco. You could drink this stuff through a straw. I elected to utilize the more traditional spoon.

Sprayberry’s has stood the test of time for a reason. The food is good. The pricing fair. The service swift. Convenient access from the interstate. All in all a positive Dixie Dining experience. So if you find yourself motoring between Auburn, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia, please do give ’em a try. It’s right on the beaten path, but worthy of your time and palate even if it was not. Skip the fast food options and treat yourself to a taste of Georgia culinary history.

sb postcard

Sprayberry’s BBQ –

Hwy. 34 @ I-85, Newnan, GA (770) 253-5080

229 Jackson Street, Newnan, GA (770) 253-4421


For more reviews of Southern food, please visit our web site at www.DixieDining.com

A Sweet & Spicy Pair

20 Jun

OK … first of all, get your head out of the gutter.

Good! Now I can proceed with my ramblings.


Braswell’s jellies are made in Georgia. They are really delicious — this one especially so. It is plenty sweet, but be forewarned: It also packs a wicked kick. I love it … some may not. It is heaven when smeared atop cream cheese on a Wheat Thin or Trisket cracker.

buf rock

For a sure fire double whammy, try washing it down with a swig of Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale. Or as my Granny Justice calls it, “Jinge-ale.” It’s not as fiery as the Blenheim brand that many South Carolinians are familiar with. Yet don’t be fooled, y’all. It has a more subtle heat than evolves into a bit of an afterburn. My son commented that his lips were burning a few minutes after polishing off an ice cold glass of Buffalo Rock.

Visit their web sites at:



It’s good — but go there at your own risk. It’s not for the faint of heart!

Great book on the Legendary “Blind Tom”

17 Feb


I first heard the music of Blind Tom on one of the annual Oxford American Southern Music CD collections. I was blown away and quickly went about trying to learn more about this legendary but nearly forgotten performer of the 1800s. I am pleased that Dierdre O’Connell has taken the great time and effort to put the spotlight back on Tom and, at the same time, clear up some of the many rumors that have surrounded his legend. Musical genius is a term that gets tossed around far too much these days. But in the case of Wiggins, that may be an understatement.  

Born into slavery in Georgia, Tom Wiggins died an international celebrity in New York in 1908. His life was one of the most bizarre and moving episodes in American history. Born blind and autistic-and so unable to work with other slaves-Tom was left to his own devices. He was mesmerized by the music of the family’s young daughters, and by the time he was fourTom was playing tunes on the piano.

Eventually freed from slavery, Wiggins, or “Blind Tom” as he was called, toured the country and the world playing for celebrities like Mark Twain and the Queen of England and dazzling audiences everywhere. One part genius and one part novelty act, Blind Tom embodied contradictions-a star and a freak, freed from slavery but still the property of his white guardian. His life offers a window into the culture of celebrity and racism at the turn of the twentieth century.

In this rollicking and heartrending book, O’Connell takes us through the life (and three separate deaths) of Blind Tom Wiggins, restoring to the modern reader this unusual yet quintessentially American life.

Order yours today at http://www.amazon.com/Ballad-Blind-Tom-Slave-Pianist/dp/1590201434/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234914499&sr=8-1