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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe








I've always thought it would be fun to visit this site from the movie filmed in Juliette, Georgia. And there is still a lively sweet presence to the place. The film set was a restoration of a real town and grocery situated at a train stop which was no longer in use. I learned that we see the place in its true condition at the start of the film "Fried Green Tomatoes." 




The movie set was then opened as a real cafe, which is in full swing today, and is a popular spot for the movie fans like me.



The place has much of the same character as that in the movie.




Groups of families, tourists, and ladies like these settle down to the tasty fare and happy atmosphere.




Folks still gather on the porch to talk.




The old buildings remain. Some are now very modest shops trying to make the most of the stream of regular visitors here. A captive audience, so to speak. But the movie tie-ins and souvenirs that I expected to see are not around except for the DVD of the film and a few drawings. I wanted pictures of Ruth and Idgie! A book about the making of the movie. Or at least a postcard from the Whistle Stop Cafe! (There are Cafe t-Shirts for sale...) Am I just being a curmudgeon?




I hope not, because I really did enjoy the spirit of the place itself. And the cafe is very well run and lives up to the reputation. The train still runs thrillingly close by, and whistles as it comes barreling through.



I was charmed by the jars for drinks.




The furnishings from the movie are still here, including the benches and counter. (Made for the movie set.)








The lighting and interiors are mostly original to the old building from before the film crew came in.




The set was more spare and simple and reminiscent of the thirties than it now is. 



Bars now cover the windows, but the old cafe signage is there.




A few framed photos of the beloved characters from the filming hang on the walls.




The place was full and busy the entire length of our visit.












We tried everything on the menu! (Well almost.) Really.




The appetizer has sweet potato "twigs" that are more like sticks, and we could only eat a few tasty bites. The chicken bits are moist and delicious. Exceptional onion rings with a distinctive flavor. (Our favorite.)




And of course the fried green tomatoes! I expect that the tomatoes are deep fried as a practical matter because of the large crowds to feed. They were served hot! But I think we want to try the pan fried variety with bacon drippings from a recipe we spied in one of the shops.




The salad with chicken was excellent.



The barbecue was wonderful! And the okra was as good as I have ever had. YUM!!!




Homemade ice cream with warm pecan pie! Fantastic!!!




We spent time wandering at will. This is one of the perspectives from the film. Picture it with vintage cars and covered over with muddy streets.







Big George made barbecue at this grill in the story,





And this is where Ruth brings Smokey Lonesome a blanket for the night.









We had the quiet back lot to ourselves for a long while. We wandered in the cool shade for a time appreciating our own thoughts. My husband confessed to me later that he felt an emotional twinge when he remembered the line where Smokey had a single possession when he died. A picture of Ruth. So I guess it's true (as is stated in the movie) that everyone loved her! But it's quite alright. I felt a few warm fuzzies myself recalling favorite scenes and characters portrayed here. The whole of the story actually. The friendships, kindness, the humor, Evelyn, Idgie, Mrs. Threadgoode, the simpler time, the sound of a train, near or far, day or night, the cozy cafe, and yes, of course, Ruth. . . .

A visit to the Whistle Stop Cafe now gets a big and satisfying check mark placed next to it, and marks the furthest point of our travels to the south.

Thanks so much for traveling with me!

Jacqueline






21 comments:

Salmagundi said...

Wonderful!! Wonderful!!

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

TOWANDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

♥♥♥

FGT is on my Top Ten Favorite Movies of all Time list.

Thanks for this, J. Hugs.

Art and Sand said...

What a fun visit!

ANNE said...

how fun! I love that movie, thanks so much for sharing the tour!

donna baker said...

Oh, how fun. I loved that movie. I noticed you didn't have barbecue.

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

What a wonderful and fun trip! I love that movie too!
Thanks for taking us along and thanks for the great food and surroundings photos.

hugs
Sissie

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

I told my husband to check out your wonderful post and he and I both said at the same time "I don't think I could've tried the BBQ!" Thank you for sharing this post. We regret we didn't stop when we were close by the town a few years back, and will stop for sure next time through.

Merlesworld said...

I'm very fond of this movie but often wondered what fried green tomatoes were like.
They are my favourite vegie or fruit I heard them called both.
All year I eat them raw or cooked but when I fry them always very ripe and red mixed with dried herbs, garlic and cooked in butter.
Merle.........

Junkchiccottage said...

Awesome! Loved the movie and how great you could eat at the Whistle Stop Cafe. What a great stop on your trip.
So fun to see all the great places on your route. Safe travels.
Kris

Ольга - Старá каламáрка said...

Many thanks!!
I love this book. I read several times. The film is also good!

Ольга - Старá каламáрка said...

I never ate fried green tomatoes, to have a recipe book. I'll try to cook. ))

Georgina Malcolm said...

Good gracious! Did you eat all that? You must have been starving hungry.
I must say I am always surprised at places like that which do not have postcards for sale. It would be a small investment and almost every visitor would buy one or two to send to a friend or take home to use as a bookmark. I have a bookmark still that my mother bought in Ravenna (not far from Venice Italy) in 1966. It is a postcard of a mosaic ceiling in a Byzantine building built in the 5th century.
It sounds as though you are having a great time.

MimiG said...

One day you need to come to the small town of Irondale, Alabama - home of Fannie Flagg and home to the Irondale Cafe, the cafe she based Whistlestop on.
Not a lot to do there, but good food!

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Thank you MimiG! If I had done my homework I would have stopped in Irondale. We passed right through on highway 70. But you can't see a thing for all the trees! Not a problem we have here in the SW.

Karen L. Bates said...

What a wonderful visit to one of our all time favorite spots. Never been there so it was fun to see it through your eyes.

Pat Cantwell said...

Jacqueline,
Somehow, I could envision you working at The Whistle stop Cafe, dear friend!
Thank you for sharing this adventure along your journey to the South!
Fondly,
Pat

Burlap Luxe said...

HI Jacqueline, it sounds like you had a fun fill adventure, as for the movie who didnt love this movie?
You always take us on the best travel adventures this being one that was fun seeing through your camera.
I could see you jazzing up this place with all your linens and China collection, maybe even opening your own shop you would fit right in.
Enjoy your week

See you soon with more inspiring shares.

Xx
Dore

Sarah said...

Looks like a fun visit and certainly a great memory of this delightful movie. Perhaps I'll have to rent the movie. Safe travels.

Tammy said...

How Sweet!! Thanks for sharing!
Tammy

Katie Mansfield said...

I love this post. I felt like I was there with you. I had fried green tomatoes for the first time in Charleston and I am in love with them. So delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Beth Berndt said...

My Mom and I stopped by there in 2014 but it was closed. Not a soul in sight. I feel cheated! Thanks for sharing.

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