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One Tank Trip: Juliette, Ga. and Whistle Stop Cafe

11:20 AM, Jul 30, 2013   |    comments
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JULIETTE, Ga. -- Any visitor to Juliette, 70 miles south of Atlanta, need only take a turn on McCrackin Street, to feel they have entered another place and time.

"It's like stepping back in the 1920's," Elizabeth Bryant, owner of the The Whistle Stop Café said. "It's easy living. Salt of the earth people here. It's real simple. There's nothing pretense about the food here. We're not gourmet. We're southern food."

It's like something out of a movie, "Fried Green Tomatoes," Universal Pictures 1991, filmed right in Juliette. It still serves up a heaping helping of good food, old fashioned service and lots of memories for its visitors.

"And they're amazed. Oh my God. It's just like the movie," Bryant said. "They always want to sit in the (wooden, high back) booth that the sheriff sat in."

The movie tells a story in flashbacks of two young women in 1920's Alabama, in town where the railroad
and other scenery are as much as part of the storyline as the characters.

Universal Pictures transformed the town's former, nearly windowless country store into the Whistle Stop Café.

The mouth-watering fried green tomatoes remain as the appetizer, yet they're a bit different.

"A true southerner cooks them with meal and with a cast iron pan. We use a flour-based batter and we deep fry them," said Bryant.

Also on the menu is everything from baby lima beans and rutabagas to pickled beets, and the feeling you're welcome here anytime.

The Whistle Stop is a good place to come because of the movie and good food, but there's so much more in Juliette for those who like to shop and especially for those who love history.

Stroll up McCrackin Street to the old train depot in the film and you'll find the movie,"Fried Green Tomatoes" on a continuous loop on a small TV screen.

You'll also find a man known as Bear, who loves to talk, especially about all things involving the movie and the crew who came to town.

"They brought the dirt in. they brought the leaves in. They brought the goat. The goat is from Los Angeles," said Bear Taylor.

Across the street is a reminder of the movie's heroine, Idgy and her love of bees and homemade honey.

In another shop, it's clear Betty Clements has never met a stranger, as she talks about the town's tourists from all over the world.

She's the owner of Southern Grace and Habersham Winery Tasting room, who also loves to talk about this once thriving mill town.

"The (mill workers) manufactured cornmeal and grits, and at one time, in its major heyday, it had the largest stone grinding wheel in the world," said Clements.

Now, people come because they're fans of the movie or have heard what Juliette offers.

"The fishing is good. Ocmulgee River is just across the railroad track," said Bryant. "It's a great, great way of just spending a quiet weekend."

There's lot of water-related fun, cabins to rent and so much to see and explore.

"Whether you want to come and browse through the antique shops, or you want to come for the outdoor activity, it's a great one-day trip. There's something for everybody," said Bryant.

While the Whistle Stop Cafe's recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes is a secret, Bryant did give 11Alive a couple of the restaurant's recipes.


Whistle Stop Café Radish Dipping Sauce

(Perfect with Fried Green Tomatoes)

1 cup Thousand Island dressing

1 tsp. pure horseradish

Pinch red pepper

Pinch crushed pepper

Splash of Worcestershire sauce

Mix ingredients.


Whistle Stop Cafe Fried Green Tomato Sandwich

2 slices rye bread

1 slice Swiss cheese

Leaf lettuce

Vidalia onion slices

2-3 slices of bacon

2-3 slices of Fried Green Tomatoes

On top of bread, place lettuce, fried green tomatoes and onions. Add hot bacon.

11Alive's Elle Duncan's Recipe for Remoulade:

1 cup of Mayo (I use canola to cut down fat)

2 tablespoons of Any brown or Dijon/ Creole Mustard

Fresh lemon juice

2 dashes of Worcestershire  sauce

Either 2 dashes of hot sauce OR a dash of cayenne pepper (if you want spicy) Paprika to taste Salt and pepper to taste Minced Garlic Chopped green onions (can also use parsley, or dill)

Combine all ingredients and stir!

Can also be used on crab cakes, seafood and chicken!! 







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