Hot!Tampa to Atlanta I-75

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cowgirlredd
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2011/06/25 11:26:55 (permalink)

Tampa to Atlanta I-75

driving in one day from Tampa to Atlanta - any non-chain places to stop, even a mile or two off the interstate, for some (god i hate the word) foodies?  price isn't an issue, we'll eat almost anything! thanks!
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    kevincad
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/06/25 11:39:42 (permalink)
    cowgirlredd

    driving in one day from Tampa to Atlanta - any non-chain places to stop, even a mile or two off the interstate, for some (god i hate the word) foodies?  price isn't an issue, we'll eat almost anything! thanks!


    Haven't been in a few years, but I used to LOVE stopping at Sheffield's. It's fried catfish is the best!! It's a dumpy little truck stop, so if that's not your cup of tea, don't stop. But, if you are looking for some fantastic catfish, it's there. It's in Live Oak, just off of the interstate. You'll see billboards, if it's still there! For BBQ, the Smokin' Pig in Valdosta
    #2
    daleterry
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/06/25 12:32:53 (permalink)
    For good BBQ, exit at North Valdosta Rd. (just north of Valdosta, GA). Go east about a mile, and turn left. The BBQ place is not on the corner, but next to a Shell (?) station.  Quality food, large portions, and free cobler.
    #3
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/06/25 14:45:13 (permalink)
    The best pizza I have eaten in my life, including DiFara's in Brooklyn and Pepe's in New Haven, is in Atlanta at Varasano's
     
    http://www.varasanos.com/
    http://www.varasanos.com/menus/23_Pizza.pdf
     
    I recommend you go with a Nana's and add a Chica Bella and/or a Caramelized Onion.  One person can generally finish one pizza  - these are very, very thin pies, and only come in one size.    Adding prosciutto to the Chica Bella is a very, very good idea.
    #4
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/06/25 15:30:17 (permalink)
    cowgirlredd when will you be leaving?  I have some notes on some places in Florida, but they are back in Miami and I won't be home for a few days.
     
    Oh, and what route are you taking?
    #5
    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/06/26 15:52:37 (permalink)
    Cowgirl, there are seven Georgia restaurants reviewed on this site that are on the I-75 corridor south of Atlanta.  Coming from Tampa, Yoder's Dietsch Haus would be the first that you'd find (exit 127), and then Lane Southern Orchards (exit 142 - the "barbecue" is horrible, but the fried chicken and the homemade peach ice cream are great).
     
    In Macon, there's Nu-Way Weiners and Bear's Den, each also reviewed here.  Continuing north, you could do a lot worse than step off the path and visit Fresh Air in Jackson/Flovilla and Old Clinton, neither of which are among the current "Georgia 32" but they both get the John T. Edge seal of approval.  I haven't tried those myself, yet.  The next ones up the road are Buckner's Family Restaurant and Falls View Restaurant, which are two of the remaining three that I have not tried.  That leaves Southern Pit BBQ in Griffin, which is pretty good, but not amazing.
     
    Once you get to Atlanta, TJ Jackson's recommendation of Varasano's is a sound one.  It was my firm favorite until I went to Vingenzo's in the northern suburb of Woodstock.  It's unheralded - most Atlanta foodies are afraid to venture outside I-285 - but it is even better.
    #6
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/06/27 10:41:50 (permalink)
    After I read HBS's mention of Vingenzo's, I looked it up.  Indeed, there are several very favorable reviews and it is quite noteworthy that in many of them, they compare the pizza to Varasano's, as if to use it as a benchmark of great pizza. 
     
    I have two visits to Varasano's planned in July - one on the way down from Ohio to Florida, and again on the way back - but I am actually pondering switching over one of those stops to Vingenzo's on the strengths of HBS's recommendation and the other reviews, if I can manage to work around their somewhat more limited operating hours
    post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/06/27 10:47:38
    #7
    Littleman
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/06/29 15:35:00 (permalink)
    Get off I 75 at Exit 22 in Valdosta, GA and go E on Valdosta Road to Smok'n Pig BBQ for Top 10 in the US BBQ. Or go to Old South BBQ in Valdosta, GA. Get off I75 at Exit 63A at Tifton, GA and go W on 8th Street W to Pit Stop BBQ for good road food. Get off I 75 at Exit 169 at Macon, GA and go SW on Tom Hill Blvd. to Riverside Dr. Take a left and go S about a mile to Fresh Air BBQ for outstanding GA smoked BBQ. Get off I 75 at Exit 187 and go S to Johnston Street. Take a right and go to Grit's Cafe for outstanding southern cooking for lunch or dinner. Get off I 75 at Exit 198 at Jackson, GA and go E about a mile on High Falls Road to good country food at Falls View Restaurant. Before you get to Atlanta, GA get off I 75 at Exit 233 at Morrow, GA and go S on Jonesborough Road to Southlake Parkway. Take a right and go to Anderson Diner for outstanding country food.
    Smok'n Pig BBQ @ 4228 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA. 229 - 245 - 8227.
    http://www.smoknpig.com/
    Old South BBQ @ 1700 West Hill Avenue, Valdosta, GA 229 - 247 - 6700.
    Pit Stop BBQ @ 1112 8th St. W., Tifton, GA 229 - 387 - 0888.
    Fresh Air Bar B Que @ 3076 Riverside Dr., Macon, GA. 478 - 477 - 7229.
    http://www.freshairbarbecue.com/
    Grit's Cafe @ 17 West Johnston Street, Forsyth, GA 478 - 994 - 8325.
    http://www.gritscafe.com/
    Falls View Restaurant @ 42 Towaliga River Dr., Jackson, GA 478 - 994 - 6050.
    Anderson's Diner @ 1395 Southlake Pkwy., Morrow, GA 678 - 422 - 3643.
    http://andersonsdiner.homestead.com/index.html
     
    #8
    cowgirlredd
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/07/01 12:42:14 (permalink)
    you guys are amazing!! thank you for all the great reccomendations.  I'm very excited to try as many as we can stomach!!
    #9
    Sundancer7
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/07/01 12:50:27 (permalink)
    As I recall, there is a huge place on the east side of interstate that is visable to the eye where all kinds of pecans are available along with other goodies.  It is worth the stop.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #10
    Milt
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/07/02 15:20:47 (permalink)
    Nu-Way in downtown Macon and Fresh Aire BBQ  in Jackson are both worth a visit.
     
    Vingenzo's is near my home, but quite a distance from I-75.  It is excellent.  All pasta is made in house - three choices daily.  They are open evenings except Sunday and lunch Friday and Saturday only.  The chef teaches at Chattahoochee Tech during the week.  Well worth the extra hike - if you have the time.
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    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/07/11 22:30:45 (permalink)
    We made two stops in Atlanta on our trip this past week
     
    One the way down - Varasano's was as good as ever - from my point of view.  The kids hated it.  The wife thought the Caramelized Onion pizza was wonderful, but really didn't like anything else.  
     
    On the way back -  we hit Holemann and Finch for their much-praised cheeseburger - it was Sunday and thats the only day it is available all day long.   The wife and I both thought it was very good, but not nearly the best we'd ever had.  Part of the problem is that they only cook the patties to MW and I strongly prefer MR.  The fries were excellent.  The wife pronounced the pickles included as a garnish as amongst the best she'd ever had.  Also - if you decide to visit there, it is almost impossible to spot from the street, so make sure you know the address and are checking numbers. 
    #12
    Bogeyman
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/07/12 12:13:56 (permalink)
    With all due respect to the many admirers of Fresh Air I must take the other stand. In the last 40 years I've gone many times with friends who love the place & the chopped pork has always been overcooked & doused with sauce. I like the sauce but I'd rather have it on good Q. That being said...they are consistant.
    #13
    kevincad
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/07/12 12:19:37 (permalink)
    Bogeyman

    With all due respect to the many admirers of Fresh Air I must take the other stand. In the last 40 years I've gone many times with friends who love the place & the chopped pork has always been overcooked & doused with sauce. I like the sauce but I'd rather have it on good Q. That being said...they are consistant.


    I agree about Fresh Air, just average Q.
    #14
    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/07/12 15:11:16 (permalink)
    Interesting... I've thought the Fresh Air in Athens was pretty good, but I've been wanting to go to the original for ages.  I hope y'all are just selling it short!
    #15
    Large Man
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2011/07/12 19:13:40 (permalink)
    I agree regarding to Fresh Air.  I do love their stew.  I do not like pre sauced meat (what are you trying to hide?).  I do not eat at the one in Athens however the one in Jackon is the best of the bunch. 
    #16
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2012/06/24 21:03:10 (permalink)
    Slice just did a writeup on Vingenzos
     
    http://slice.seriouseats....l?ref=excerpt_readmore
    #17
    Littleman
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2012/06/26 11:18:34 (permalink)
    Get off I 75 at Exit 22 in Valdosta, GA and go E on Valdosta Road to Smok'n Pig BBQ for Top 10 in the US BBQ. Or go to Old South BBQ in Valdosta, GA. Get off I75 at Exit 63A at Tifton, GA and go W on 8th Street W to Pit Stop BBQ for good road food. Get off I 75 at Exit 169 at Macon, GA and go SW on Tom Hill Blvd. to Riverside Dr. Take a left and go S about a mile to Fresh Air BBQ for outstanding GA smoked BBQ. Get off I 75 at Exit 187 and go S to Johnston Street.  Take a right and go to Grit's Cafe for outstanding southern cooking for lunch or dinner. Get off I 75 at Exit 198 at Jackson, GA and go E about a mile on High Falls Road to good country food at Falls View Restaurant. Before you get to Atlanta, GA get off I 75 at Exit 233 at Morrow, GA and go S on Jonesborough Road to Southlake Parkway. Take a right and go to Anderson Diner for outstanding country food.
    Smok'n Pig BBQ @ 4228 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA. 229 - 245 - 8227.
    http://www.smoknpig.com/
    Old South BBQ @ 1700 West Hill Avenue, Valdosta, GA 229 - 247 - 6700.
    Pit Stop BBQ @ 1112 8th St. W., Tifton, GA 229 - 387 - 0888.
    Fresh Air Bar B Que @ 3076 Riverside Dr., Macon, GA. 478 - 477 - 7229.
    http://www.freshairbarbecue.com/
    Grit's Cafe @ 17 West Johnston Street, Forsyth, GA 478 - 994 - 8325. 
    http://www.gritscafe.com/
    Falls View Restaurant @ 42 Towaliga River Dr., Jackson, GA 478 - 994 - 6050.
    Anderson's Diner @ 1395 Southlake Pkwy., Morrow, GA 678 - 422 - 3643.
    http://andersonsdiner.homestead.com/index.html
     
    #18
    ALL GOOD
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2012/06/26 12:58:49 (permalink)
    Probably not the best route to be driving today with the "tropical depression".... 20 plus inches of rain would be enough to discourage me....  time to order in.
    #19
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2015/11/09 15:27:25 (permalink)
    Littleman
    Get off I 75 at Exit 22 in Valdosta, GA and go E on Valdosta Road to Smok'n Pig BBQ for Top 10 in the US BBQ. Or go to Old South BBQ in Valdosta, GA. 



    I guess this is a little weird reviving a three-year old thread, but I am heading to Valdosta, GA this weekend and a local recommended Smok'n Pig for lunch. I feel like I may have already been there and left unimpressed. But, they sent me a link to their web site and they do advertise themselves as "Top 10 in the country" for barbecue. They don't cite WHO named them "Top 10 in the country," nor could I find any such list that would make such a claim. I used the Google machine and that led me here, which is funny in its own way. I'm just curious as to who else might be in this alleged top 10. Maybe I have been to the nine others and found them all outstanding. I would want to go back and would assume that I just had a less-than-stellar meal my last time. Based on a few of the other reviews and blog posts that I found, I don't think that is the case. 
     
    The only other worthwhile BBQ in the Valdosta area that I have seen mentioned is Sam's, which does not have sit-down (which will not work for this trip). Does anyone else have any other ideas for the mighty Valdosta metro area?
    #20
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2015/11/09 16:34:33 (permalink)
    TM I have eaten there several times and didnt hate it. I haven't been to any other BBQ restaurants in Valdosta. When you walk in you will almost immediately think of Sonny's but dont panic. It really is pretty good and they have several good sauces. The same group operates 8-10 Old Times Country Buffets in South GA also. Pretty sure the top 10 designation has to refer to size though. Cant argue with them on that. I would return.
    #21
    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2015/11/09 16:48:53 (permalink)
    Travelin Man, it's funny you should mention that, because the Smok'n Pig in Macon has that "top 10 in the country" printed everywhere your eye can see it, and that's precisely what I wanted to know.  Says who?
     
    If it helps you remember whether you've been before, it has a salad bar.  Not many barbecue joints in Georgia have salad bars; I know of only two others!
     
    As for Valdosta generally, other than King's Grill, I don't know the town, but my breakfast at that restaurant was pretty good.
    #22
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2015/11/10 18:27:54 (permalink)
    chickenplucker
    TM I have eaten there several times and didnt hate it. 

    Should I be scared if it sounds like this is the nicest thing you can say about them? " /> It doesn't matter, as it does not seem as though I will be able to talk my traveling companion out of it.
     
    I will try to keep King's Grill on the radar for breakfast on Sunday morning. 
    #23
    Rocky Enfield
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2017/04/11 17:04:40 (permalink)
    I know this is an old post but as I was searching for road food to eat on our trip back home from Florida I came across this stream.  We were headed for Pit Stop BBQ in Tifton but horrendous traffic slowed us down and at 1:00pm I decided to try Smokin' Pig in Valdosta.  I recalled it being labeled a "Top 10 in the country" restaurant.
     
    I may have hit it on a bad day but my Q was terrible.  It was cool and dry.  I got the 3 meat sampler with ribs, brisket and pulled pork, across the board the meat was not good.  They were all cool and dry...no juice at all.  I had to use the various sauces just to make it edible.  I had been really looking forward to some good Georgia Q and was severely disappointed.  It was so bad I would have complained but we were in the middle of a long drive and I didn't want to take the time.  Top 10 in the country, I don't think so.  It wouldn't make top 10 in Elkhart, In and we only have 2 BBQ restaurants.
     
    On a positive note I did appreciate the Brunswick stew, the good fresh salad bar and the peach cobbler w/ice cream.
     
    I really hate to judge a restaurant on one bad experience so I would probably give it another shot if I end up in the neighborhood.
     
    Rocky
    #24
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2017/04/11 17:24:34 (permalink)
    I have been there. It is set up to feed hordes of interstate travelers and they do. Top 10? I don't think they have ever been asked to back that claim up.
    #25
    IndianaPete
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2017/04/12 10:10:19 (permalink)
    Macon is my overnight stop on the way to FL.  For years I ate at a place (but I can't remember the name) which had a billboard on I-475, "Voted Best BBQ in Georgia." It closed.  Wandering around, I found Smokin' Pig at the Macon Mall and have eaten there several times, and think it's a good thing that the Best BBQ in GA has closed.  I have not dragged my palette through their entire menu, nor have I tried the salad bar, nor have I ever been to the Valdosta location, but the Carolina style pulled pork is excellent and the Brunswick Stew is so good I have never failed to get it and in fact MrsINPete insists I bring back a bowl when I return from one of my FL fishing trips.  Top 10?  I couldn't say, but I do plan my trips around it, coming and going, just not the Valdosta location.
     
    Perhaps what is being experienced here is different taste buds trying different menu items.  For instance there is a BBQ chain I've been to once and will never go back due to their terrible preparation of the item I ordered.  OTOH, even a place self proclaimed as Top 10 shouldn't have very many dissatisfied customers.  And there's no excuse for serving cold dry meat.
     
    #26
    IndianaPete
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2017/04/12 12:56:27 (permalink)
    I've had a thought. Perhaps the Top 10 statistic is based on truth, just whatever convenient truth SP has decided on.  The one in Macon is HUGE, easily seating a few hundred people.  Perhaps the Top 10 "ranking" is based on say revenue per location, not on any voting by the unwashed masses, or by awards achieved.  Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
    #27
    amberemily
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2017/07/07 12:51:03 (permalink)
    It may be a little out of the way... And I may be a little biased because I live here... But you gotta stop in Savannah and eat at Green Truck Pub. They've been voted the best burger in Savannah every year since they opened, they're all free-range beef, they make as much as they possibly can in-house (even their ketchup), they bake THEN fry their fries (heaven), and they have an amazing craft beer selection. They're closed Sunday/Monday, but in the middle of the day during the week there's usually not a wait. It's a small joint, but it's so worth the stop. It's my favorite burger restaurant EVER! The Rustico is so mouth watering. 
    #28
    Davidsanders
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    Re:Tampa to Atlanta I-75 2017/07/07 23:27:04 (permalink)
    amberemily
    It may be a little out of the way... And I may be a little biased because I live here... But you gotta stop in Savannah and eat at Green Truck Pub. They've been voted the best burger in Savannah every year since they opened, they're all free-range beef, they make as much as they possibly can in-house (even their ketchup), they bake THEN fry their fries (heaven), and they have an amazing craft beer selection. They're closed Sunday/Monday, but in the middle of the day during the week there's usually not a wait. It's a small joint, but it's so worth the stop. It's my favorite burger restaurant EVER! The Rustico is so mouth watering. 


    I'll be back in Savannah in August. I hadn't heard of Green Truck Pub, but hopefully I'll be able to give it a try. 
    #29
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