Fork in the Road: West Point and Callaway Gardens

Fork in the Road: West Point and Callaway Gardens

PINE MOUNTAIN, GA (WTVM) - Our latest stop in the Chattahoochee Valley eating tour landed us in West Point with one quick stop in Callaway Gardens to get things started off.

In our two previous destinations, Eufaula and Americus, the dining experiences were strictly lunch and dinner. This time around it was time to add in the most important meal of the day at Country's Kitchen.

"It is really popular for breakfast we open at 7 a.m. and we serve breakfast up until 11. And then they kind of take a break from 11-11:30 to switch the line over. For the rest of the day, they are serving fried chicken and meatloaf, all of those southern delicacies," said Callaway Gardens spokesperson Rachel Crumbley.

Country's Kitchen is attached to Callaway Garden's Country store that was originally built in the 1950s. At that time, Highway 27 was the only roadway from Chattanooga to Tallahassee, so there was a constant flow of people.

With such a high volume of people, they asked if someone could cook the food and that how the kitchen was opened.

"And originally I think they had a porch out front, but I'm sure in Georgia it got hot.  So that is when they closed it in and now there is the great view," Crumbley said. "The Georgia tourism department put out this list of best and it is one of the best views in the state of Georgia."

And that incredible view is nearly matched by their southern style breakfast.

One of their signature dishes is, the Ultimate Country Omelet, speckled heart grits, Red Roaster sausage a locally sourced meat and lastly their homemade biscuits and muscadine jelly.

Country's Kitchen provides a view that may be unmatched in the Chattahoochee Valley and a country store that other chains have certainly tried to replicate.

Next stop, downtown West Point at a relatively new restaurant, Pokey's Grill a unique name that just felt right for the owner.

"Pokey's it was just my childhood nickname and so when we were getting ready to open we still didn't have a name. So when we were getting ready to open we still didn't have a name. We asked a few people and Pokeys just kind of stuck so that is what we went with," said John Carter Norman, the owner or Pokey's Grill.

Long lines are the norm for this 9-month-old restaurant.

They have a variety of grilled flavors, from hand patted burgers and fresh cut fries to catfish tacos.  In addition, they have a delicious condiment, the perfect match for some of those fried treats, their Pokey's sauce but when asked what was in it, the response was it was a secret.  But it doesn't help decide what their specialty item is.

"Its definitely got to be either our cheesesteak or our burger, those our two top sellers people come and they crave them.  Everyone says we have a great cheesesteak here, they say it is the best they have had since they left Philadelphia."

The classic Philadelphia sandwich is textbook at Pokey's, the meat chopped appropriately.  Peppers and onions the vegetable additions cooked to perfection and lastly and most importantly, provolone cheese.

The final stop for Fork in the Road was the corner, Railroads, a name that ties into the history of West Point.

"West Point was basically established by the railroad system.  A lot of people don't know this but the tracks ended right here because it is on the state line of Georgia and Alabama. Well the tracks were wider on the Georgia side than they were on the Alabama side so the railroad is actually what put West Point on the map," said owner Matt Livingston.

That railroad theme can be seen in the decor around the restaurant.  Matt is very confident and proud of his restaurant. When asked what type of food they serve, Livingston showed a bit of his comedic side.

"We are not a fast food, we do hot dogs as our specialty.  We base it off of really crazy ideas, you can get the traditional hot dog with mustard ketchup your traditional toppings but we do a lot with different toppings," Livingston said.

Along with all beef hot dogs, they also 24 different flavors of ice cream, some equally as crazy as the hot dogs.

The two hot dogs that they served up for Fork in the Road were the Smokestack dog topped with BBQ pork, slaw and pickles and the Conductor smothered in chicken bacon ranch.  

Fork in the Road explored local restaurants all over the Chattahoochee Valley, each with unique styles and flavors. All of the restaurants within one tank of gas of Columbus, definitely worth a try.

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