Originally created 05/30/97

Wine and dine: French Market Grille



In the jovial New Orleans style of the Surrey Center on Highland Avenue, the French Market Grille has tripled its bar. It also added nine more tables to the dining room and expanded the area for takeout customers.

The 1,400-square-foot enlargement became possible when the Periwinkle Cottage moved to the Fountain Level of Surrey Center. The new space allowed Chuck Baldwin to double his kitchen space, add a bathroom for handicapped customers and a mural by Raoul Pacheco.

WATCHING FOUR GENERATIONS of women bake biscuits could be reason enough to drive to Lincolnton, Ga., to eat at Guillebeau's Wagon Wheel. Homemade sweet potato pie, red velvet cake and rice pudding are better reasons.

Joe Guillebeau says there is 200 years of biscuit-making experience in her family, between herself, her daughter, mother and aunt. A 2-year-old granddaughter who helps doesn't really have enough experience to count.

Besides fresh biscuits daily - sweet potato biscuits on Fridays - the Wagon Wheel offers breakfast at 6 a.m. and a short-order grill for lunch and dinner until 8:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, dinners featuring steaks and pork chops are served from 5 to 9 p.m.

Mrs. Guillebeau renovated the kitchen and dining room of the restaurant before opening in March in the old Wagon Wheel at 2735 Thomson Highway.

AIKEN JUST GOT an 80-seat Huddle House, opened by Jim Hull on U.S. Highway 1. He also owns Huddle Houses in Hephzibah and Harlem.

Open 24 hours a day, the restaurant offers bagels, pastries, eggs any style, catfish, steak, hamburgers and of course, coffee.

ALSO IN AIKEN, Eric Kitchens has given Pat's Restaurant a gussying up since he bought it recently, adding a few tables upstairs.

Mr. Kitchens said Pat's has done well enough in 17 years and needs only fine tuning. The casual restaurant still opens at 6 a.m. to offer turnip greens, fried chicken and other Southern dishes and stays open till 1 a.m., serving seafood and steaks with live entertainment in the piano bar.

Pat's is at 205 Richland Ave. N.W.

Know of a restaurant opening, closing, changing its menu or doing something else special? Call Walter C. Jones at 823-3352 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays, or send a fax to him at (706) 722-7403.