Originally created 04/14/02

Visitors enjoy local eateries



Toronto's first Krispy Kreme doughnut shop opened about three months ago, but people are still lined up outside just to get in the door, said Canadian Ed Gallagher, who was in town Thursday for his first Masters Tournament.

So when he passed the Washington Road doughnut shop on his way to Augusta National Golf Club last week, he was in awe.

"There was nobody there," he said. "No lines! It was paradise."

From the ordinary to the opulent, when play ends for the day at Augusta National, golf patrons often set out in search of their favorite Southern specialties.

Mr. Gallagher has yet to try his first "Hot Now" glazed doughnut, but he hopes to before the tournament is over. In the meantime, he already has checked one dish off his to-taste list.

"I tried grits for my first time on the way down from Atlanta," he said. "There's not much to say about it, really. They don't taste like much."

Taste is what it's all about for three Irish badge holders who said that when they come to America - regardless of the city and state - they eat steak, steak and more steak.

Frances O'Brien and his two buddies said that since foot-and-mouth disease began affecting European livestock, their favorite cuts of meat have been taken off the menus in many Dublin restaurants. Mr. O'Brien ordered a T-bone steak Tuesday from T-Bonz restaurant on Washington Road and ate steak again the next night at Carrabba's Italian Grill.

Other visitors say they don't have to go any farther than an Augusta National concession stand to find their favorite foods.

"I have one ham sandwich a year, and it's here," said Bob Kolb, of Hilton Head Island, S.C.

"My wife won't let me eat Wonder bread," he said, and the simple sandwich - meat between two pieces of white bread - is his single guilty pleasure now that he's given up drinking beer.

For the past five years, Patty Brooks, her friend Genie White and their husbands have eaten dinner at Sixth at Watkins, a popular downtown business lunch spot that is tough to find, especially for out-of-town visitors.

The Charlotte couples say they're used to fine dining in North Carolina, and they appreciate the good service and good food they receive in Augusta.

"Someone at our hotel recommended it, and we thought it was good, so we've been back every year," Ms. White said.

Ms. Brooks said the best part about the restaurant, which is tucked away on a lightly traveled side street, is that there's no wait.

"It was full inside, but there weren't people standing in line," she said.

Reach Heidi Coryell Williams at (706) 823-3215 or heidi.williams@augustachronicle.com.