The Smith House has been feeding Southern-style cooking family style to generations of visitors to Dahlonega in the north Georgia mountains.
The dining room is on the lower floor of this inn and restaurant just off the square. Part of the charm is that you share your meal with other visitors. We got to sit with retirees from Florida on our excursion in October.
Platters of fried chicken and ham and vegetables are brought to your table to share. The food is amazing, and the Smith House still draws in bus loads of tourists.
It must have been an off day on our visit, though. Chicken pieces were paltry, and there were no wings available (they had just served a tour group). Vegetables were average, and the strawberry shortcake seemed to have been picked up from a grocery store deli instead of made there. Oh, well.
We'll be back, though, because the Smith House has been a family favorite of ours for more than 35 years and had never previously failed to satisfy.
Learn more about Smith House and check the dining hours and prices at www.smithhouse.com.
Downtown makes for a fun after-meal stroll. It's a good mix of working small-town stores and touristy boutiques. There's a museum in the center of the square.
SOMETIMES A TRIP IS ALL ABOUT the meal, a restaurant or joint with food so good or a dining experience so unusual that you're willing to spend a few hours cramped in a car to get there. There are several such places within a one-tank drive of Augusta. The Getaway is asking for your recommendations for food stops that are worth the drive. Add your suggestions to The Getaway blog at blogs.augusta.com.
From Augusta, take Interstate 20 west to Thomson, then U.S. Highway 78 to Athens. Take U.S. Highway 129 north to Gainesville, then Georgia Highway 60 north to Dahlonega. It's about a three-hour drive.
DAHLONEGA CONVENTION AND VISITORS CENTER: Great overall Web site for information on Dahlonega and area attractions; www.dahlonega.org
THE SMITH HOUSE: www.smithhouse.com