Old School Diner
Harris Neck Rd.
Townsend, GA 31331
NOTE: use GPS coordinates to reach destination accurately 31.62525, -81.29587
Also, CLOSED on Monday and Tuesday, check for current hours.
My research sugggested that this restaurant was a real local treasure – and not something you would just stumble on right off the interstate. Indeed on approaching the parking lot, some of the unique aspects were immediately visible. The location is about 7 miles detour after exiting I-95, and it’s easy to miss the purple sign directing you to turn onto a gravel road. I’m not sure why, but the parking area is covered in carpet scraps and there is definitely an alert little dog that barks at all visitors.
I was traveling with a small dog, so asked if sitting outside would be okay. Initially, I brought the little dog into “the gazebo” area – a screened porch, but then was told that the dog needed to stay outside. However, there was no problem backing my vehicle close to the gazebo and leaving the door open so I could keep an eye on the dog through the windows. I asked our friendly server for recommendations, and was immediately answered enthusiastically with “The wheelchair!”. This is a huge platter, with whatever the chef feels like putting on it for the day, plus sides for each individual. What the heck, it’s the house specialty, so I agreed.
I knew it would be a lot of food, and a lot of fried food and my expectations were fully met. There were ribs, fried oysters, hushpuppies, fried catfish (I think, it was a white fish), fried shrimp (both butterflied and not), crab cakes that might have been flash fried, and for sides we chose french fries and a sweet potato. This platter was accompanied with some tartar sauce and barbecue sauce, which I believe were both made in-house. I really liked the barbecue sauce, just the right combination of sweet and hot for my taste. Of the fried fare, I enjoyed the oysters and shrimp the most and both were great dipped in either sauce.
As the food was served, Chef Jerome came out to greet us with a big welcome and hugs, making sure we had everything we needed. Their strategy of “welcome home” really did make you feel special.
The wheelchair platter for two was $45 – was it worth it? Well, it definitely was a lot of food and nothing was bad. I wasn’t blown away exactly, but I’m not sure there is much fried food that could do that. I know that if I lived in the area, this could only be a once-in-a-while stop but that’s my own penchant for healthier fare. The friendly service and welcoming atmosphere did make me feel like the experience was something special – definitely worth doing.