Road Trips: The Swanson, Perry, GA

It’s travel season and your friends at Date Night are on the road for an extended period of time. Here’s the second part of our series, which highlights some Georgia gems we have found during our road travels.

It’s Sunday and Date Night needs lunch. Unfortunately, we are approaching Perry, GA, where just about everything that’s locally owned is closed on Sundays. You can eat at the Longhorn or the Cracker Barrel near the highway, or you can drive two miles to the east and discover The Swanson.
It’s really the “historic” Swanson as it is located in an old house in “downtown” Perry. The district has been nicely restored and it’s nice to see all of the local stores, all of which are closed on Sunday.

The Swanson, however, is open, and doing a brisk after-church business.
We have to wait 30 minutes for a table for two. We didn’t know that you can call ahead and get on the waiting list on Sundays, but now you know. We wind up at a table with two elderly folks from Fort Valley just up the road. When I ask which local restaurants they like to eat in, I get Red Lobster, Longhorn, and Cracker Barrel. To each his own, I guess.

The Sunday lunch menu is “price fixed” at $10.95. You get a meat and three sides, plus dessert. Drinks are extra. You may not have to eat again for the rest of the day. We didn’t. They start you off with a hot plate of mini-biscuits.
These are just out of the oven and are so good. You want to eat the entire plate, but there is so much more food coming that you must control yourself.

The menu is a display of total southern comfort-food.
Nothing is more comforting than a large plate of meat loaf. There’s a sweet glaze on top, which may make this different from your mother’s meat loaf. Eve gets hers with a salad which we didn’t photograph, as well as sweet potato casserole and cornbread stuffing. Come hungry because this is a lot of food. Half of this plate goes home with us.

Fried chicken can be comforting as well.
This chicken does not disappoint. It’s crunchy on the outside and hot and juicy on the inside. The fried okra has an interesting coating that didn’t want to stick to the vegetable. The squash casserole is excellent as they don’t use onions in it. I get the sweet potatoes as well, which have a lot of brown sugar in them. We know we are not eating healthy, but we don’t care.

Remember that dessert is included. They call this dish the “chocolate delight”.
We call it “chocolate cream pie”. It is nice and light, a sweet change after all of the heavy food.

Ever hear of strawberry poke cake?
This could be the first time we have had this dessert. They take vanilla cake, poke holes into it and pour strawberry syrup into the holes. The result is pretty good. It’s sort of like a strawberry shortcake without the fruit.

Score factor (out of 5): We give it a 1. Hey, this is Sunday lunch we are talking about here. The only thing you will want to do after eating all of this comfort food is take a nap.
The bottom line on The Swanson: We went for Sunday lunch, but they have a more extensive regular menu where you can order the same southern food the rest of the week. It’s worth the drive into Perry and we can assure you it’s much better than the Cracker Barrel.

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