Take a trip to LaGrange, Georgia, and be sure to pack your appetite! Conveniently located just an hour from both Atlanta and Columbus along I-85, LaGrange is the perfect place to get away from it all without straying too far from the comforts of home. In fact, this town is chock-full of comfort: from its inviting Lafayette Square at the center of town to its array of name-brand accommodations, it doesn't get more comfortable than LaGrange.
One thing LaGrange has in abundance is comfort food. From casual lunch counters to fine dining appropriate for a special occasion, it can all be found here in the jewel of West Georgia. With an address on LaGrange's picturesque Main Street, Venucci offers traditional Italian fare in a comfortable atmosphere filled with ambiance, with an upscale menu of steaks, pastas and even lunchtime burgers.
Fresh salads are always available, topped with your choice of an array of house-made dressings, now available to take home with the launch of owner Tulla White's popular line of bottled salad dressings.
Not far away on Bull Street is Charlie Joseph's Famous Hotdogs and Hamburgers, with a second location on the outskirts of town as you head towards the Alabama state line. The restaurant originated in 1920 before moving to its Bull Street location in 1946, where it has remained a local favorite for generations. Covered practically floor to ceiling in old time Coca-Cola memorabilia, Charlie Joseph's lets guests belly up to the counter and order a steamed hotdog with sauerkraut and relish or an old-fashioned burger with chili and a Coke in a glass bottle. Both kids and kids-at-heart will love the atmosphere and savor a taste of the foods of yesteryear.
Taste of Lemon, a quaint café specializing in Southern traditional fare and selling gifts and antiques on the side, is housed in a former church with a jaw-dropping vaulted ceiling and equally awe-inspiring meals. Its legendary Southern salad plate of deviled eggs, chicken salad, broccoli salad, curried rice salad and saltine crackers can be picked up and taken along for a picnic under the crepe myrtles at Lafayette Square for a quintessential Southern experience.
In the evenings, you may feel like dressing up to savor the local flavor at some finer dining hotspots. Casually elegant C'Sons, known for "new American" cuisine inspired by seasonal ingredients, and Mare Sol, featuring inventive interpretations of classic dishes, are both owned by local entrepreneur Chase Hudson, a grandson of LaGrange's illustrious Callaway family of the Hills and Dales Estate, Callaway Gardens and Callaway Golf company fame. The two restaurants share a kitchen, but each has a style and feel of its own, both in their approach to food and in the décor. For top quality cuisine, there's no need to leave LaGrange's city limits.
If you plan ahead, you can schedule a Biblical dining experience enjoying an authentic first century Middle Eastern meal at the Biblical History Center archaeological park. The Center offers a four-course Biblical meal experience consisting of 15 authentic food items in one of two rooms modeled after meal rooms discovered in the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Diners can choose whether to enjoy their meal sitting upright in the modern way, or lounging on one arm and eating with the other, the way the ancients ate. The Center features a gallery of authentic artifacts on long-term loan from the Israeli Antiquities Authority, displayed in replicas of their original settings. You don't have to be a religious scholar to enjoy the true-to-history replicas that the Biblical History Center's founder, Dr. Jim Fleming, has painstakingly recreated on 34 acres for the purpose of giving historical and cultural context to time-of-Jesus writings.
If you go
Venucci, 129 Main St, is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Charlie Joseph's, 128 Bull St, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday
Taste of Lemon, 204 Morgan St, is open Monday through Saturdayfrom 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
C'Sons, 120 Main St, is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Mare Sol, 124 Main St, is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., as well as Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Exhibits at The Biblical History Center, 130 Gordon Commercial Dr, are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Biblical meals must be booked in advance. Because a group of 10 or more is required, if you do not have a group of 10, the Center will schedule you to eat with another group.