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Caribbean food at Rae’s

Nestled away in the beautiful Forest Hills neighborhood in Augusta, Georgia along the legendary Rae’s Creek (which runs through the Augusta National Golf Club’s infamous Amen Corner) is Rae’s Coastal Cafe.

To be honest, the restaurant is a little difficult to find, it’s hidden and is a nice, quaint escape from the city. But, one call to the cafe and the friendly staff will be more than happy to guide you to your destination. Or you could always follow the smell of their unforgettable food!

My first trip to Rae’s Coastal Cafe was for a friend’s baby luncheon. Traditionally people have baby showers to celebrate the birth of a child, but she wanted something different and non-conventional. So, we chose a different, non-traditional restaurant.

They serve seafood, Southern and Caribbean style dishes. The atmosphere is quite cozy and nestled within a very pleasant neighborhood, surrounded by lots of trees and vegetation. You really feel like you’ve left the busy city, even though it’s simply minutes away.

Our waiter, Derrick, was fantastic and very knowledgeable about everything on the menu. The management was also very friendly and came out to check and make sure everything was perfect, and it was!

For an appetizer, we ordered the Onion Bloom and the Shrimp Pate with Mango Chutney, which was delish.

I ordered the Coconut Shrimp for an entree, which was served with the Rae’s House Salad (fresh greens, tomatoes, pita croutons  and Rae’s house made  dressing), and rice and black beans. I was very satisfied with my choice.

After hearing so many people rave about Rae’s famous She-Crab Soup, we couldn’t leave without trying it! And? It was fantastic! The soup was cream-based, similar to a chowder, but lighter with a sweet, fresh crab taste. Simply said…it is the best soup I’ve ever tasted.

Rae’s is open for both lunch and dinner. The Cafe also has a full bar and outdoor seating. Oh, and don’t forget their Key Lime Pie; it’s the perfect combination of sweet and tart, just as it should be.

If you haven’t tried Rae’s, you’re missing out on some scrumptious food!

Rae’s Coastal Cafe
(706) 738-1313
3208 W. Wimbledon Drive
Augusta, Georgia 30909

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday – Friday    11 am – 2 pm for lunch
Tuesday – Thursday   5 pm – 10 pm for dinner
Friday  -  Saturday    5 pm – 11 pm for dinner
Sunday  12 pm – 10 pm for lunch and dinner

Weekend Whirl

“Whirl (N): a rapid round of events, affairs, etc”

We all need a little mini-vacation sometimes and a weekend whirl to freshen things up is always fun. So whether your planning a weekend trip to visit Augusta or looking to show visiting friends and family a good time, this is a fun itinerary that has a few of my favorite things to do.

Friday Night

Get a taste of Augusta’s downtown dining scene. There’s something to please everyone’s taste buds. Feeling adventurous? Try Bees Knees – this tapas style restaurant adds Southern flair to international dishes.

Get a shot of Augusta’s downtown nightlife. While you’re out and about, enjoy live Indie bands, bar bands, and drink specials downtown. A few of my favorite hot spots are Sky City, Soul Bar, Metro Pub and Stillwater Taproom.

   If you’re in town the first Friday of the month, go and enjoy the First Friday festival in the Augusta Commons area. It’s one of my favorite things to do on a Friday night. You’ll find live performances, music, art, vintage cars, fair food and more. Many of the downtown businesses host special First Friday events as well.

Saturday

Get a look at the local market. Take advantage of the cool morning weather and stroll down to the Saturday Market on the River. Grab a freshly roasted and brewed cup of coffee and some locally grown fruit to snack on for a light breakfast while you peruse the work of local artists and are serenaded by local jazz musicians.

Get some grub. Since you had a light breakfast, grab a good lunch—there are lots of cafes and restaurants to choose from. One of my favorite lunch spots is New Moon Café. They offer a good variety of soups, sandwiches and Panini’s that are made with fresh, and mostly local, ingredients.

Get on a trolley. Hop on the Lady Liberty trolley for the Saturday Historic Trolley Tour. Hear the legend of the Haunted Pillar and Civil War stories. Learn about the bones in the Old Medical College basement and a rambunctious boy who grew up in Augusta and became a U.S. President. Tour historic downtown and get a feel for all the unique shops and restaurants that you want to visit and more! Sound like fun? Make sure you call ahead  (706-724-4067) and make reservations at least 24 hours in advance.

Get a glimpse of nature. Rent a canoe, pontoon boat, or jetski from the Riverwalk Marina before setting off for a self-guided nature cruise down the beautiful Savannah River. If you prefer to hand over the captain’s hat, try an Augusta Canal Cruise so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Get some seafood. Before you head out for a night on the town, stop by Rinehart’s Oyster Bar for a “beyond casual” experience and enjoy fresh, simple seafood. My favorite thing on the menu is their fresh oysters, of course!

Get your groove on. A short drive down the road from Rinehart’s, you’ll find the Country Club Dance Hall and Saloon. Grab a friend and hit the dance floor. If you’re feelin’ lucky, go try and grab a balloon during the balloon drop and see if you’ve won a prize!

Sunday

Get to sleep late. After a late night, if you’re like me, you’ll want to sleep in a little. But don’t worry, you can still make it in time to enjoy “Augusta’s Best Sunday Brunch” at the Partridge Inn. Cheesy grits, bacon, biscuits and gravy, omelets, muffins, fresh fruit…you name it, they’ve got it!

Get a piece of Southern art. Take some time to explore the Morris Museum of Art. It’s the first museum that is dedicated to Southern art and works of Southern artists. Admission into the Morris is free on Sundays.

Get something to take home with you. I never leave someplace without doing a little shopping first. Augusta has tons of cool shops for you to check out. Downtown you can hit Artists Row—a group of galleries and studios that sell local art and hand-made jewelry, The Book Tavern—a little bookstore packed full of new, used and rare books, Vintage Ooollee—a vintage clothing and accessories boutique, and any of the quirky antique shops—my favorite thing about antique shops is you never know what you’ll find!  

Looking for someplace to stay? Check out our hotel listings to see which Augusta hotel best fits your style and budget.

Old McDonald had a Fish Camp

My sister was in town from New Jersey this weekend, so I thought I would take her someplace completely different.  Now, remember I am the one with two boys (ages three and five), so it had to be family friendly. The perfect choice was Old MacDonald Fish Camp in Edgefield County, South Carolina. It sounds further away than it actually is—just a 12 mile drive from Augusta.

There is a lot to say about this experience. We went early. It was 5 o’clock on a Saturday and we did not have to wait. But if we had come about ten minutes later, we have had to wait.

Okay – first things first. This is the only restaurant I have ever been to that has a “Grits and Hushpuppy Bar.” Yes – like a salad bar, but just grits and hushpuppies. My sister thought this was amazing. And, really, it is. The grits were also a big hit with the kids.

The menu has all sorts of seafood – fried or broiled. My sister ordered the boiled shrimp. I had the Low Country Boil. I had to explain to my “northerner” sister, that low country boil is boiled shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn. Jacob and I shared. Fantastic!

I also highly recommend the sweet tea. I only have sweet tea on special occasions. And this was one of those times. Our waitress brought over the entire pitcher finally because I just kept sucking it down. It was so tasty and served in a Mason jar. Loved it.

After dinner we did stay and play for a little while. The restaurant is on a pond with a waterwheel. It also has a ducks, goats and chickens for the kids to feed for a nickel.  Very fun. So if you do have to wait – there is really no problem keeping entertained. I am sure some actually might be disappointed if they get seated right away.

So I asked my sister after the big adventure – was this something she could do in New Jersey? She said absolutely not and it was a great experience. I agreed.

Old McDonald Fish Camp
355 Currytown Road
North Augusta, SC 29860
Phone: 803-279-3305

OPEN 5:00 pm Thursday & Friday
OPEN 4:00 PM Saturday

www.oldmcdonaldfishcamp.com

Rhinehart’s – It’s Beyond Casual

This casual seafood restaurant is by far one of my favorite places to eat in Augusta, and one of the most unique “hole in the wall” places to visit! Don’t let the run down beach shack feel scare you from the outside-because it is truly one of Augusta’s gems!

Rhineharts gives you that casual, laid back, beach good feeling! They have the BEST fried shrimp-I think it’s even better than at the beach! They have a variety of wonderful seafood on their menu such as oysters, po boys, crab legs, fish and so much more. They also have other varieties of food, such as the best hamburger and homemade french fries in town!

They offer specials everyday for lunch and dinner-my personal fave is their Monday night special, $2.99 dozen boiled shrimp-you can’t beat the price or the taste anywhere!

Dining is inside or outside-however I recommend sitting outside at the picnic tables and enjoying this beautiful spring weather in Augusta! Take the entire family and friends and enjoy this great atmosphere, food, and fun!

French Market Grille

One of my favorite places to eat lunch in Augusta is French Market Grille. French Market Grille, located in Surrey Center, is locally owned and has been in operation for more than 26 years.

Jambalaya

They offer Louisiana-style dishes in a laid-back, casual atmosphere. You can dress up or wear your “comfortable” jeans. Everyone is welcome! It has been voted “Best Restaurant in Augusta” by the readers of Augusta Magazine for 17 years in a row.

Crepes Louisiana

The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and caterers. It also has a full bar; I recommend trying one of their martinis or perhaps share a bottle of one of their many wines with a loved one. The Riesling is my personal favorite. French Market Grille also offers private dining for groups of 50 or less.

Crab Chop

A group of friends and I went there one Saturday for lunch and everyone was please with the friendly service, the selection of food and the reasonable prices. They truly have something for everyone! 

Red Beans and Rice make a perfect appetizer!

If you are in town for the Masters and looking for a place to grab some great food you’ve found it. French Market Grille is located minutes from the Augusta National.

French Market Grille
Surrey Center
425 Highland Avenue
Augusta, GA 30909
(706) 737-4865

Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday
11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Friday & Saturday
11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Closed Sundays

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