One lovely Saturday afternoon, a girlfriend and I decided to make the trip up to Thomasville to do a little shopping and have a little lunch. I'd been hearing a lot of good things about Jonah's, the eatery located right next to Liam's (one of my all time favorite restaurants in the area), so we decided to make that our midday stop. After wearing ourselves out buying a few trinkets and truffles, we put our name on the list at noon and were told we'd have to wait about 20 minutes. At that point, we were both ready for a few mimosas! But just as we got seated and took a gander at the menu we realized - dun, Dun, DUNNN - they don't serve alcohol!!! I guess with a biblical name like Jonah's and biblical illustrations gracing the walls, we should have known better. But hey, Jesus turned water into wine, didn't he?
Posted by Tally Foodie Sunday, May 2, 2010
Okay, I don't want this to devolve into a religious discussion, because after politics, it's the least PC topic of conversation, but I just want you guys to know that if you go there expecting a nice afternoon or evening cocktail - you'll be sorely disappointed. Jonah's does, however, bill themselves as a family-friendly, alcohol-free restaurant that represents the owner's faith. So there you have it.
It's a casual, cozy little place with probably about 15 or so tables and a menu that hinges on - what else? - seafood. I mean, cause, you know, Jonah and the whale. Get it? So after frowning and ordering a Coke and a Sweet Tea, we started perusing the dishes and we noticed one startling similarity between most of their offerings. Almost everything seems to be dipped in a seasoned cornmeal batter and deep fried in peanut oil. Literally. Almost everything. Unless you get the Grilled Chicken Salad or something. But, when you can't have alcohol, you've got to feel guilty about something else, right? So, fried food it was.
My friend ordered the Farm Raised Catfish and I ordered the Cyclone Shrimp. And let me tell you - there is something about that cornmeal batter that is simply magic! It's a blend of seasonings, and the crunchy tiny-ball-like texture of the cornmeal batter, which is light and just a bit sweet. Her catfish was served with their signature spicy tartar sauce, which was tangy, tart and spicy all at the same time. And mine was covered in a spicy citrus aioli that tasted very similar to the sauce used on the Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish (which I absolutely LOVE). It was zesty and zippy and a touch sweet. I was literally popping them like my life depended on it!
Now, let's talk about the side dishes. Can you see those big flecks of sea salt on those fries? Those are pieces of sheer bliss. I love a good thick sea salt on my french fries. Yeah, they scrape the coating off my tongue and the roof of my mouth, but that's a small price to pay for sublimeness. But the hush puppies, I wasn't so over-the-moon about. I like hush puppies just like I like my crabcakes - WITHOUT filler. Just the breading. I'm not even sure what these had in them - all I know is that I took a bite, saw something green and didn't touch it again. Tsk, tsk, tsk (*clicking her tongue*). But other than that, I was hooked. Get it? Hooked. Cause of the fish...and the whale...and the....oh, okay, I'll stop.
By the way - thanks to all my readers who emailed and wondered if everything has been okay with me. I've just been out of town on business a while and haven't had much time for blogging between the 10-12 hour days. Yes, that's right. It was "the man" keeping me down again. Doesn't he know I have food to eat and restaurants to write about??!!!
Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - B - (I'm docking them a bit for the lack of alcohol)
Taste - A
Presentation - B
Service - A
Price - $$
109 East Jackson Street
Thomasville GA 31792