The Georgia town of Juliette wasn’t much to look at in the 1980s. The buildings were old and worn. What was once the old general store wasn’t in much better shape. If it wasn’t for Hollywood, the town may still be like that today. But Hollywood came calling in the early 90s and the town of Juliette became a star in its own right.
A set designer transformed this tiny little hamlet in Monroe County into a bustling 1920s town made famous by a restaurant that served fried green tomatoes. In fact, the movie was named after the delicacy that has become a popular appetizer today. The story of Ruth, Idgie, Evelyn and Ms. Threadgood actually took place in Alabama in Fanny Flagg’s book on which the movie is based. But Juliette, Georgia is the place where the movie magic happened.
First, let’s eat
Juliette may be small but you will find plenty to do. But like most people, you will want to start at the restaurant so you can try its signature dish. The Whistle Stop Café didn’t start out as a diner when it was built in 1927. It was a general store, according to the cafe’s website. Robert Williams and Jerie Lynn Williams preserved it as a café after the movie was filmed.
If you have seen the movie, you will notice very little has changed. There are booths and tables arranged in a way that promote great conversation. The center of the store still has a older cash register and other items in the case.
While it’s nostalgic, you are there to eat. Of course you have to start out with a serving of fried green tomatoes. And they are good. I am no cook or food critic, but I loved the dipping sauce that came with the tomatoes. I would say ‘the secret is in the sauce’ but that wouldn’t be true when talking about the tomatoes. If you have seen the movie, you will understand.
The food was so good we didn’t stop to take a picture. I really enjoyed the barbecue and Steve had the fried chicken. I did take a picture of this buttermilk pie. It’s one of my favorites and this was excellent.
The Whistle Stop Café is closed Monday through Wednesday and is only open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. I would get their early and get on the wait list for a table.
Strolling through Juliette
After a great lunch at Whistle Stop you are going to want to walk off those calories. The streets of Juliette not only pay homage to the movie but provide opportunities for some great shopping. You can find unusual items in the antique and general stores, like this big Elvis. I am still wondering if anyone bought him.
We didn’t leave this Georgia town empty-handed. Of course I had to have this shirt that says “Towanda!” If you don’t know what that means, you have to watch the movie.
We had the perfect weather on our visit to stroll through the little town and take in the sites. Luckily, we didn’t have a police emergency.
And I wonder if this is the same Opry House where Idgie performed before….well, you need to watch to movie to find out what happened.
Stay for a while and explore Monroe County
There’s a lot more to see in Juliette so you will just have to go explore it for yourself. Juliette is a short day trip from Macon or Atlanta but I would encourage you to make a weekend of it and check out all Forsyth and Monroe County has to offer. Even better, visit the town during the Green Tomato Festival. This annual event is held on Oct. 29-30. You can learn more about it and other special events in Monroe County here.
You can also learn more about Forsyth here. This middle Georgia town has become a favorite of ours and we have so many more stories to tell.