By STACEY PATTON WALLACE
A year or so ago, Mike and I were saddened to hear that Good ‘Ol Boys in Auburn had closed. We couldn’t remember when the original restaurant had opened, so I began asking people about it. I was told that the restaurant had first opened in 1993.
Back then, Tom and Barbara Patton, my sweet parents, would travel from Alexander City (“Eleck City” to the locals) to have their favorite dish: fried catfish.
Mama and Daddy also really loved their delicious salad bar. Before Mike and I were married, he went to the restaurant with friends back in 2004. After we married in 2005, we traveled numerous times from LaGrange, Georgia, to eat there, braving treacherous I-85 for Good ‘Ol Boys’ delicious steaks.
People of Lee County: Mike and I aren’t sad anymore. We recently dined at the newly opened Good ‘Ol Boys. Thank the Good Lord, delicious catfish and steaks are back, along with other delectable dishes.
We met our friends Jack, William and Thomas for supper on a recent Saturday night. It was so great just to be back in the building. We met Chef Anthony Shiffer. He was so kind to take the time to speak to us since he was so busy. Good ‘Ol Boys was still having a soft opening, but Chef Anthony said that new items would be introduced weekly. Also, the full menu will be available in a week.
In addition, McKenzie, our waitress, was really sweet, helpful and very attentive. She knew when to refill our glasses or ask if we needed anything.
Jack and William both ordered cheese curds with chili lime ranch dip for an appetizer. William sat next to me and asked me to try some. I am SO glad he did.
Good ‘Ol Boys had me at cheese curds. After all, frying makes everything better. Also, the chili lime ranch dip gave the curds a nice, little kick, which was great.
When it comes to spicy food, I’m a real wimp. My rule is: If my lips are burning while I’m eating, I am NOT having a good time, so, no thank you.
My sweet husband, on the other hand, loves spicy food, but it doesn’t love him back. Once, when he was 24, he had a bet with a friend. The friend said that he could eat two jalapeno peppers for each one that Mike ate, and they couldn’t drink anything. Mike had to stop at six peppers; the friend had twelve. I’m so glad that the old adage is usually true: With age comes wisdom. Mike is way too smart to do that again.
Other appetizers at Good ‘Ol Boys included: creamy crab dip with house chips and grilled baguettes (that will be on our next trip.), chiccarones (spicy pork rinds) with Cayenne honey drizzle and Creole potato chips with horseradish blue cheese dip.
For our entrée, Mike and I chose the 8-ounce filet mignon. Mike’s sides were a baked potato and cheese grits. I chose braised greens and fries.
Our steaks were delicious and tender; we could have cut them with a fork. Our sides were great, too. At first, I was somewhat dismayed when I learned that there was no hot pepper sauce for my greens. Our sweet waitress McKenzie even offered to go get me some at the grocery store. I declined her kind offer and asked, “Braised means y’all doctored the greens, right?” She smiled and said, “Yes.” Not to worry. Those were some of the best greens this Southern girl has ever tasted. In fact, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but those greens didn’t need any hot pepper sauce. Please forgive me, great Southern cooks everywhere.
Jack selected the 12-ounce Kansas Strip. He chose the salad bar and braised greens for his sides. He said his steak was excellent and had a good flavor.
William ordered the fried chicken sandwich with caramelized onion bacon jam and house cut French fries. That was a huge sandwich. When he bit into it, William said, “Wow! That is fantastic.”
Thomas ordered fried catfish fillets with pickled onion slaw, hushpuppies and braised greens. He said everything tasted really good.
We also met Gwen Adams; she and her husband Dan are the owners of Good ‘Ol Boys. In addition, Dan is a singer/songwriter who has been performing in Auburn since the ‘90s. He and other musicians provide live entertainment nightly at the restaurant.
Gwen was so kind and welcoming to us. She told us that their steaks are Hereford beef. Hereford cows are bred for the quality of the beef; she also said that Good ‘Ol Boys is the only restaurant in our area that serves this type of steak.
Gwen also said that 70% of her employees being trained come from Beauregard High School. In addition, students from Auburn University who are studying Hospitality or are in Wild Life Management are training to work at the restaurant as well. I love that Good ‘Ol Boys is training young people in our county for their future careers. That warms this retired English teacher’s heart.
Good ‘Ol Boys is located at 1843 Sand Hill Road in Auburn. The restaurant is open Tuesday-Wednesday from 4-9 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday from 4-10 p.m.
Good ‘Ol Boys makes the grade with an A+ from this retired English teacher. Remember, “Pooh-sized” people NEVER lie about food. Enjoy.
Stacey Patton Wallace, who retired from teaching language arts for 30 years, is a professional diner. Her column, “Making the Grade,” will appear each week in the Observer. Stacey may be reached at email@example.com