A new Georgia Tourism culinary guide is including two Bartow County restaurants’ menu offerings among 100 dishes it is recommending diners try at eateries statewide.
The Ate Track Bar & Grill in downtown Cartersville and the Rice House at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville are featured in the Georgia Tourism Division’s 2019-2020 Explore Georgia Official State Culinary Guide.
The Guide includes a list of “Georgia’s 100 Plates” and features the Ate Track’s Goat Cheese Crusted Grit Cake and the Rice House’s ribeye steak dish.
The Guide notes the Goat Cheese Crusted Grit Cake is a vegetarian dish “but even carnivores will be satisfied with a grit cake that’s topped with grilled tomato and goat cheese, broiled and served over cannellini beans and sundried tomato–infused spinach.”
It also gives some background information about the restaurant at 25 N. Wall St. — such as the restaurant’s collection of vintage stereos, posters, albums, eight-track music cartridges, beer lights and mid-century accents.
“Some of owners’ Jackie and Andrea Wallace’s fondest memories are of the music they grew up listening to — so the merging of two great passions was created — food and music.”
The Wallaces also own and operate the Appalachian Grill in the same area of downtown Cartersville.
The Rice House restaurant’s building at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville dates to the 19th century and served as a farmhouse on the original Rice Plantation in Rome “before it was carefully relocated and resurrected at Barnsley Resort,” the Guide states.
It described the Rice House’s featured ribeye steak dish, which also includes side vegetables that vary based on the season.
“Chef de cuisine Evan Babb credits grass-fed Brasstown Beef for the meat’s bright flavor and healthier nutrition profile,” the Guide stated.
“Look for seasonal, ‘yard-to-fork’ accompaniments — the first crop of potatoes and Swiss chard from Georgia’s Tucker Farms in early spring, for example.”
Apart from the Guide, Babb said, “I prefer the ribeye to another cut because of the flavor that pulls through in the marbling for a richer experience.”
He said “the environment it’s raised in and what the cow eats” makes the dish special.
“What I like about that is that, it not only carries flavor that you won’t get from generic or corn-fed beef (but) that you get flavor profiles of mineral flavors coming from the grass and has a brighter taste to the palate,” Babb said.
“It’s just healthier since the cow is eating how it is built to eat, plus you get the benefits of the omegas,” he said, in reference to omega-3 which is an essential nutrient.
Omega-3 is much higher in grass-fed beef than regular beef, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The “yard to fork” approach to the vegetables which accompany the steak means they “change with the season.”
Potatoes and Swiss chard harvested in the early spring could give way to a fresh herb chimichurri from the resort’s garden in the summer; and celery root and acorn squash in the fall, he said.
The Guide divides the state into nine geographic regions, ranging from “Atlanta Metro” to the Atlantic coast and the “Presidential Pathways” area of western Georgia.
The two Bartow County restaurants’ dishes are featured among those featured in the state’s “Historic High Country” region of northwest Georgia.
The public nominates the individual dishes from throughout Georgia on the tourism division’s social media channels and the ExploreGeorgia.org website. A panel of judges then evaluates and curates the list “down to the final designees,” a news release stated.
“Since the inaugural issue of the Explore Georgia Culinary Guide, Georgia Tourism has designated ‘Georgia’s 100 Plates’ as a way to provide visitors with locally sourced suggestions” the release stated.
The full list of “Georgia’s 100 Plates” can be seen online at ExploreGeorgia.org.
The Explore Georgia Culinary Guide is available free at the state’s 11 Visitor Information Centers and on ExploreGeorgia.org.