My time in Augusta was short but sweet. We were passing through on our way to Savannah and stopped to see my cousin who recently moved to Augusta. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to see a ton of the town but we went out for dinner at a very local tucked away place called Rae’s Coastal Cafe that is famous for their jerk chicken… it was fantastic - super juicy and flavorful. The place was surrounded by palms and really made you feel like you were in the backwoods of Georgia. Definitely recommend if you’re in the area and looking for something authentic!
After dinner my cousin and I kissed the fam goodbye and made our way downtown. From what I could tell there was a decent bar scene for a city of Augusta’s size. There was a main street with bars, restaurants and shops lining both sides. We decided to begin the night at a place called Metro. There was a five dollar cover as it was Saturday night and a band was playing but it was so worth it. The place is actually a coffee bar by day, serving up your favorite espresso drink and food but they've also got the full alcoholic bar to back it up. It's full name is Metro Coffeehouse and Pub and it certainly captured the “pub” vibe with warm colors, leather booths and pounded tin ceilings. There was a large mix of people there from middle aged women out for girls night, to old men enjoying the band, to young professionals and millennials like my cousin and I. It was very inviting and the bartenders were knowledgable and friendly- in my opinion it was a great place to grab a drink and start the evening on a good low-key note. It was a little hard to talk because the band was quite loud but it was hard to care because they were amazing. The band rotates each weekend but these guys were a blend of country and something that resembled Irish music. I felt like I was back in Dublin. The band's fiddle player was extremely talented and I would go back to listen to more in a heartbeat.
I ordered the “Augusta Lemonade” a staple in this area (if the name didn’t suggest as much). It’s made with Fruitland Augusta Peach Tea Vodka and lemonade (basically an adult Arnold Palmer). Fruitland Augusta makes two different types of Vodka, peach and peach tea, each made with real Georgia peaches. A farmer bought some land ages ago and called it Fruitland because he grew peaches, apples, grapes, strawberries, and other trees and fruits on his land. As the years went by it slowly transitioned into solely peaches and the farmer spent 50 years extensively researching peaches while planting more than 3 million peach tress on the Augusta farm. The Fruitland farm and Augusta are what put Georgia on the map as the “Peach State”.
Learning this history of course had me intrigued by the drink. I haven’t ever liked tea flavored vodka before but I wanted to give it another shot… and I’m glad I did because the drink was delicious. I love tea, I love lemonade, I love peaches and now I love Augusta Lemonade and Fruitland. I went out the next day and bought some to take back with me to the midwest. Metro was a great introduction to this city and this state for me. Stay tuned for my next post about the second bar we visited this night - Sole!