Longtime North Augusta Restaurant Serves Up Seafood & Southern Hospitality

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Old McDonald Fish Camp Seafood Restaurant
North Augusta, South Carolina

For those of us who grew up near Augusta, Georgia, a trip out to Old McDonald Fish Camp is always a treat. My family has enjoyed going for years–we pick up my Grandma on the way, and head out to the country for some grits and hushpuppies, hoping to get there before the waiting room fills up. We usually visit on a Friday or Saturday night, but recently, I realized we’d been doing it all wrong! Thursday night is Crab Leg Night and the only night of the week my favorite crustaceans make an appearance. Continue reading “Longtime North Augusta Restaurant Serves Up Seafood & Southern Hospitality”

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Georgia Cocktail Meatballs Make a Perfect Party Appetizer

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Some Kinda Good Georgia Cocktail Meatballs

Grape jelly combined with apple hickory BBQ sauce and hot pepper jelly is an unlikely combination, but when paired together with perfectly seasoned meatballs, they make the most decadent and savory bite. Continue reading “Georgia Cocktail Meatballs Make a Perfect Party Appetizer”

Rae’s Coastal Café: An Inland Island Hideaway

wpid-0530141929.jpgRae’s Coastal Cafe
Augusta, Georgia 

Two of my best friends recently took me to dinner at a place more than 153 miles inland from the Georgia Coast located in my hometown of Augusta, Georgia. They promised it would be “right up my alley” and said I should “be prepared to blog about it.” Though it’s been open since I was nine years old, that Friday night was the first time I’d ever heard of it or set foot through its doors. Tucked away in a small community at the west end of Walton Way, Rae’s Coastal Cafe transported me to the islands the moment I stepped inside, perpetuated only by the best Key Lime Pie Martini I’ve ever had, and a house salad that rivaled my go-to Caesar and sailed away with my heart.

wpid-0530141930b.jpgThe cafe touched on every indicator I consider noteworthy about a restaurant: 1) It’s independently owned, 2) The local, casual atmosphere was well done–coastal but not in an obnoxious way, 3) The food was excellent and 4) The service was informed.

Our waitress, April.
Our waitress, April.

Meet our waitress, April. Servers have the ability to make or break a dining experience and if they’re on point, nine times out of 10, your visit will be too. April was well-informed on the menu items, at the ready with refills, and intuitively aware of when to ask if we were ready for the next course or if she could take our empty plates. As a first time visitor, she sold me on the house salad when I routinely ordered a Caesar, and I’m so glad I took her word. Super friendly and seemingly happy to be at work, April enhanced our meal and represented Rae’s expertly well.

wpid-0530142028a.jpgThere on the table, much to my surprise sat a product from good ol’ Statesboro…Braswell’s Vidalia Onion Steak Sauce. That made this Statesboro food writer proud.


The meal began with fresh-baked rolls, served with spreadable butter, followed by Rae’s Famous House Salad, known as an Augusta favorite. A simple combination of fresh greens and tomatoes tossed in a homemade dressing, the salad is plated in a cold, pewter-like bowl and topped with crunchy croutons made in-house. It was everything one could hope for–light, tangy, crunchy and refreshing.

I ordered the Blackened Mahi-Mahi, a healthy 9 oz. fillet topped with Cajun spices, seared in a cast iron skillet and served with new potatoes. April informed me that Rae’s uses the same spices on the fish as in their famous Jamaican Jerk Chicken. The Mahi-Mahi had the perfect kick to it and together with the buttery potatoes, I was happy and satisfied. My friends shared the special that evening: Carolina Mountain Trout with crisp green beans and new potatoes. For dessert, we tackled a slice of Chocolate Cheesecake made with Kahlua and drizzled with raspberry syrup. Other tempting menu items included Coconut Fried Shrimp, the Crabmeat Sandwich (yes, that’s right. Not crab cake, crabMEAT!), the Dolphin Sandwich and Filet Mignon. Chicken, steak, seafood…they do it all!

wpid-0530142028.jpgIt’s a good thing that I no longer live in Augusta because I would have to have this drink in my life every day. Rimmed in a graham cracker crust, the Key Lime Pie Martini was the most balanced blend of sweet and tart I’ve ever experienced. It was like drinking pie. Move over Malibu Bay Breeze, there’s a new sheriff in town.

wpid-0530142134a.jpgDining at Rae’s Coastal Cafe felt like an episode of Cheers. The owner, Walter, makes his way through the restaurant greeting guests and shaking hands. You’re bound to run into someone you know there. It’s a comfortable place where people go to enjoy good food and good company…after all, that’s what it’s all about!

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My friends, Levi and Angela.

Special thanks to these two (who just celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary!) for a wonderful evening out. Y’all know me well.

 

Rae's Coastal Cafe on Urbanspoon

Watch Me Audition TONIGHT on ABC’s The Taste

TheTastePTonight is the big night! I’m counting down the hours until my national TV debut on ABC. I’m excited to announce that I’ll be competing for a spot on one of these four culinary giant’s teams—Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre and Marcus Samuelsson! Please tune in to cheer me on at 8|7c. Learn more about my audition experience, and be sure to visit SomeKindaGood.org after the premier to get the scoop on my post audition show thoughts!

thetasteinstagramWill I make the cut? Show your support for me on social media by following me on Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation and live tweet with me tonight using #TeamRebekah and #TheTaste! Thank you for watching. I plan to make Georgia proud!

Check out the buzz on local media about my appearance:
WJCL Savannah and Fox 28: Statesboro Woman to Appear on ABC
Statesboro Herald: Local Cooking Enthusiast on Reality Show
Tune in tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 3 to Statesboro’s Eagle 102.9 at 4:37 p.m. and 7:37 p.m. for my post-premier interview!