A brand new episode of “Statesboro Cooks” is on air now! You can watch the 30-minute program featuring my St. Patrick’s Day menu on local cable Channel 99 at 7:30 p.m., 1 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily, or right now by clicking on the video below. Featuring the musical talent of lead vocalist and guitarist Justin Dukes of The Tiger Creek Band, this show was the most fun episode to film yet! Special thanks to Hunter Cattle Company, Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe, and Simply Sweet Cakery for all your help in making the meal Some Kinda Good! Without further ado, enjoy the show and the recipes below. Cheers to St. Patrick’s Day! Continue reading “St. Patrick’s Day Episode of “Statesboro Cooks” including Featured Recipes On Air Now”
When a single place comes to mind for lunch, going out on a Friday night and entertaining company, it’s a winner. That’s Gnat’s Landing of Statesboro. The versatile bar & grill is family friendly and college town worthy. It’s a natural choice for lunch before a Saturday afternoon football game in the Eagle Nation, or place to catch a good band and go out dancing on a Friday night. It’s that hometown joint you can hardly visit without running into someone you know. Christmas lights year ’round. Live music every weekend. Beer can and chicken wire decorum. What’s not to love? The local favorite boasts a wide selection of American food with a Southern, coastal vibe in a casual and bright atmosphere.
Gnat’s is my all-time favorite spot for lunch in the ‘Boro. My friends and I call it “Ol’ faithful.” Nowhere else in town offers lunch for $7.47. Spending $15 going out to lunch can get expensive, and unfortunately, that’s easy to do in a lot of places when you consider tax and tip. I have two lunchtime standbys at Gnat’s and they never fail me: 1) Shrimp & Grits and 2) the Crab Cake Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries. The food is always on point. The Shrimp & Grits is served with andouille sausage and bacon surrounded by toasted bread. Seasoned just right, it’s warm, comforting and takes me to the coast. Served with cocktail sauce, the Crab Cake Sandwich features a large crab cake that’s seared to perfection and served on toasted bread with tomato and lettuce. On occasion, I branch out and try something new like the BBQ Sandwich or the Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad pictured above. The menu also offers wraps, a great grilled chicken sandwich and unexpected side options like grits. I enjoy the cook’s attention to detail and presentation…they always sprinkle the rim of each dish with Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.
Open more than seven years, Gnat’s Landing of Statesboro is one of only two locations in Georgia. I’ve also visited the St. Simons Island restaurant in Red Fern Village. Though the weather is rarely cold enough to use it, Gnat’s dining room in Statesboro even has a fireplace which creates a wonderful ambiance in the winter. Located on South Main Street in the heart of town, the restaurant also offers ample parking. Depending on when you go, the environment at Gnat’s is bustling. Visit for Trivia on Tuesday nights, Karaoke on Wednesdays and Happy Hour all day on Sunday and Monday. No matter the time of day, they’ll always have affordable drinks, daily lunch specials and a football game on the big screen.
THE GOOD TIMES:
With a name like Gnat’s Landing, this Statesboro front-runner is right at home in the “Gnat Capitol of America.”
Huc -A-Poo’s Bites & Booze is the epitome of life. It’s where stories are born. It’s the kind of place Pat Conroy and Earnest Hemingway write about in novels. It’s a genuine, local bar with an environment that can’t be created. It’s not store-bought. It’s not forced. No one has a care in the world. It’s a place where nothing matters–what you wear, who you are, where you come from. You can just be. It’s care free, non-judgmental. It’s come one, come all. It’s family owned and operated. It’s the kind of place where time and seasons escape. Laid back. Eclectic. It doesn’t have a website. You won’t find brochures on it. It’s not touristy. It’s unpretentious, unassuming. The slogan on the paper menu reads: Huc-A-Poo’s – Where the Mind and Spirits Meet. I would imagine heaven to have the same vibe.
The Cast of Characters
The people in a place make all the difference. It’s the characters who create the atmosphere. These folks along with my friend, April (pictured left above) inspired my experience.
Steven – He wore a multi-colored Beanie hat and liked to call me brat, but oddly, in an endearing way. He said, “My brother owns this place. Wanna meet him?” He led me into the kitchen and I got a behind the scenes tour. Throughout the night, he would look at me across the room and put his finger to his lips and say, “shhhhh.” He wandered from table to bar top, to staircase and his brothers referred to him as Huc-A-Poo’s PR guy. He was right at home.
The Bartender – He would pop out from behind the bar and groove to the music, moving from customer to customer bringing drinks, taking checks. He had a beard and obviously loved his job.
The Band – The Royal Noise: Jazz, Funk, Soul – Each band member bled music. It ran through their veins. They felt every note. They expressed pure passion in a saxophone, a drum set, a bass and electric guitar. It was evident they were born to play. Take a listen.
The Staff – A close-nit group of folks who appeared to be all related. They were long-haired, free-spirited and kind with tanned skin worn from the sun. Very welcoming. Really hospitable. No uniforms, they wore whatever they pleased. Shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops, even in November.
Pizza. Beer. Saturday night.
We ordered a $15 specialty pizza – The Federale: Mexican pizza with grilled chicken, red onions, bell peppers, fresh tomatoes and jalapenos. It was massive and only $15 bucks. We’ll get at least four meals out of it from the leftovers! Landshark Lagers with lime slices only made sense to drink. You can order pizza by the $4 slice or a whole pie. Make your choice from 12 different specialty pies or build your own. Wraps, nachos and hot dogs are on the menu too, even low carb salads. The food tasted great, but honestly it wouldn’t have mattered.
Nothing on the menu is priced over $7 with the exception of the $15 whole pies, which would cost at least $30 anywhere else. Amazingly affordable.
Located in the Tybee Oaks Shopping Center just a few miles from the beach off of Highway 80, Huc-A-Poo’s has over 2,500 Likes on Facebook. Let’s help them get to 3,000.
On a Saturday night in early November, the age group ranged from 25 – 60 with the majority of the crowd being locals, others, first-time visitors like myself. With the exception of a young, drunk athlete who tried to eat my face upon arrival, everybody there was awesome.
Huc-A-Poo’s combined all my favorite things in one place-Good food and good company, and live music in an incredible atmosphere on the Georgia coast. It’s the kind of environment you happen upon once in a blue moon, the kind of place that has the potential to make me relocate. Huc-A-Poo’s is a place that sets the standard, that you’ll continue comparing other environments to again and again. They’ve found a new regular in me.