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Smith House

84 S. Chestatee St., Dahlonega, GA - (706) 867-7000
Posted By Michael Stern on 2/26/2008 4:34:00 PM
The Smith House is an elbow-to-elbow eatfest. Tables are communal, shared by local folks and visitors, who all behave as though they were at a family party, passing platters back and forth, chattering happily about the delicious food.

Pay one price and eat your fill. There is no menu to look at; there are no choices to make. Everything the kitchen has prepared that day is brought to the table in large serving dishes. Count on fried chicken, supplemented by Brunswick stew or catfish and hushpuppies; plenty of southern-style vegetables, including such specialties as chestnut souffle, turnip greens, and fried okra; and always warm breads: cracklin cornbread, blueberry lemon muffins, angel biscuits.

Smith House history starts before the Civil War, during Georgia's gold rush, during which a wealthy Vermonter named Captain Frank Hall built a mansion, complete with carriage house and servants' quarters, smack on top of what he thought would be a great vein of gold. For reasons too complicated to note here, he never mined the vein; and in 1922, long after Captain Hall's passing, Henry and Bessie Smith bought the house to run it as an inn, where for $1.50, travelers got a room and three square meals a day. Mrs. Smith was a sensational cook, and word spread fast about her fried chicken, country ham, and platters of fresh vegetables. By 1946, when Fred and Thelma Welch took over the kitchen, the Smith House was known for family-style feeds.

More than half a century later, the Smith House has become an attractive bed-and breakfast base camp for exploring the spectacular North Georgia mountains; the meals at its happy tables remain pure country.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
fried chicken
Sweet Potatoes
Baked Ham
Collard Greens
Fried Okra
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The brittle-crusted fried chicken is a house specialty.
"The brittle-crusted fried chicken is a house specialty."
Cliff Strutz





My personal favorite of the entrees is the flavorful baked ham.
"My personal favorite of the entrees is the flavorful baked ham."
Cliff Strutz


The soft yeast rolls proved to be one of the most popular items on the table.
"The soft yeast rolls proved to be one of the most popular items on the table."
Cliff Strutz


Crunchy outside with a creamy soft interior and perfectly salted, this is delicious fried okra.
"Crunchy outside with a creamy soft interior and perfectly salted, this is delicious fried okra."
Cliff Strutz


The green beans are soft and well-seasoned in true Southern style.
"The green beans are soft and well-seasoned in true Southern style."
Cliff Strutz


Collard greens are a vegetable I wish we could get back north of the Mason-Dixon line.  They are especially good here at The Smith House.
"Collard greens are a vegetable I wish we could get back north of the Mason-Dixon line. They are especially good here at The Smith House."
Cliff Strutz


No Southern boardinghouse meal would be complete without a bowl of black-eyed peas.
"No Southern boardinghouse meal would be complete without a bowl of black-eyed peas."
Cliff Strutz


Only one dessert is available on any given day at Smith House.  On this visit it was a simple piece of strawberry shortcake.
"Only one dessert is available on any given day at Smith House. On this visit it was a simple piece of strawberry shortcake."
Cliff Strutz


Big, soft sweet potatoes add color to the table.
"Big, soft sweet potatoes add color to the table."
Cliff Strutz


The vinegary coleslaw, here known as cabbage salad, was well received at our table, but was too tart for my taste.
"The vinegary coleslaw, here known as cabbage salad, was well received at our table, but was too tart for my taste."
Cliff Strutz


The roast beef, sitting in a delicious gravy, is incredibly tender.
"The roast beef, sitting in a delicious gravy, is incredibly tender."
Cliff Strutz


Long after dinner is over, new friends stay and chat.
"Long after dinner is over, new friends stay and chat."
Cliff Strutz


A mansion in the country, serving king-size meals
"A mansion in the country, serving king-size meals"
Michael Stern



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