Highrail is a stylish / rustic town cafe with a broad menu that features such Dixie fare as chicken-fried chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, hushpuppies, and drinks made with peaches. It’s also a source of burgers, steak, and pizza.
Shrimp & grits is the dish I want more of. The shrimp are big and buff, sauteed with a pile of peppers, onions, and spice, bedded atop cheese-rich grits. It’s a fine example of a distinctly regional specialty.
The Highrail burger is a beaut: a thick, craggy patty cooked the way you like, topped with pimento cheese that delivers pronounced cheddar punch. Thin, crisp French fries on the side are serviceable, if not memorable.
Collard greens have brilliant, complex personality: vinegar-tangy and also sweet, they are loaded with nuggets of pork that turn the stout, leafy vegetable into silky indulgence. Mac & cheese, made with fusilli noodles, is another good side. Hushpuppies are not so wonderful: standard-issue spheres that are dense and heavy, without sparkle.
The drink menu includes a couple of local concoctions: the Georgia Mule, which is peach vodka, peach brandy, and ginger beer with muddled basil and limes; and bourbon pecan peach tea featuring pecan liqueur.
Located in what once was the town department store, Highrail is a well-crafted environment that echoes history (brick walls, exposed beams) but is up-to-date. (Waitresses use tablets to take orders and charge credit cards.) Some evenings, live music is featured during and after dinner.