Whistle Stop Cafe 573

Worth a detour


Formerly the Olde Town Diner and, before that, The Whistle Stop Cafe, the reborn Whistle Stop Cafe 573, with it menu of deluxe diner dishes, is oh, so welcome. Despite the abundance of good eats in and around Augusta, Georgia, excellent breakfast is scarce. Excellent, inventive breakfast is even scarcer. But here it is.

Not that the bill of fare is unfamiliar; but what is familiar is prepared with skill and, in many cases, plated and presented in an original way. Fried chicken and pancake hushpuppies, for example: When I saw it on the menu, I assumed the chicken (a lovely, crisp-crusted boneless cutlet) would be served with pancakes made out of hushpuppy batter, something like a hoecake. No, these are hushpuppies made out of pancake batter: red-gold spheres not unlike a well-cooked beignet — more buoyant than most hushpuppies, and somewhat sweeter. But not so sweet that they don’t become even more outrageously delicious when dunked in the ramekin of sweet white icing that comes alongside.

In addition to a fine ordinary BLT chockful of thick-cut bacon, there’s an imposing green tomato BLT that is dressed not with mayonnaise but with house-made pimento cheese and served on Texas toast. The same pimento cheese, in melted form, blankets a luxurious trio of salmon patties which arrive on rounds of crunch-edged fried green tomato.

The breakfast menu (available all day, until 2pm closing) lists a single pancake. It is a big pancake but not a heavy one, each fluffy forkful like some sort of pancake souffle. Wanting only the slightest glaze of butter and drizzle of syrup, it might be the best pancake in town.

Yes, this is a diner with a difference. At lunch, the beguiling repertoire includes a baked tomato & cheese pie, a fried catfish sandwich, a 10-ounce burger, even a vegan sloppy Joe made with beans and vegetables and presented on a potato bun.

By the way, this Whistle Stop Cafe 573, opened in June, 2018, is not related to the original Whistle Stop Cafe that occupied the same space. And its name is not an affectation. Just outside on 6th Street are train tracks where occasional mighty freights rumble past — diesels roaring, wheels clacking, and whistle blowing.

What to Eat
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, Chicken & Hushpuppies
Chicken & Hushpuppies
Fried chicken, pancakes hushpuppies & sweet icing
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, Caboose
The Caboose: fried green tomatoes, bacon, pimento cheese, Texas toast
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, Biscuit & Gravy
Biscuit & Gravy
Good biscuit topped with peppery, creamy sausage gravy
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, Pancake
Light, fluffy pancake wants only a little butter & syrup.
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, Cheeseburger
Swell burger: 10 ounces of fire-charred Angus beef, draped with Blue Marble Jack cheese
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, French Fries
French Fries
Good, salty crunch makes skinny French fries a choice meat companion.
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, Grits
Earthy, flavorful grits are subtly cheesy.
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, Fresh Fruit
Fresh Fruit
Fruit is not from a can.
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, Tomato Pie
Tomato Pie
Tomato pie is savory/sweet harmony of fruity tomatoes and sharp house-made pimento cheese.
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, Chicken Biscuit
Chicken Biscuit
Fran's cozy chicken biscuit is draped with sausage gravy.
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes' best feature is crisp panko-crumb coat.
Whistle Stop Cafe 573, Whole Hog Sausage
Whole Hog Sausage
Whole-hog sausage is unctuous and spicy.
Directions and Hours
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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