EAT + ART = Goolsby’s in Evans (Augusta), GA

“Come on girl and try some of this hoecake, you know hoes gotta eat too!”

Well, I never did think I’d get a chance to use that classic John Witherspoon line, but thanks to Goolsby’s in Evans/Augusta, GA I rang in ’09 eating a bonafide hoe cake!

photo from
Legend has it that the cakes were called “hoe cakes” back in the day when field hands (and/or railroad workers) would cook the cornmeal-based cakes over an open fire in the mouth of a shovel or hoe.

Miss Betty, granddad’s lady friend and a native Kentucky-ian, says “We didn’t call them hoe cakes, we just called them fried corn bread!”

Certain Georgia restaurants maintain legendary, almost mythical, status in the mind of Big D – Doug’s Place in Emerson, Buckner’s towards South Georgia, and Goolsby’s, a meat-n-three in Evans/Augusta:

photo: Augusta Chronicle
It doesn’t look like much beyond a strip mall joint from the outside but, yeah:

Country fried pork loin; barbecue chicken; hickory-smoked barbecue pork loin; Southern-fried jumbo chicken tenders; green beans, black-eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, collard greens, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and gravy, cabbage, creamed corn, candied yams, and rice and gravy AND A HOECAKE!

The waitresses remember your face and if you take yellow, pink or blue packets in your unsweetened tea, and the allegorical slice-of-life tin roofing/acrylic paintings of Lincolnton, GA artist Leonard Jones line the walls.

Leonard Jones has lived in the same rural community his entire life. Born in 1955 and raised on a farm, Jones does occasional farmwork, logging work, and odd jobs to support himself. He lives simply, without a car and often without electricity or running water. He began painting seriously when he was 17, when he discovered a talent for making exact copies of photographs. Today Jones much prefers to paint simple, sweeping memory scenes. His materials of choice are housepaint and roofing tin. His choice of subject matter is often derived from his childhood, early life memories and experiences. His work is unique because of his choice of perspective – whereas most folk painters choose a head-on, two-dimensional approach, many of Leonard’s works are seen from angles more akin to a cameraman. His works have begun to receive acclaim in recent years, appearing in gallery shows and at the House of Blues.

(Bio taken from his gallerists Ginger Young & Fin Leaf)

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