On my way back from a deposition in Hazlehurst I stopped for a late lunch in Valdosta, Georgia. My first plan was to stop in for a burger at a hipster inspired pool hall. That plan came to a crashing halt as I circled the city’s one way streets in vain looking for the restaurant. With the memory of an early morning banana evaporating, and my stomach on the verge of full blown revolt I spotted a sign for 306 North Restaurant. I pulled into the side parking lot and made my way towards the front door.
A blast of chilled air burst into my suit coat and I was grateful for the warm interior that greeted me on the other side of the glass door. The restaurant was empty except for a pair of gentleman sipping an early afternoon drink in the back. I sat at the bar and rubbed my cold hands together. The bartender slid a menu towards me and brought me a glass of water. 306 North offers Southern inspired food in a casual setting. Soups, salads, sandwiches, and various entrees were available on the lunch menu. The prices were also very reasonable. The buttermilk fried pork chops served with Marsala gravy and two sides for $9.00 looked delicious. The bartender stated it was their most popular lunch item, and I placed an order for the chops with a side of spinach and Gouda grits.
306 North is divided into two areas. The back dining room was full of booths and tables. Music played and it felt more formal than the front bar area which stretched across the front and made use of all the available space. The seats nearest the front windows offered a view of downtown and the old county courthouse. Both areas were well kept and inviting.
As I watched cars pass by my meal arrived. Two thin cut golden brown pork chops were served alongside a pile of sauteed spinach and a mound of Gouda grits. A small silver cup of Marsala gravy completed the dish. I grabbed a fork and cut into the pork chop. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The meat was juicy and the crust was crisp. The next bite took a dip into the Marsala gravy. It was a nice addition to a Southern classic and enhanced the flavors of the dish. The Gouda grits were creamy and cheesy while the spinach provided something green. Both sides were delicious and I could not believe I had stumbled upon a dish this good for under ten bucks.
The bartender cleared my plate and jokingly asked if I enjoyed my meal. I was about to ask for the check when he asked if I was in the mood for dessert. Normally I pass on sweets during the day, but he convinced me to order a slice of their butter cake along with a cup of coffee. A slab of butter cake arrived on a simple white plate. The golden color of the cake broadcast its main ingredient and I could feel my arteries squeal as I dug my fork into its side. The butter cake came with either a raspberry or cinnamon apple sauce, and since I could not decide which to choose I was given both. The cake was dense, rich, and delicious. Of the two sauces I preferred the slight tartness of the raspberry to the sweetness of the apple sauce. Each, however, was very good and I made sure to use the contents of both bowls as I enjoyed my dessert.
Lunch at 306 North was wonderful. The service was friendly and the food was outstanding. I would like to bring Becky to the restaurant for a date night, and am sure it would be worth the short ride from Monticello, FL. 306 North is located at 306 N. Patterson Street in downtown Valdosta. The restaurant is open Monday – Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., and on Saturday from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. 306 North can be found online at 306north.com, on Facebook, and can be contacted by telephone at (229) 249-5333.