Recently, Shane and I were traveling from Augusta to our home in Locust Grove, GA. We had left home early that morning and after a long day, it was nearing 6pm. We were getting hungry.
Pulling out my phone and searched Google for “restaurants near me”. A list of chain restaurants popped up. I scrolled through looking for the locally owned eateries as those are our favorites and I came across a few and picked the first one that caught my attention. Mystic Grill.
Being a lover of sci-fiction and all things fantasy, I am way into anything with the name “Mystic” in it, so I put it into my GPS and off we went to the town square of Covington. The square itself only lies a few miles off interstate 20, is maybe 30 minutes outside of Atlanta.
I would have loved to explore the town square, but my man was hungry and getting grumpy so we immediately went inside the restaurant. We entered in through the bar and had to walk through the restaurant to get to the hostess stand, which was weird. Oops wrong door and as Shane said, “We look like igits”. The bar has this blue glow to it and was pretty cool.
The dining area, with oak tables and staircase, had plastered walls and uncovered brick that has faded with time. Exposed pipes run along the high tin ceiling gave it a old factory feel. I love tin ceilings. They were very popular in the south in the late 1800’s. Some of the paint is chipping off and you can see the tin peeking through the white paint which shows it’s age. There are large arched windows that allow natural light to illuminate the room.
We grabbed the menu and began to look over it, on the back is a history of the building and the grill. It boasts of a view of the clock tower from the roof and Shane said he thought, “Great, Fran is going to want to go see it“. He knows me so well! And I did, so up I went alone, ’cause he was hangry and could really have cared less. I headed up the stairs to the roof top bar and it is a fantastic view of the square and clock tower.
The clock tower really is something. They just don’t build things like this anymore.
There is rooftop seating and a bar. I could feel a warm breeze, even though it was the beginning of July and 95 degrees out. I bet it is a very nice place to hang out, on a warm summer evening.
I climbed back down the stairwell that was decorated with signed Mystic Grill menus from actors that had visited the joint.
I returned to my table, showed Shane the photos and finished reading the back of the menu. It turns out that this restaurant is unlike most. It was born out of the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia in the TV show The Vampire Diaries. This is extremely neat to me because, typically, restaurants don’t pop up because it existed in a TV series. Being from Atlanta it is not a shock to hear that towns all over the metro area are used in the film industry. Pinewood Studio resides here and we hear about filming in the area quite often. I talked to the waitress and she said people come from all over to eat here just because of the show. ast week there was a father and daughter from Denmark that came to town just to see the famous town of “Mystic Falls” and to eat at this diner. She also said while there are a lot of fans, many locals come back because of the food. Ok now I want to try the food seeing that I am sorta a local.
Perfect timing, our appetizer arrived. Warm baked brie with peaches and pecan streusel. Holy cow was it good. For our main course, I ordered a mix greens salad with pecans and goat cheese. I added a grilled chicken breast for protein. The chicken breast was under-seasoned and just “eh” but if you took a bite of the cheese and the pecan vinaigrette with it, it made it pretty good. Shane had the Clock Tower burger. This thing was huge! Bigger than Shane’s head huge! Caramelized onion, on a beef patty with a fried egg, bacon, and cheddar cheese. On top of the bun were two onion rings and around it were homemade house potato chips that were crunchy on outside and soft on the inside. They were so good and it was very hard not to keep stealing them off Shane’s plate, which he secretly hates. I was pushing it by grabbing a few, but figured I was safe from his grumpiness now that he has food in his tummy. Even though I am trying to eat healthy and for the sake of this blog, we had to try the dessert. Shane is a pie kind of guy, so we ordered the warm Derby Pie which is a warm pecan pie with chocolate sauce and ice cream. “Holy pecan pie, Batman!” It was phenomenal. I had a few bites and then he devoured it.
For the two of us it was a 50 dollar bill before the tip. This was 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, 2 non-alcoholic drinks and 1 dessert. While it was not a cheap dinner, it was a good dinner. My salad was 15 dollars which I believe was a bit too expensive because for the most part it is just a salad mix arranged on a plate, topped with a few onions, cheese, pecans and chicken that was nothing special. On the other hand, Shane enjoyed his burger and it was cooked perfectly to his liking. In all we do not regret our trip here, as the atmosphere was nice and the staff was friendly. We would go back if we were in the area, and I would splurge and eat a burger. If you are a fan of the TV series, you will definitely want to stop by. Understand though from what our server says, the inside of the grill does not look exactly like it does in the show. Structurally it just wasn’t possible, but there are a lot of aspects that were modeled directly from the show itself. Be sure to sit on the benches in the square directly in front of the restaurant. (shown in photo below) Apparently, an actor’s bum also sat upon it and this might thrill you.
Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all