Monday, April 12, 2010

Cartersville's 4 Way Lunch




I have rode by the 4 Way Lunch in downtown Cartersville many times, and each time thought “some day I’m going to eat there.”
The other day I did.

It is not much bigger than a shack. Something about it from the outside it looks down-to-earth and unpretentious. That is because it is.

I have seen it on the news many times. TV news often visit to take the pulse of the typical Georgia public. I think analysts have predicted election results from what the homespun Cartersville locals have said from these stools.

Politicians make it a point to have lunch there, especially around election time. I read that Governor Joe Frank Harris used to frequent the eatery often.

4 Way Lunch is on a corner near the railroad tracks. Just behind are two other unique types of eateries: (1) Gumbo to Geux and (2) a coconut ice cream small building. Just a block away is a row of old buildings that I suppose the yuppies got a hold of and rejuvenated. Most places with a river nearby have a “River Walk”. Well Cartersville has a “Railroad Track Walk.” There neat looking little restaurants, boutiques, antique stores, and the Cartersville History Museum.

At the 4 Way I opened the door and stepped in. There was a counter with all the stools were occupied. You could tell they were locals, they all seem to know each other. I only had to stand waiting about a half minute until a man got up, smiled, and told me to take his stool. He patted me on the back.

They are friendly.

I sat down and noticed a young lady on my right was eating a messing looking hotdog. I asked her how was it and she said delicious. I asked her what do order to get one like that. She told me to ask for a hotdog with all the fixings. That makes sense.

The 4 Way had 3 women behind the counter: a lady with some age looked like she might be the matron, or at least in charge and two younger waitresses who kept conversations going with the customers. I heard one of the waitresses say to a customer, “You are sure in a better mood than you were yesterday!”

I ordered what the lady recommended. It was a hotdog with chili with chili beans, onions, maybe sauerkraut.. all floating in whatever. It was delicious.

My waitress told someone down the line that (female name) was not there, so she can give refills on the Cokes.

I noticed on the grill was hotdogs and hamburgers sizzling at a low heat. Now and then a waitress would pull off a hotdog order like mine and my neighbor or a hamburger, covered in brown gravy. Most people ordered fries, which were more like giant wedges.

It saw a laminated menu and picked it up. No matter what it said, it was too late anyway. The lunch menu had hotdogs, burgers and gravy, french fries and soft drinks. And that was it. I found out later when Googling 4-Way they also served breakfast.

Another thing I noticed, a fourth employee coming into the room and either putting money in the cash register or filling a plate with either a hotdog or hamburgers and gravy. I reasoned out that the waitress coming in and out from the back must be operating a “To Go” counter in the back. I may have been wrong. When I got home I googled 4-Way Food and read a review from the Boston Globe about the eatery. Click here to see what they had to say.

After I finished the juicy sloppy hotdog I motioned for the lady that waited on me that I wanted to pay. She said, "Babe, I was just starting to like you!" I think my bill was about $3.50.

Flattery will inspire a tip just about every time. Plainly in front of the cash register like a sore thumb was a large glass full of green back bills and coins. Each time a waitress scooped up a tip she placed it in the glass.

From googling 4 Way I learned it is an 8 stool restaurant and has high praise and high ratings. It is listed as one of the top ten places in the country for the most taste for a low cost. Also, the State of Georgia Legislators voted and officially declared decreed it was something. I am not sure what. But it did explain the gravy hamburgers. Click here to see what our lawmakers said about 4-Way.



Keep checking for more of my fine dining experiences of local eateries of the greater Metro Atlanta area, mostly in Cobb County.

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