The Hellhole

Monday, March 04, 2013

We returned yesterday from a lovely, romantic long weekend.  We took Friday off and headed for The Beechwood Inn.  It is even more beautiful in reality than in the pictures.  Innkeepers Dave, Gayle and John are warm, friendly and welcoming.  We stayed in "Lura's Suite" which is a bedroom, private bath, and sitting room equipped with a fireplace.  I'd called ahead to order a fruit, cheese and cracker tray there upon our arrival, which was delicious.  This included a bottle of their wine and of the three varietals, I chose Cabernet Sauvignon.  Alan doesn't drink, but I enjoy wine.

The inn serves dinner only on Saturdays so that first evening we ate at Universal Joint.  The name is a pun because it's a converted garage.  It's pub food, not haute cuisine, but was very clean, friendly and the meal was delicious.  We had an appetizer of hummus and olive tapenade; for the main course I had a gyro and Alan had a bleu cheese bacon burger.  Afterward, we relaxed in front of the fireplace reading books, chatting, me having more wine - doing a whole lot of not much, as Alan likes to say.  Or like the great line from Office Space:  "I did absolutely nothing.  And it was everything that I thought it could be."

Saturday we woke up to snow!  It didn't stick around long and the roads weren't bad, so it was fine - just a beautiful dusting.  The inn served us a delicious breakfast of pineapple, blueberries, scrambled eggs with cheese, seasoned potatoes, biscuit, and locally made organic sausage.  Yes, I'm probably five pounds heavier.  We retreated to our room for more reading and relaxing.  I had a nap and then we headed here for lunch.

That was our least favorite meal of the trip, and the one I thought on preview that I'd like the most.  The service was impeccable and the meal wasn't bad, just sort of "meh".   I ordered fire coral shrimp and a cup of the soup du jour which was tomato basil.  The shrimp weren't very good - sauce was sweet instead of spicy, breading not crisp, shrimp chewy - just not very good, but the soup was excellent: creamy, tasty and topped with delicious feta.  Alan had fried pickles which he reports as being tasty, and a grilled chicken sandwich that was just okayish.

We spent the afternoon engaged in our newfound hobby of loafing about the inn.  Every evening, the inn holds "wine thirty" where you are given complementary appetizers and a glass of their wine.  We enjoyed meeting the other guests, which Friday were a couple from Dacula who, it turns out, used to live in Conyers (where we are) and even had the same physician as we do.  They were doing a cooking class offered by the inn so the first night we enjoyed crab cakes made by them.  Saturday evening, there were three other couples staying so it was nice to meet and make small talk with new people.  Appetizers that night were fennel sausage crostini and pickled shrimp - YUMTASTIC!

Then we had a fixed menu dinner that could have been designed with Alan in mind:  soup course was organic chicken soup with house-made noodles and sourdough bread.  Salad course:  early spring micro-greens, including some deliciously peppery arugula, with candied pecans and cheese lace.  Intermezzo: house-made Key Lime sorbet.  Entree:  organic local pork tenderloin medallions with Vidalia onion gravy, three cheese twice-baked potatoes, roasted winter vegetables.  Dessert:  caramelized brandied egg custard.  Three wine flights accompanied the meal.  Yes, I'm probably ten pounds heavier.

Sunday we awoke to another delicious breakfast of fresh blueberries and raspberries in a citrus yogurt sauce, cinnamon currant French toast and ham.  After relaxing a bit, it was sadly time to depart, although it was good to get back home and see our puppies, who were sorely missed.  It was a wonderful three days and I can't express how badly I needed a getaway like that. We are already comparing work schedules and checking the budget to see when we can return to the Beechwood Inn. It was positively idyllic.  To quote Ferris Bueller, "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend" checking them out!!


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