Yet Another Reason To Go …

… outside the Perimeter: Willie Rae’s.

Willie Rae’s could easily be described as yet another cajun restaurant, but that is just too lazy of an approach. It isn’t as undeservedly haughty as any of our local Copeland’s or Pappadeaux franchises, and the food is much better because the selections are far more inventive. A good place to start on their menu is with a very tasty bowl of shrimp & grits. If you’ve never had this combination, get over yourself and try it. If you have, then you know how damned tasty these two great tastes can be together. Throw in some peppers, some onion and a little tasso for flavor and welcome to cheesy-buttery shellfish heaven.

(Really. I hate hyperbole, but it’s that good.)

During our last visit, one of the specials was a Thai pork taco plate. Minced pork and cabbage in a tortilla shell is served with a black bean salsa and a just-enough ramiken of Thai hot sauce. All alone, the taco is just good, but nothing special. But add their hot sauce and it becomes another experience entirely. How anything could taste so good yet burn so well is a wonder I barely comprehend.

Surrounding all of this good food are walls decorated with spectacularly kitschey art, most of it inspired by pop culture and kid’s cartoons. Directly across from me was a huge canvas covered with ferocious Power Puff Girls and an imposing Mojo Jojo, while behind us was a kind of four piece shrine to Scooby Doo and The Gang. And what’s great is that several of the pieces are for sale, most for under $25. How can you beat tasty dining and eclectic shopping all in one place?

Willie Rae’s is located right on the proverbial square that is Marietta Square — 25 North Park Square, to be exact. If you’re familiar with the old Strand movie theatre, then you know exactly which side. It’s an easy drive up I-75 to exit 265, then west on 120. Parking can be sketchy, but a public deck is just about a block and a half behind the Strand.

2 Comments so far

  1. Amber (unregistered) on July 17th, 2005 @ 8:31 pm

    I walked by that place last weekend and wondered if it was good. Now I know! Looks like I’ll be headin’ back up to Marietta.

  2. Rusty (unregistered) on July 18th, 2005 @ 1:01 pm

    I had my first Shrimp and grits about a month ago, and highly recommend it to anyone curious.

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