Sam Burnham, Curator
Towards the back of the great lexicon of Georgia place names which are pronounced differently than they are spelled you’ll find White. Any true citizen of Bartow County can tell you it is pronounced “Whites.” Such a name makes for interesting headlines in the Cartersville newspaper such as “White Man Charged With Robbery” or “White Residents Angry About Tax Hike” or maybe “White School Sees Enrollment Increase.” You know, since there aren’t enough controversial headlines out there already.
White is a unique place. Nearby you can find the world-class Tellus Science Museum and the modern yet beautiful Cass High School (which was relocated from Cassville but understandably wasn’t renamed White High School.) The museum and the school are relatively recent developments.
Let’s talk about some other locations in White.
First of all, let’s just say this is one of those fun, quirky places that you’ll find scattered across the rural South. There’s a lot fewer of these places than there used to be - too few for my taste anyway.
Old Car City is a slice of Americana. It’s kinda rusty, a little beat up, and pretty odd. Calling this place a junkyard would be like calling The Louvre a building filled with old pictures. Old Car City is a collection of masterpieces, cars you don’t see every day. Some are in rough shape and the mosquitoes might fight you for them but if you come prepared, you’ll see some cool stuff.
The best primer I can think of on Old Car City is the article my friend James Calemine did on the place for Snake Nation Press. He has done a lot of photography there and many of the photos found their way into his books. Old Car City is one part preservation and one part disposal. A museum and a salvage yard where history is what is salvaged.
While I love old and unique automobiles, food is the way to my heart. Just across the street from Old Car City you’ll find Wes Man’s.
Now I’ve done a review of Wes Man’s before. ABG can vouch for the burgers as well as the steak and gravy. They even have an Old Car City Burger that is a burger with bacon, pulled pork and BBQ sauce. There’s a full breakfast menu as well. The food is good.
But if you’ll look around as you’re waiting for your meal you’ll notice all sorts of oddities. Newspaper clippings, autographed photos of celebrities, old license plates, numerous Sheriff Woody dolls line the walls. Some of the items might leave you scratching your head. Coach Drew commented more than once that “they hung that up there and they don’t even know what it is.” It’s a plausible theory.
As sort of a gateway to White, there’s an old Chevrolet panel van out on the corner of the Wes Man’s parking lot. It is coated in layers of paint. A special request can get a birthday greeting painted in the side of it for a special someone. It’s right out beside the highway for all the White residents and even the White visitors to see. (See how crazy that sounds?) Anyway, Happy birthday to Daddy Billy Joe, Luke, and John.
I really hope these two places last forever. As the creep of strip malls and fast food climbs up I-75 like kudzu emerging from the bowels of Atlanta, I fear pavement and progress will ruin this pristine weirdness. The best thing I know to tell you is do not delay. Plan your White visit today. Check out Old Car City and grab a bite at Wes Man’s. You’ll thank us for it.
Sam Burnham, Curator
So we went back to Ate Track beneath the bridge in downtown Cartersville. We just love the atmosphere in this quirky restaurant. We were looking for a quick bite while in Cartersville and this is one of our favorites.
Ate Track is decked out in so many signs and logos that I remember from the electronics store in the mall, windows of roadside bars, television commercials, and restaurants I remember visiting as a kid. It is like a museum of retro pop culture and it has the music to match. Pabst, Hamms. Stroh's, Old Milwaukee, JVC, and Panasonic. It's so retro you expect Johnny Bench to come up to bat in that ballgame.
There is an entire corner of old Schlitz logos and ads. They even have one in Spanish, complete with the 1970s mustache on the face of the hero. Old furnishings and decor team up to send you back to the Carter Administration.
Yes, that is a television. Yes it has rabbit ears...and a handle. Could they interest you in a Blatz or a Falstaff? Olympia?
Sam Burnham, Curator
When you're in Cartersville and you are looking for a spot for some lunch, you can always hit one of those chins over on Main Street or you can opt for something a little more unique. With that in mind the managing editor suggested Moore's Gourmet Market, so that is where we headed.
My very first impression of Moore's is obviously the outdoor space. By that, I mean parking. This is not a middle of downtown location and parking is pretty well restricted to their lot. Even arriving a bit early for the typical lunch rush did not gain us access to a parking spot. But a full lot is often an indicator that the food is well worth the wait. So that is what we did. A short ride back to downtown, some window shopping and a few pictures for the Instagram feed and we returned to Moore's.
The restaurant has great seating out front, an excellent option in good weather. But the indoor space is nice as well. The decor is comfortable with a casual vibe. It is a very ABG-friendly environment.
Daily Specials are displayed on a big chalkboard on one wall. The food ranges from burgers to some traditional Southern home cooked favorites.
There is a bar for those so inclined. They offer several cocktail options and have a selection of beer.
The clientele seems to be a mix of the business lunch crowd as well as those who are not attached to a day time work schedule. Our visit was a midday one so we are unable to comment on the after work scene but it seems that it would be a suitable place for an after 5 beverage and chat at the bar.
It is worth noting that the bar in no way made the place less friendly for kids or families. This is still a restaurant with a bar, so feel free to bring the kids.
We were looking for a lighter lunch and this was a good spot for that. Very good burgers. made to order. As usual, that means a bit of a wait on the food to arrive at your table. As usual, that isn't a bad thing. The quality of the meal and atmosphere are reflected in the price but not unreasonably. The staff is friendly and helpful. Management is attentive and makes customer service a priority. The overall dining experience was quite enjoyable and we will certainly make return visits in the future. The information in this review more than explains the parking dilemma from the onset. Trust us, it's worth the wait.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire