Today is ConnieLou’s birthday so we decided to go out for supper. We decided we didn’t really want to go any of the usual ‘birthday places’ like Longhorn’s or Texas Roadhouse. We also ruled out Mexican, Chinese and pizza. Hibachi was tempting but we decided that it was a bit pricy. Where to go, where to go… We remembered that there are a couple of new places that have opened recently so I told ConnieLou to pick one, and she did and off we went to Big Joe’s Bar & Grill.

Big Joe’s website describes the establishment as follows: “Big Joe’s is a family-friendly environment where you can come out and relax over a high quality meal, enjoy a drink, and watch sports. Our menu offers an American fusion inspired by international cuisine. We opened our doors in April of 2015 with this vision and we are dedicated to maintaining and improving on it as we grow.”

We were seated quickly, served our drinks and given a chance to take a good look at the regular menu and also at the daily specials. There were plenty of reasonably priced items to choose from. Burgers, chicken, fish, sandwiches, salads, steaks and wings all made the menu. ConnieLou ordered the fish & chips from the regular menu and Jenna and I ordered shrimp and grits from the specials menu. Just for reference, I’m a sucker for shrimp and grits…if they’re on the menu there’s a good chance they’ll be on my plate.

Let me take a minute here to say something about the service. Long and short, it was much better than average. Our server took our orders, checked on us regularly and took a little time to make small talk with us instead of being just a server. Turns out he’s a Sports Communications major at nearby University of West Georgia. I didn’t catch his name but would like to wish him best of luck in his ambitions.

Our orders came out quickly and were piping hot. ConnieLou’s fish and chips included three pieces of battered and deep fried fish (cod according to the menu), a good helping of ‘chips’ (fries) and tarter sauce. The shrimp and grits included seven or eight sautee’d jumbo shrimp surrounding a fried grits cake, covered with an ‘etufee’ sauce. Jenna and I both enjoyed the shrimp and grits and ConnieLou enjoyed her fish and chips. She even let me have a couple of bites of fish and some of her chips and both were quite good.

So how did Big Joe’s fare on the Thumb’s Scale? We gave ‘em 6 out of a possible 6. Now we have to go back and work our way through the rest of the menu. It’s always easy to go somewhere familiar when going out to eat but as often as not, trying some place new pays off.