If you find yourself in Williamston this holiday season enjoying the small town charm, Gracie’s Place is a good spot to warm up with a coffee drink or enjoy a meal after shopping. They serve fresh, homemade food in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Gracie’s Place started out as a coffee and sweets shop, and branched out to include lunch, and now dinner. The dinner menu is available Thursday through Saturday evenings and includes Raspberry Chicken, Cedar Planked White Fish, Stone Ground Pork Chop and Roquefort Sirloin. I visited on a day they were not serving dinner, but there was plenty to choose from the luncheon menu to make a satisfying and enjoyable dinner.
The Bella Salad for $6.25 is a light and refreshing mix of field greens topped with fresh sliced strawberries, crumbled feta cheese and pecans. It is served with house-made strawberry vinaigrette and a homemade roll on the side. Red onion slices also come on the salad, for all of you raw onion fans. The greens were fresh and the strawberry vinaigrette was light and tart.
For my main course, the Tuna Wrap at $7.75 is a novel roll-your-own platter of bib lettuce leaves topped with slices of fresh tuna rolled in sesame seeds. It was served with cucumber wasabi sauce and a side of creamy coleslaw. A perfectly sweet strawberry garnished the plate. Everything was very fresh tasting and fun to roll up and eat, but I would have liked a little more heat and intense flavor in the sauce and more sesame coating on the tuna. When I mentioned this to the owner, he not only seemed to appreciate the suggestion, but also talked about perhaps giving diners some options with the sauce.
My dinner partner ordered the Zorba Sandwich, and it was delicious. A grilled whole-wheat tortilla is stuffed with roasted eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, red onion and portabella mushrooms with red pepper hummus and feta cheese. The hearty wedges are served with a dipping sauce and spiced cottage cheese on the side for $6.50.
Since Gracie’s specializes in sweets, we had to try some dessert. We split a piece of Pecan Pie for $2.50. The pie has a thin torte crust and is served with a mound of whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate on top. The filling is dense and chewy, loaded with pecans. It has a nice warm kick of bourbon. It is very rich, but not cloyingly sweet.
On the weeknight we visited, we were the last customers of the night and had the place to ourselves. We had the pleasure of having one of the owners, Paul Joseph, wait on our table. He was very accommodating and told us a bit about the place and the renovation work inside. He even sent us home with pecan cinnamon rolls on the house in a cute, bright green box!
The restaurant mixes the feel of a friendly small town bakeshop with an intimate big city dining room. The interior of the building was completely refurbished and the result is modern, yet true to the vintage style of the building. The décor is an attractive mix of classic black and white with dark wood floors, embossed tin ceilings and leaded glass accents. The entry has a counter where you can order cookies, cinnamon rolls and specialty coffees. Through the arts-and-crafts-style leaded glass doors is the small dining room, with another room adjoining, and the outdoor patio beyond. Framed art hangs gallery-style on the walls. The restaurant is non-smoking.
On the lunch menu, salads are $4.25 to $6.25, and the sandwiches and wraps start at $5.25 for a Chicken Wrap up to $7.25 for the Shrimp Po Boy sandwich. Dinner items run from $9.95 to $15.95. The prices are a good value for the quality and freshness of the food that is served.
The dining room is small, so it is a good idea to call ahead for a weekend dinner, especially since Gracie’s Place recently received a license to serve beer and wine.