Wes Hennings never met a meal he walked away from and is an opinionated eater! Each Thursday he shares the results of a business lunch he’s had with a colleague as a way to advise our business community on the good, bad and the tasty across the CSRA. He doesn’t let ABD or the restaurant know where he is going and his opinions are his own. He grades the restaurants he visits on a 1-5 scale with “5” being outstanding. We call this our “Real Business Lunch Review”.
Food Quality: 4
Business Meeting: 3
Average Score: 3.25 of 5
This week we head to another one of those Augusta staples. It’s a blue-collar, home-cooked tradition and one of my favorite spots to stop for comfort food in the CSRA. However, that doesn’t mean it always receives the top marks.
First off, can we all just recognize that the name is a bit problematic in the current day? The idea of saving your wife from having to cook seems like it harkens to some American ideal that may or may not ever have been in place. But it’s the South and Wife Saver has been around for a while, so we ignore it while people passing through give us funny looks as they drive by.
While the chicken is typically what people stop for, and honestly, they do have some of the best chicken strips around, it’s hard for me to pass up the fried pork chop, which was the entrée of choice for this outing.
Fried at Wife Saver does not mean a light breading, but rather fully dipped and coated in goodness before being dropped in the deep fryer. If you don’t leave needing to give your stomach an oil change, is it really Southern home cooking? You get to choose your sides and bread, so I took some fries and broccoli and cheese casserole. This is probably the most delicious and unhealthy way to serve broccoli. Ask the locals, and they’d likely be appalled that I passed on the iconic mac and cheese, but I don’t run marathons so I’m trying to mildly limit the carbs. Which is hard to do with this lunch establishment. As far as bread, you can’t really go wrong, but they make a killer hushpuppy.
And while Wife Saver may save you from the need to cook, it’s not always the place to go for downhome service. They are often slow and don’t get high marks for friendliness either. I know that part of this is a side effect of the pandemic, but it’s not like it was much better pre-2020. And with the price increases common everywhere, a lunch that I already thought I was paying quite a bit for, is even more expensive. Add on the paper plates and cutlery, and I just can’t give them the value marks I’d like to.
Nevertheless, Wife Saver is one of those spots in Augusta you need to at least try, and it will probably become one of those every once in a while spots rather than a routine eatery. The slogan sticks with them that you can go here to ‘put a little south in your mouth.’ And the commercials of the past would remind you to not forget the nana puddin’ – which is definitely a menu highlight and the best banana pudding I’ve tasted that comes from a commercial kitchen.