Omnivore - Blue Willow Inn closes briefly after apparant food taint

Blue Willow Inn customer suffer apparent food poisoning

Image File this one under meat and aaiiieeee!

The much-loved Southern food destination Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle temporarily closed this week after several customers reported getting sick after eating there, reports the Rockdale Citizen.

Lou Kudon, program manager of the Northeast Georgia Health District, which has jurisdiction over restaurants in Walton County, said his office was advised of the reports of illness on Monday.

"We believe the food or maybe some of the serving utensils, something in the environment, was contaminated with a food-borne causing illness," Kudon said.

He said the Blue Willow was closed on Tuesday while the Blue Willow's staff sterilized the restaurant and threw out all the premade food items. Kudon said the Blue Willow was then reinspected before it was permitted to open again for business.

Kudon also said a full-scale investigation was under way, but didn't indicate when it would be complete.

It would be a shame if a problem like this damaged the Blue Willow's rep. Although I must confess I haven't eaten there in years, the place has received much national press over the years, probably less for the quality of the cooking, which is respectable but fairly standard, than for the antebellum setting and a series of grand dining rooms that seek to transport the diner to a more genteel, bygone era. There are only a handful of spots in Georgia serving rustic, all-you can eat Southern fare to the masses — the Smith House and Dillard House are the first that come to mind — but the Blue Willow has the most fancy-pants decor and manners. And it's the closest to Atlanta, making it a perfect place to take grandparents from out of town.

I could go for a corn muffin about now.