ALBANY — On Friday, just as the Albany Fish Company restaurant was beginning to serve lunch for the day, Glenn Singfield II, or “Chef G” as he is known, learned that the shrimp and gator po’ boy at the restaurant had been named to the Georgia’s 100 Plates for 2019 on the 2019-2020 “Explore Georgia Official State Culinary Guide.”
“Right now, I’ve got goosebumps,” Singfield said. “Opening a restaurant was something I wanted to do as a kid, but it wasn’t for the notoriety. It was just because I love to cook. I like to make people happy, so to see this, that I’ve been recognized as one of Georgia’s 100 Plates for 2019, it’s an overwhelming experience.”
Singfield, his parents and his brother operate two restaurants in the Albany area: Albany Fish Company and, most recently, The Flint.
“I thought you were going to ask me something about The Flint,” Singfield said over the phone. “When you said Albany Fish Company was named, I was like ‘Yes!’ Because that’s like my first kid, that’s my baby. In both restaurants I put my heart and soul in it, but ... Albany Fish Company, that was my break-out.”
Singfield said in both restaurants he handpicked each menu item and formulated each recipe himself.
The shrimp and gator po’ boy, as Singfield explained, is made up of alligator tail from a local source that is marinated in pinot grigio wine and cilantro and combined with Apalachicola shrimp on a fresh-baked hoagie with coleslaw, sweet pickles, cheese and a special sauce that’s been dubbed “Gator Juice.”
Singfield explained that the sauce on the po’ boy didn’t have a name at first, that was until a customer insisted that it be called Gator Juice.
“We’ve been calling it Gator Juice ever since,” he said.
The po’ boy at Albany Fish Company was one of 100 dishes from all over the state of Georgia published in the 2019-2020 “Explore Georgia Official State Culinary Guide.” The guide was put together by the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division, and the “100 Plates” were chosen based on nominations.
“One of the best ways to immerse yourself and truly experience Georgia is through our food,” said Lisa Love, interim deputy commissioner of Georgia Tourism.
“The history and culture of our state is woven into the many flavors, ingredients, dishes and traditions that create an unforgettable dining experience. This issue of the Explore Georgia Culinary Guide is our best yet, as it focuses on sharing our distinctive food and dining offerings you can’t find anywhere else.”
Since the inaugural issue of the Explore Georgia Culinary Guide, Georgia Tourism has designated “Georgia’s 100 Plates” as a way to provide visitors with locally sourced suggestions. Nominations from around the state are gathered via ExploreGeorgia.org as well as Georgia Tourism’s social media channels and evaluated by a panel of judges who curate the list down to the final designees. The list has been likened to recommendations that Georgians would share with family and friends, and it has received rave reviews from visitors as well as restaurant owners.
Other restaurants and dishes from the region that made the list were:
♦ Hanger steak salad from Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop in Thomasville
♦ Crab rice from the C&C Crab Shack in Adel
♦ Chorizo taco from Taco’n Madre in Cairo
♦ Blueberry cinnamon rolls with lemon icing from Sweetly Shealy in Camilla
♦ Apple cobbler from Farm House Restaurant in Lake Park
♦ The Farmers Pride Omelette from Q Cafe in Thomasville
♦ Blazin’ Blueberry Breakfast Sandwich from Mi-Lady Bakery in Tifton
♦ Onion rings from Friends Grille + Bar in Valdosta
♦ Cast iron seared pork chop from 7th Street Provisions in Columbus
♦ Lamb gyro and fries from Gyro City Mediterranean Grill in Americus
♦ Lemon pie from Country’s Barbecue in Columbus
♦ Hot dog from Charlie Joseph’s in LaGrange
♦ Vegetable plate from Taste of Lemon in LaGrange
♦ Fried fish from Peachtree Cafe in Thomaston
♦ Fried pork chop from Marise Country Cooking in Vienna
♦ Spinach and tomato frittata from Lightnin’ Bugs Bakery & Cafe in Warm Springs.