Keep walking toward the back of this little antiques shop alongside the railroad tracks in Gray and you'll find a tiny little cafe with homemade Southern specialties.
There's nothing fancy about Treasures by the Tracks -- just sandwiches, soups and desserts -- but it's a charming little place for lunch when you're out this way. The owner personally makes all the food for you, to order, and you can look around at vintage jewelry and knickknacks.
We started with a homemade pimento cheese and bacon grilled panini on wheat berry bread. There is definitely something magical about melted pimento cheese with salty applewood bacon, especially for just $5.75. For $4.99, we got a homemade chicken salad sandwich, the same price as a turkey, ham or roast beef on white, wheat or rye, with chips and a pickle.
When available, they turn their chicken salad into "Treasured Chicken Salad" by adding cranberries, pecans and cream cheese. Get a single scoop on lettuce for $4.75, two scoops for $6.95, or get it on a croissant with a fruit cup for $6.50. There's also a cold plate that includes a scoop of either the chicken salad, their tuna salad, or the pimento cheese plus a boiled egg, pickles, cheese, olives and crackers for $5.95.
Other items include paninis and wraps. Pressed on a two-sided griddle, the $6.50 paninis include roast beef with provolone and horseradish, Dijon ham and Swiss, and a grilled chicken with chipotle mayonnaise. On a wheat or spinach wrap, you can get turkey and bacon with cheddar and chipotle mayo, roast beef or chicken salad for $5.50.
I wouldn't recommend the gyro, the soup was sold out, and we didn't try the quiche or salads, so there are plenty of things you can try for yourself. The main allure here is the homeyness and being in the back of an antique store with hardwood floors and exposed brick.
For dessert they had homemade gooey caramel brownies and vanilla pound cake. The brownies were okay but cross your fingers they'll have a pound cake when you visit. (The owner told me her specialty is an orange pound cake with orange zest and orange glaze.)
So if you're out Gray way, pass by all those chain fast food joints and try something different in the old part of town.
Treasures by the Tracks
Address: 105 Atlanta Road, Gray
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday; 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday; 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 95
Price range: $4.99-$6.95
Rating: 2.5 stars