AUGUSTA, Ga. - One restaurant nestled in Surrey Center in Augusta has been cooking up Cajun and Creole cuisine for nearly 40 years.

You can find Louisiana's shrimp po' boy, crawfish and trout amandine, but not in New Orleans. Instead, on Augusta's Highland Avenue at French Market Grille.

Walter Clay has owned French Market Grille for nine years. Before that, he was the first manager at the restaurant from it's opening in 1984 to 1992.

Clay said the recipe book started in the '80s with the original owners, Chuck and Gail Baldwin, who have a love for New Orleans.

"They brought in a woman that was a chef from not New Orleans, but from Louisiana. So a lot of our recipes here are authentic, Louisiana recipes," Clay said.

That's when their shrimp po' boy was born, with no mayonnaise, but instead a Creole cole slaw. To top it off, have a slice of their peanut butter pie. Clay said he needed to be convinced to add it to the menu.

"I thought, peanut butter pie, that doesn't sound good at all," Clay said. "And then, you have that oh my God moment."

He said after the school year is over, the restaurant sells whole peanut butter pies and it's hard to keep up with how many they're making and selling because people love them so much.

But, Clay won't give away the secret to the dessert's recipe.  "Absolutely not. It's a secret," he said.

Clay's son and district manager Shadrick Clay said a lot of folks come into French Market Grille just for the desserts.

"Soon, we're going to have an area that has dedicated tables just for desserts," he said.

Shadrick Clay said he and his dad are brainstorming a dessert shop. 

The two are always taking a trip down to New Orleans to test out the cuisine.

"We look for somebody that's doing a shrimp po' boy or gumbo better than we are," Walter Clay said. We asked if they have found anybody yet. Clay said, "Not yet. Not yet. But we're not going to give up the search."

For now, they'll continue bringing Creole food to Augustans and everyone else that shows up from near and far.

"There's people that are going from Birmingham to the beach and they make a stop here for lunch," Walter Clay said.

Walter Clay also owns another Augusta gem, Rae's Coastal Cafe.

French Market Grille will celebrate 40 years in business in Augusta next year. The restaurant will be closed from July 3 to July 6 for the Fourth of July holiday.

Come back with us next week as we Eat. Play. Go. our way through the CSRA!